In the spirit of reduce, reuse, and recycle, here’s a great tip for gardeners looking for an easy way to start seeds indoors. It’s a micro greenhouse.
Most grocery stores sell prepared cakes and pastries which quite often are packaged in a food-safe plastic container with a see-through raised lid. Although I don’t usually buy a lot of prepared foods, I do occasionally enjoy a single layer carrot cake from my local Hannaford Supermarket. Even though the cakes are tasty, I always felt bad because it seemed like such a waste to toss such a sturdy container in the recycle bin after its first and only use as a cake pan.
This spring, I had an idea to try to reuse it as micro greenhouse to start some basil seeds for an herb class I was teaching. The solid black plastic base worked great to hold the soil and the clear lid made the perfect greenhouse enclosure to keep the soil moist and the seeds warm. It was a great success.
Here are the super easy directions to create your own.
- Buy a cake and enjoy it with your family and friends
- Wash the empty cake pan and remove the sticker on the clear plastic lid so the sun can shine through
- Fill the bottom with soil
- Plant your seeds and water them in. You can poke or drill a few holes in the bottom for drainage if you'd like
- Secure the clear plastic lid back on top creating a ‘greenhouse’ environment for your seeds
- Place your new portable micro greenhouse on a sunny windowsill or under a lamp to grow
- Monitor and water when needed
- Transplant seedlings when they no longer fit under the ‘greenhouse’ lid
The photos here show the cake when I bought it, the washed pan with soil ready for planting, and some green onion seedlings I started. As you see, I had to buy three of them to take the photos. I called it research, but enjoyed the cakes all the same. Its a great way to reuse everyday items in new ways to reduce garbage and go green.