I am a few days late this year starting my winter sowing. Usually I try to put out the tomato seed containers on the first day of March. Here’s the intended schedule:
- March 1–Sow seeds and set containers outside
- April 1–Seeds usually show germination
- April 30–Transplant into individual containers
- May 14–Ready to put into the ground (or sell at market)
I don’t think it will matter, though, because the seeds will germinate when the weather warms up even if they were put out in the middle of March. So here is how to prepare the gallon milk jugs shown in the earlier post:
They have already been washed out and cut around the middle, leaving an uncut space just under the handle to act as a hinge. Now it’s time to drill holes in the bottom. Using the kind of handheld drill that will grasp a nail, I made several holes in the bottom of the jug. For stabilization, and to make sure I didn’t accidentally slip and damage the counter, I put the inverted jug over the open mouth of another container:
You can use whatever method you choose to make drainage holes in the bottom. Then flip the jug over so that it is right side up, and put in about 4″ of moist potting mix. Sow the seeds according to the package instructions. Label the container with a paint pen (permanent markers fade).
Punch two holes on the front corner (directly opposite the handle), one on the top section and one on the bottom section, near the cut edges. Insert a twist tie and use it to tie the jug closed.
Now wrap packing tape around the entire cut edge to seal it. Throw away the cap (you don’t need it) and put it outside–no matter how cold the temps are! Snowing? No problem! The seeds will germinate eventually in their little “greenhouse”–when the weather warms in the spring.