I recently stuffed a bunch of basil seeds into a pot of soil sitting on the kitchen windowsill. I remember thinking I'd be lucky if one of the 20+ seeds actually sprouted. Um, they all did as far as I can tell. While I was setting up my hot house seed started greenhouse, I went to work transplanting a bunch of the basil plants into yogurt cups so they could grow big and strong. I like using yogurt cups because they're something we ALWAYS have and they seem to be the perfect size for these little seedlings.
I start out by drilling 3 holes in the bottom of all the cups at the same time by stacking them and drilling clear through them all. Next, I put a circle of paper towel in the bottom of each one. Doing this keeps the dirt from falling through the cup but still allows for the water to drain out or wick up if necessary.
This year I'm trying something new with my little seedlings. Since I've never started so many seeds indoors before, I knew I needed to keep them out in the garage on the work bench. That means they all need a little extra TLC to stay warm and appropriately moist. I have a grow light out there but it does get pretty cold, especially at night.
Thus, the soda bottle mini greenhouse.
I asked the hubs to save his 1 liter soda bottles for me to use as cloches. I started experimenting around with them and discovered that they actually fit perfectly around a yogurt container. Here's what I came up with:
How did I get that in there? Well, simple really, I just cut almost all the way around the bottle, just a little bit lower than the height of the yogurt container. I left about 1/2 of an inch attached at the back.
See, here it is taken apart:
I made a whole bunch of these, one for each little basil plant. I filled the bottom of the soda bottle with water, slightly above the bottom of the yogurt container. Now the soil can pull water as it needs it. I'll check on it at least once a day to ensure it is functioning properly but after only about 30 minutes, the insides of the bottles are already a little steamed up.
Another great advantage is I'll still be able to use the bottles as cloches if I need to. They're smaller than the typical 2 liter variety but if I need to keep any seedlings protected outside, I'll just clip the last 1/2 inch, remove the top part of the bottle and press it into the dirt around the plant.
Grow little basils, grow!!
Thank you for reading,