Use a permanent pen to mark
the date and seed variety on the outside of the jug. Then leave
the lid off, and place the container outdoors near the house or
another protected area.
There is nothing more to do
other than ensure that the seed starting mixture remains moist.
When daylight increases and the soil warms to the optimum
temperature, the seeds will germinate. The jug acts as a
miniature cold frame. As the seedlings mature, trim the plastic
sides to allow room for growth. The plants will already be
hardened off and ready to transplant into your garden in May
after the danger of frost is past.
I have had excellent success
using this method. In fact, most of the plants in my annual
garden began life in a milk jug. It is exciting to watch the
seeds germinate and grow, and I have plenty of plants to share
Other gardeners have told me
that they have had great luck with perennials, biennials, and
vegetables using this winter sowing method. Even tomato plants
can be grown successfully by sowing the seeds inside the jug
during late May or early June.
So, if you have thought that
beginning plants from seed is too difficult or takes too much
time, give this technique a try. You just might get hooked on
this rewarding part of gardening.