Fabulous Free Trick for Spring Gardening

2 Materials
$5
10 Minutes
Easy

If you live in a cold climate and are eager to get your garden started (who isn't?), this trick is for you. It's a simple, free solution to protect your seedlings and tender, young plants during those cold spring nights when they can freeze and die. Best of all, it requires mini greenhouses that you probably already own (even if you didn't know it)! If you would like more detailed instructions on preparing seedlings for planting outdoors, visit the link below.
Whether you are starting seeds indoors or bringing home new plants from the nursery, you will need to keep them happy until the weather is warm enough for planting. The problem is, sudden cold snaps can freeze and kill these young plants.
The solution? Storage bins like the one you see here. I like opaque bins (so some light gets in) with attached lids. If I buy plants a little too early (who can resist?) before the risk of frost has passed, I keep them in bins on the patio, providing the perfect amount of warmth and protection. If the weather is warm, the lids are open. If temperatures are dropping, I close the lids for the night.
'Hardening off' is a process that prepares seedlings for life outdoors, gradually introducing them to sun, wind, rain, and varied temperatures. A few weeks before planting time, I place all of my seedlings in bins outdoors, starting with a few hours a day. The bins make it super simple to move them around as needed, depending on the weather each day. If a true frost is expected, they come indoors for the night.
As planting time approaches, the seedlings spend more and more time outdoors in the bins until they are strong and ready for their new life in the garden. Since I started using the bins as mini greenhouses, I have not lost any plants to those sneaky spring frosts.
With this tip you should be able to prevent plant loss so you have lots of gorgeous flowers and veggies in your summer garden. Bonus tip: If you don't own cloches and frost is expected, you can also place the bins upside down over tender garden plants instead. Large soda pop bottles work well too. Happy growing! Visit the link below for more gardening tips.

Suggested materials:

  • Bin for storage  (department store)
  • Plants  (homegrown)

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2 of 20 comments
  • Catherine Graham
    on Apr 24, 2015

    Great idea!

  • Valerie
    on Jan 13, 2016

    This is a fantastic idea! Although I live in a very hot climate (most of the time) we often get gale force winds for days at a time. Putting my seedlings in an enclosed space will definitely be worth doing - thanks for the inspiration!

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