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Milk jugs and liter soda bottles. Other types of containers?

bella rosa
March 4, 2018

Can anyone tell me what other kinds of containers you use for winter sowing? Just curious. I have a couple of hanging baskets I guess I could use, but that would take up too much soil. I have some clay pots, but I think the soil would dry out. Any other suggestions?

Comments (13)
  • ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a

    I would not use hanging basket or clay pot. My favorite is the milk (or water in my case) jug. Other good containers are if you buy those salads that come in plastic containers - they're over-priced! but you'll have the container, and they come with their own lid. sometimes the bakery department of my supermarket gives me those plastic containers that baked goods are sold in.

    bella rosa thanked ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a
  • bella rosa

    Ellen, thanks for the info. I do use milk (or water jugs that I got from my sister). Just curious what other folks use. I usually don't by the salad in containers because as you said, they are over priced. I'll look into the baked goods though, which I'd rather eat than a boring salad! LOL.

  • mnwsgal

    4 inch pots placed inside a larger plastic container, hanging basket with the seeds of the plants that I want to grow in the pot ie petunias, inpatients, lobeia then covered with plastic, paper cups inside a larger container, sandwich bags, lasagna foil pans

    Anything that will hold a depth of 3-4” of mix and can have drainage holes.

    There are many threads from previous years that you can find by searching in the search box at the top of this thread. Here is one https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/1769319/winter-sowing-without-containers-g?n=11

    bella rosa thanked mnwsgal
  • jlhart76

    Currently using or have used in the past: milk jugs, soda bottles, water bottles, yogurt cups, butter tubs, nursery pots, cardboard boxes, storage totes, paper juice and creamer cartons, ziploc baggies, plastic and styrofoam cups, take out containers, aluminum roasting pans. Pretty much anything that can hold 3-4" of dirt and has drainage holes (or that I can drill holes in). If it doesn't have a top (yogurt cups etc.) I tape some clear plastic across the top.

  • bossyvossy

    I like large OJ jugs b/c transparent and last longer that milk jugs. HST, harder to cut top off and drill drain holes. Clear jugs allow full view of root action w/o disturbing seedling.

  • deannatoby

    I have also used the larger vinegar containers. WARNING: They are a plastic that is, to describe it best,...squishy. When I was cutting them with a knife (scissors wouldn't work) I felt like they would "grab" onto the knife, and then the release might send the knife right through my hand. Be careful!

    What about things like quart or double-quart strawberry containers? Bought some strawberries on sale this weekend. They have slits in the bottom already, are pretty deep, and clear for sunshine. Now I'm wishing I had save them myself!

  • Patti ~ Chicago Zone 5/6a

    I am going to use all the clear bottles from iced tea gallon size and 1/2 gallon size bottles and the 64 ounce juice bottles this year for sowing. I have milk gallons but I'll try these others too. One can't hurt anything by trying. Lol. I think the taller the better for me for the annuals I have.

    bella rosa thanked Patti ~ Chicago Zone 5/6a
  • Campanula UK Z8

    A few years ago, fed up with the mish-mash of various containers which either fell over, didn't fit in the carrying trays, got mangled, squashed or brittle that I ordered 1000 4inch square pots...in fairly rigid plastic. Why did I wait so long? I love it - they fit on my greenhouse bench with no gaps or waste of space, they are durable and washable, they look fantastic - I absolutely feel in charge and each one is filled with exactly one full trowel of potting mix. I also ordered 1000 5inch labels after too many labelling fails. I have been using these pots and labels (I use a chinagraph pencil) for the last 5 seasons and sowing is a joy.

    bella rosa thanked Campanula UK Z8
  • perennialfan275

    What about egg cartons? I haven't personally tried them yet, but I hear a lot of people like them (especially the cardboard ones since you can compost when you're done) since they look similar to plug trays.

  • mnwsgal

    I have used hanging baskets to ws seeds of plants that I wanted to continue to grow in the basket. ie: petunias, transplanting out extra seedlings, works very well for lobelia, ime.

    bella rosa thanked mnwsgal
  • deannatoby

    That's a great idea, mnwsgal. I'm going to copy you next year!

  • imahappymess

    Clear cat litter jugs are nice and large. I also bought clear bowls from dollar store. Drilled holes in bottom, they are a good fit for 5 gallon buckets. Or any larger containers, for things that don't like transplanting. Did my carrots with them.

    The bowls would probably fit a hanging basket well. I'm going to try with Petunias. Less transplanting always works for me.

  • mmqchdygg3

    Note on 2L bottles...the coke ones have a bigger bottom than midsection, and at plant out time, can be pita to remove without cutting the container vertically. But that's just me.

    The larger yogurt tubs worked well for me this year; if it came with a lid that wasn't see-through, I simply cut a circle out of it, leaving the edge intact, and inserted a piece of Saran wrap under the lid and punched knife holes.

    Two thumbs up for large clear cat litter jugs!

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