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Save Your Milk Jugs To Use as Mini-Greenhouses

By Maridell
December 9, 2011

Save milk jugs and cut out the bottoms to use in the early spring garden. You can use them as mini-greenhouses to give plants an earlier start. They also provide protection from the bunnies to tender young plants until the plants are more mature. A small slit in the side makes staking them and moving the container to the side during the day easier. Remove the container, or the lid, during the day (don't cook your plants!) and replace it in the late afternoon to store warmth for the evening.

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Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 9, 2011 12:36 PM CST
Terrific idea!
You can also use those 5 gal. drywall buckets.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 9, 2011 2:15 PM CST
Thanks for the slit-and-stake idea!

I've been saving 2-liter clear plastic bottles and expecting them to blow over unless I drape a floating row cover over everything, and weight it down.

I was hoping that, in cloudy rainy coastal WA, I could just unscrew the tops from the bottles to let out enough hot air to keep them from cooking in the daytime.

And I expect slugs to burrow up from soil, inside the bottles, to eat seedlings. So I was going to put a small pinch of iron phosphate bait under each bottle, and trust the bottles to keep the bait dry.


Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
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Maridell
Dec 9, 2011 3:08 PM CST
Ann, the 5 gallon buckets are a great idea for extending the protection further into spring...the gallon jugs will only hold so much.

Rick, it is possible in your cooler climate that removing the lid might be enough...in Iowa I have found it can get way too warm...late winter it is okay. The slug protection is a great idea too, thanks!
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Dec 9, 2011 4:07 PM CST
I love this tip Maridell.
I have used the gallon milk jugs as mini greenhouses for starting seeds. Now I see I can cut the bottoms out and use as protective covers until the plants have a good start and the weather warms.
Thank you so much. Thumbs up
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Maridell
Dec 9, 2011 4:34 PM CST
You are very welcome Lynn!

This is a good time to start saving those milk jugs...
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Dec 9, 2011 5:50 PM CST
It sure is. Here is what I did with mine the last two years. Planted them in late Jan.
Never thought of cutting the bottoms out afterwards to use as covers. Thumbs up
Thumb of 2011-12-09/valleylynn/e63410
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 9, 2011 6:09 PM CST
I've also used empty pots & turned them upside down. Of course, you have to take them off during the day so the plants get light. If it's windy you can put a rock or brick on top to weigh them down. This was in zone 10 when we would get those rare frost/freeze or windchill times so the drain holes weren't enough to affect the heat retention properties. I don't know how that would work in extreme temps. it wasn't as if we were going to get down to 20 degrees or anything.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Maridell
Dec 9, 2011 8:56 PM CST
Nice job Lynn!

Ann, yup just about anything to hold in the heat, just takes a little time each day to check everything...well worth it when your plants get better growth.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Dec 9, 2011 9:02 PM CST
Yep, Lynn's going nuts there isn't she? I count 30 jugs!!!!!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Dec 9, 2011 9:18 PM CST
Hey, can I help it if I have become addicted to using milk jugs for gardening? Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Dec 9, 2011 9:23 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Maridell
Dec 10, 2011 9:43 AM CST
Nope, I'm sure you can not help your self Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Dec 10, 2011 10:29 AM CST
I agree
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Joanne
Calgary, AB Canada (Zone 3a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Region: Canadian Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Roses
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Container Gardener Vegetable Grower Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Joannabanana
Mar 6, 2013 3:31 PM CST
The 3 or 5 gallon water jugs work well if you need a bigger cloche. I direct sowed cucumbers last year and used a 3 gallon jug as a cloche. It was excellent
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
Image
valleylynn
Mar 6, 2013 3:42 PM CST
Great idea Joanne, that would work great for when the plants get to big for the one gallon size. Thumbs up
Name: Maridell
Sioux City IA (Zone 4b)
enjoy the moment
Charter ATP Member Tip Photographer I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Maridell
Mar 8, 2013 12:03 PM CST
We have had some deer activity in the neighborhood this winter...gonna need to start protecting plants. I have a few bulbs coming up now...time to get the milk jugs out!

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