A Guide to Winter Sowing in Milk Jugs

Winter Sowing is sowing your seeds in milk jugs or other plastic containers, and using them as mini-greenhouses outside in the middle of winter.

First step is to collect your milk jugs or other plastic containers.

Poke a bunch of holes in the bottom for drainage,  and a few holes around the top for extra air circulation.

Then you cut the milk jug almost all the way around about 4" up from the bottom, but leaving an inch or so intact below the handle, as a hinge.

Make sure to use a soil that drains well. If the soil stays too wet, the seeds may rot.

Plant the seeds into the soil as directed on the package for depth of planting. Spray the surface with water so the top 1" or so of soil is quite damp.

Close the jug and tape the jug closed all the way around. You can leave the plastic cap that came with the milk jug on, until the seeds germinate, then remove.

Set your Winter Sown containers outdoors in a sunny location that will receive rain. Do not put under an eave which might prevent rain from entering into the open top.

Make sure to label your containers so you know what is what. I  suggest also putting labels inside, as the sun will often fade any outside writing.

Last winter I used plastic bins for the first time with great success. Be sure to punch holes in the bottom and in the lids for drainage and air flow!.

Some of the seedlings that were winter sown in plastic bins!

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