Mini Seedling Greenhouse

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Introduction: Mini Seedling Greenhouse

About: Retired teacher from long ago and semi-retired graphic designer who loves the outdoors. American expat living in New Zealand for over 20 years.

Make an easy mini greenhouse from trash to raise seedlings.

Step 1: Find a Container

A clear plastic berry box with a hinged lid will become the greenhouse.

Step 2: Save Toilet Paper Cores.

Gather up three toilet paper cores.

Step 3: Flatten Edges

Flatten in half, open, then flatten the other other way so that four edges are creased.

Step 4: Cut in Half

Step 5: Cut Slots

Cut along each of the four flattened edges about a quarter of the way up the tube.

Step 6: Fold in Each Segment

Fold and unfold each segment, making good creases. This will make it easier to fold up the bottom

Step 7: Close Up Bottom

Fold in each flap, one over the other, as you would to close a cardboard carton.

Step 8: Store Pots in the Greenhouse

The pots can be stored in the greenhouse until ready to be filled with soil.

Step 9: Fill With Soil

Fill each pot with soil or potting mix. It is a good idea to do this over a sheet of paper, cardboard or plastic to catch the excess soil.

Step 10: Tamp Soil Down

Step 11: Plant Seeds

Plant a seed or two into each pot then place them in the greenhouse. Water each pot.

Step 12: Close Top

Close the top to keep the soil warm. Place the greenhouse in another plastic container without holes to catch the water and keep moist. Because the pots are so small they tend to dry out quickly.

Step 13: Transplant When Ready

The lid can be propped open on warm days.
After the seedlings are big enough, transplant, pot and all. The roots will grow straight through the cardboard which will break down quickly in the soil.

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    31 Discussions

    I gather old refrigerator trays and veg. bins from appliance stores before they throw them away or junk them . I start alot of seeds this way. hope this helps someone.

    1 reply

    Good idea! When planting the seedlings you have to make sure all of the cardboard is buried. Otherwise it will evaporate the water around it,thus damaging the roots.

    1 reply

    I add a collar of cardboard around all seedlings when I plant them, otherwise the cutworms chew them off at the stem overnight.

    annnnnd done! this was suuper easy and fun thanks:)

    My tip for an easy way to make holes in your plastic containers.If you have a metal skewer for kabobs heat the tip for a few seconds and poke away. If it cools down reheat. Just be careful and remember one end is HOT.

    1 reply

    That's a good idea. I have a pyrography tool for wood burning, I might even try that with a spare tip.

    Thanks. Lately I've made it even more simple. I simply tamp seed raising or potting mix into a toilet roll tube not even closing the bottom. If the mix is tamped in it stays there. Sometimes I leave the roll whole, sometimes I cut them in half. The part of the roll that stays above ground when planted in the garden even deters cutworms which kill a lot of seedlings in my garden.

    You could tape up the holes but then water might settle in the greenhouse and waterlog the seedlings. Better to let them drain.

    Why don't you try it without the container? Soil Blocks are easy and work really well: https://www.instructables.com/id/Make-Super-Cheap-Seed-Starters/

    1 reply

    The little pots made from TP tubes is a great idea.  I have a large family and we generate alot of these!

    I made "mini greenhouses" for some of my seedlings this year using plastic shoeboxes I had around.  I drilled a couple of holes in the bottom for drainage on one shoebox, filled it with soil and planted my seeds.  The other shoebox went on top--upside down.  I held them together with a binder clip at each end.  They looked alot like something you would pay actual money for in those gardening catalogs.  I planted directly in these for salad fixin's in March, when it was too early yet to plant outside, but they would do well for the little TP tube pots, too. 

    1 reply

    Using plastic shoeboxes is a cool idea. Anything free to help the garden grow and keep us out of the supermarket is a great idea.