Saturday, April 10, 2010

Jug Planting Tutorial

This has been one of my favorite ways to start seeds since I learned about it on the web in about 2001. There is a very comprehensive site here. But here's how I do it:

1. Using a box cutter, make a slit a little longer than the length of one side of the milk jug on the side opposite the handle.

2. Drill drainage holes in the bottom; eight for a gallon sized jug.

3. Fill the jug with a few inches of well moistened potting soil.
4. Place seeds, in this case pumpkin so they would show in the pic.

5. Cover seeds as directed on the seed packet.
6. Close cut side with duct tape.
7. Label with a Sharpie. The labels on top fade quickly, so it is best to mark the bottoms or sides.

Add new jugs to your stash through winter and spring depending on the hardiness of the seeds you are sowing. Although you can do this in summer too, it becomes hard to keep the soil from drying out in the heat.

I take pictures showing the labels when I place them out so when they fade, I have a reference as long as I haven't moved them. During winter and spring there is generally no need to add water as snow melt and rain is sufficient. As seeds start sprouting, check for moisture and cut away the tops as they grow and they will harden off as you slowly remove the tops and be ready for planting out. Depending how thickly you sow seeds, you may decide to prick out and transplant seedlings to individual pots before planting out. There aren't any rules and it's cheap, so improvise with different containers--it's a lot of fun!

1 comment:

knitseashore said...

I would love to try this some time! I may have to wait until I have a fenced-in vegetable garden, though.

Looks like you are going to have amazing vegetables all summer!