Recycled Mini Greenhouses

Hey all! This post was originally shared as part of Emily’s Summer Fun Series over at Nap Time Creations, but since we’re getting ready to plant our autumn crops this weekend, I figured now is the perfect time to bring it home in case you guys missed it. We’ve currently got peppers, greenbeans, cucumbers, 3 kinds of tomatoes, and one scraggly little squash plant trying their best to take over ever vertical surface available in our back yard, so I figure it’s about time to sow some shorter plants in the big empty spaces left over. Carrots, snap peas, broccoli, spinach, and lettuce are all on the menu for fall, and since we’ve got a baby bunny squeezing his way into our yard lately, I’m hoping these little greenhouses will help make sure we actually have something to serve. Sneaky bunnies!

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How is everyone’s summer going so far? We’re sweating our way through the first summer in a new house, so around here everything seems to be less about the pools and popsicles, and more about yard-work. Boo! Well boo on the work part at least because it’s been really fun seeing the yard’s transformation and the garden if full bloom. 

Get your garden started with these mini greenhouses made from recycled fruit trays

We’ve never had a yard before, and seeing all the gorgeous plants in all their glory is actually what inspired this project. These little greenhouses are a great way to get your seedlings started for fall planting without loosing them to the August heat, or for apartment dwellers to share in a little bit of the gardening fun. You could probably even get an edible crop of leaf lettuce or spinach simply by transplanting your seedlings into a small flower pot. Yea for fresh greens! 
What You’ll Need:
Soil – (they make special kinds for seedlings, but I just used potting soil since it was already in the basement)
A plastic “blister package” with multiple cubbies. Costco sells apples, pears, etc. in these containers.
Seeds – Water – A thumbtack  – And a sunny spot where your plants can grow without being disturbed.

First use your thumbtack (or other sharp pointy object) to poke drainage holes in the bottom of each cubbie. If you live in a very dry area and would like to help increase the humidity in your greenhouse, leave a few of the bubbles intact. You’ll see why in a few steps.

Add soil to the tray and follow the directions on your seed packets to determine what depth they should be planted.

Water the seeds until the soil becomes nice and moist. For this step we took our recycling to the next level by poking holes in the lid of an old milk jug to make the perfect kid sized watering can. My daughter loves to help give her little seeds the “Sun, water and love” they need to grow! Don’t worry about your little helpers over-watering them though. Seedling need lots of water in the beginning to help them sprout, and any extra will simply leak out the drainage holes. Once they sprout, then you’ll need to let the soil dry out a little more.
Speaking of holes – you may want to lay a towel under your greenhouse if you plan to keep it inside.

If you’d like to increase the humidity and help your seeds germinate faster, just leave a few bubbles unplanted (those ones you didn’t poke holes in) and fill them with extra water. This will also help your baby plants from scorching if you accidently forget to water them for a day or two. 

Recycled Mini Greenhouses
Now all you have to do is snap the lid shut and set your greenhouse in a sunny area where your family can watch your new plants grow! 

If kept damp and warm from the sunshine, most seeds only take about a week to ten days to begin sprouting. But make sure you keep an eye on your greenhouse. They are very light weight, and if they aren’t in a sheltered place when a thunderstorm rolls through, it’s entirely possible that the whole thing will blow away and spread your seedlings across the lawn. Oops! Ask me how I know. 😉

What have you got growing at your house?

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6 thoughts on “Recycled Mini Greenhouses

  1. what a great idea! Great learning lesson for the kids and then sooner or later you can have some beautiful flowers or some yummy plants to eat 🙂 I love the upcycle to, I always think I should do something with those things other than recycle them. Glad to see someone did come up with a great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Sometime stop by our Snickerdoodle Sunday and party with us!

    1. Thanks darlin'! I always hated throwing them away too. They're such a unique shape that it just makes you want to figure out how to re-use them. We also cup them in half and fill the little cups with paint for the kids, so everyone cans share the colors easily. Wonder what else they'd be good for?

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