Starting your garden from seeds can be difficult, especially during the transition from winter to spring. Occasionally, when it seems the frost season has passed, gardeners will start planting seeds in hopes that they will spring up within the coming weeks before spring. However, a day might come when the frost suddenly reappears, killing off the seedlings that have just sprung from the earth. Since the process of planting seeds would need to start all over again, spontaneous frost is nearly every gardener’s nightmare.
But there are ways to prevent such a catastrophe from happening. By making seed starter greenhouses out of simple household materials, these seedlings can be protected until spring—or even longer, if need be—whether gardeners want to start them indoors or out.
What you’ll need:
- 9 oz. paper or plastic cups (how many is up to you)
- Large Ziploc bags (2-3 cups will fit in a bag)
- Potting Soil
- Seeds of your choice
Start by taking the 9 oz. cups and poking three to five holes in the bottom of each cup. Fill each cup with soil until there is about an inch of space between the soil and the brim of the cup. Plant your seeds—at least three to five seeds per cup, depending on what you’re planting—at the appropriate depth and label the cups using the sharpie. Next, water your newly planted seeds and let them drain.
While they drain, take the Ziploc bags and place them horizontally—the zipper side should be facing to the left. At the tops of the bags, you will cut three triangles facing downward (almost like fangs) that should be about an inch in length and width. Make sure these triangles are evenly spaced. When complete—if you open the bag—your triangles should look like diamonds.
Finally, place two to three seedling cups inside each Ziploc bag, making sure the little diamond vents are above the cups and that the zipper side is to the left. Zip up the Ziploc bags and place them either inside your home in a safe place or outside in a similar manner. This will act as a mini greenhouse and should protect your seedling from frost and/or bugs.
Check on your greenhouses regularly. If your seedlings are too wet or they get too hot, mold might occur. To prevent this from happening, remove your seedlings when you water them and let them drain completely before placing them back in the Ziplocs. If there seems to be too much condensation inside of the Ziploc bags, open the zipper on the side for extra ventilation.
Do these things, and before you know it, your seedlings will flourish. And if you want to use the same process for these plants as they get bigger, just transfer them to a larger pot and use a large Ziploc bag to cover up the single plant.