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Mini Geenhouses Using Recycled Items

By Gymgirl
January 5, 2012

No need to purchase expensive seed-starting systems. Use plastic cleaner bags, tied at one end and vented on the other end (or, just pinch a couple holes on top), to create mini-greenhouses to germinate your seedlings! Your cut-up vinyl mini-blind plant labels will tent the plastic!

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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jan 4, 2012 6:24 PM CST
Gymgirl: Great tip! I haven't done the dry cleaning thing since my work days long ago, but I do like the idea of recycling plastic bags for this purpose! I've used the clear plastic bags my daily newspaper comes wrapped in for small containers and I've recycled and used 1gal and 2gal zip lok bags also. Just be sure to wash and rinse the zip lok bags thoroughly to remove any food residue if they've been used previously for food storage.

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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
Jan 4, 2012 7:04 PM CST
The following is not a cheap solution unless you already have a roll of extra-wide food film, or plan on starting dozens of trays every year.

Plastic food film ("Saran Wrap") comes in 18" and even 24" widths from food supply stores. One roll will cover thousands or perhaps millions of trays.

Or you can laboriously tape pieces of 12" food film together to get a sufficiently humidity-tight cover.

I think the dry-cleaner-bag solution is a great idea!
[Last edited by RickCorey - Jul 25, 2014 11:28 AM (+)]
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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
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valleylynn
Jan 4, 2012 7:42 PM CST
Thumbs up To all of it. Hurray!
Name: Toni
Denver Metro (Zone 5a)
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Charter ATP Member Irises Salvias Xeriscape Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Skiekitty
Jan 4, 2012 8:44 PM CST
RickCorey said:This is not a cheap solution unless you have 100s of trays or plan to invest for years of seed starting:

plastic food film ("Saran Wrap") comes in 18" and even 24" widths from food supply stores. One roll will cover thousands or maybe millions of trays.

Or you can laboriously tape pieces of 12" food film together to get a sufficiently humidity-tight cover.


Actually, if you have a Costco/Sam's club membership, you can get the plastic food wrap there pretty cheap, like $15 for like 5000 ft. I bought one from Costco back in '06 & I'm STILL using the same box!!
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
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Onewish1
Jan 4, 2012 8:53 PM CST
goes to show you how easy I am.. I didn't realize what a cleaner bag was Rolling on the floor laughing wash & wear baby!!!!.. wow I feel so dumb
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
Jan 4, 2012 10:51 PM CST
I love my big box of Costco plastic wrap. I had one that lasted me about 11 years. I now have a replacement that I got this last summer. Lovey dubby
Along with their large box of aluminum foil. Hurray!
Name: Linda
SE Houston, Tx. (Hobby) (Zone 9a)
"Godspeed, & Good Harvest!"
Region: Texas Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Master Level Canning and food preservation Gardens in Buckets
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Gymgirl
Jan 5, 2012 12:18 PM CST
RickCorey said:This is not a cheap solution unless you have 100s of trays or plan to invest for years of seed starting:

plastic food film ("Saran Wrap") comes in 18" and even 24" widths from food supply stores. One roll will cover thousands or maybe millions of trays.

Or you can laboriously tape pieces of 12" food film together to get a sufficiently humidity-tight cover.


Rick,
You jumped my tip from "el cheapo" to "el dinero!!!" Everything I do is on a seriously limited budget, and, I'm not promoting spending $$$$ here. I've got closets full of old cleaner bags. And, I don't even use the dry cleaners much anymore, either. Those bags in the pic are HOSPITAL gown bags from my annual mammograms! I raid the disposal bin once a year, when I go for my annual. The bags hold the clients personal belongings for approximately 30 minutes, and then they are put into a disposal bin.

And, even if I didn't get those bags, I'd get FREE dry cleaner bags from my friends and neighbors who use dry cleaners...

Just keepin' it real!

Linda I tip my hat to you.
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
Jan 5, 2012 12:36 PM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Thumbs up
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Jan 5, 2012 2:01 PM CST
Linda the miser.

I like misers! :>)

Shoe (King Miser, big time recycler, especially for garden goodies!)
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
Jan 6, 2012 6:32 PM CST
>> Costco/Sam's club

Now I know where to go if my curent roll ever runs out! (Gee, now that you mention it, that WAS where I got my second roll. It was way cheaper than the restaraunt supply place 20-30 years ago!)


>> "el dinero!!!"

The "Saran Wrap" method becomes almost free if you already have a wide roll, since rinsing them off lets you reuse them for years.

I don't think taped-together lengths of 12" film would be easy to reuse. That's not very sustainable, just workable for someone with a tight time budget.

I agree with you that reusing something you already have, or that you can get from neighbors, is the most sustainable method.

My "baseline" would have been buying more of the rigid "humidity domes", GRAMS of thick plastic and multple dollars each. That's like a 'worst case' and yet many people buy those domes.

I never have had dry cleaner bags, though it might be neighborly for me to spend time meeting neighborhood strangers by asking them for something.

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