Building a Mini Hothouse for an Extra Jump on the Season

What You'll Need
Plastic tub; large and clear
Plastic cling wrap; clear
Potting soil
Seeds to plant
Peat or jiffy pots
Duct tape
Bleach solution (1 tbsp. bleach to 1 cup water)
Lint-free towel

A mini hothouse is a great way to get a jump on the growing season. In many cases you can create a mini hothouse out of materials you would have otherwise thrown away. The following steps will teach you how to create a mini hothouse.

Step 1 - Cleaning the Plastic Tub

The tub is going to become your hothouse but, in order for it to work correctly, it needs to be clean.

Place a few drops of soap in the tub and then fill it with water. Clean it very well and dump out the water. Rinse out any suds that may remain. Use the lint-free towel to dry the inside of the tub.

Pour the bleach solution into the bucket and swish it around to cover the entire inside of the bucket. Dump the bleach solution and let the bucket air dry.

Step 2 - Preparing the Pots

How you prepare the pots depends on which pots you chose to use.

If you are going to use peat pots, fill them 3/4 of the way to the top with the potting soil. Once they are filled, tamp the soil down slightly to let it settle. Place the pots in the tub. You can have as many pots in the tub as you can fit.

If you are using jiffy pots, place them in the bottom of the plastic tub. Pour boiling water into the tub and wait until the jiffy pots expand.

Step 3 - Seeding the Pots

Planting your seeds is crucial and how you plant them also depends on the pots you decided to use.

If you have chosen to use peat pots you will want to place two seeds in each pot. Push the seeds down slightly and cover with a thin layer of potting soil. Water the peat pots until each pot is damp to touch. Do not make it too wet or the seeds will not germinate.

Jiffy pots are a little different than peat pots. Jiffy pots are pretty much already done for you with the exception of being seeded. Place one seed in the center of each jiffy pot and push it down until it is covered.

Step 4 - Making the Mini Hothouse Work

With the pots seeded and placed in the bottom of the bucket, you can now put the finishing touches on this mini hothouse.

Place an inch of water in the bottom of the tub containing the pots.

Cover the top of the bucket with a sheet of clear plastic wrap, making sure there are no gaps or open spaces. Duct tape the plastic wrap to the tub.

Put the tub outside in a sunny area. Water the plants as needed because the soil needs to remain moist. The seeds will develop seedling within a week or so.

Take the plastic wrap off of the tub when the seedlings have gotten to be at least 2-inches tall.