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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Apartment Gardening - Seeds and Lots of Dirt

Every year that we have that we have lived in our apartment, I have planted a small container garden on our little deck. Its mostly been a tomato plant, a mini pepper plant, some herbs, and some flowers. I loved having the green growing on our deck, and the fresh herbs and veggies to eat. There is also a really great sense of accomplishment from growing your own food. I also usually end up letting everything die, by accident/pure laziness.

The past two years I have been going to the store and buying seedlings and then planting them in my pot and containers. This year, I am trying something a little different. I bought a bunch of seeds online (check out and my sister-in-law and I planted our own seedlings.

Seeds - aren't they pretty?
We tried a method I found on Pinterest, basically you plant the seeds in a recycled plastic bottle which acts as a greenhouse allowing you to leave the seedlings outside. This was essential for me, I had to be able to leave the seeds outside because a) I didn't have room in my small apartment; b) I didn't have enough sunlight anywhere inside; and c) I didn't want J to get into the seeds and mess them up.

Recycled Bottles Greenhouses
  • Empty milk/juice/soda bottles (with lids) rinsed out
  • Seedling soil
  • Coffee filters
  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Duct tape
Cut the bottles in half and poke a few drainage holes in the bottom. Place a coffee filter in the bottom half of the bottle, this will keep the soil from running out. Fill with soil and plant seeds according to package directions. Replace the top half of the bottle and tape in place. Water and keep in a sunny location until plants are ready to be transplanted. (I used a spray bottle for watering, it fits inside the top and its really hard to over-water the little plants)

UPDATE: My SIL just told me that you are supposed to leave the caps off of the bottles, so disregard that part of the directions and the pictures.

Everything looks really good, there is dirt with seeds planted in it, there is condensation on the inside of the bottles, the dirt is staying moist (hate that word) and all is going according to plan. The almighty (and often very wrong) weather people are calling for a super-huge snow storm to hit the east coast this evening. Here's hoping that my little soda-bottle-greenhouses live up to their promise, I will keep you updated.

What are you green thumb tips? Do you have more skills than I do? Have you tried this bottle trick? What are you planting this year?

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