Plastic Storage Bin Greenhouse?

I'm thinking of trying to make a small indoor greenhouse for next winter. I have an odd-ball idea for one and would like to get some feedback on what people think. I want to take a large plastic storage bin (the bottom part is clear) and turn it upside down, put the seedlings on the inverted top, hook up a plant light in it and put it in a sunny window. The bottom part of the bin would be snapped back in place to keep the humidity in there. Would that work? Does anybody have any thoughts on this?


Hardiness Zone: 8a

By Cricket from Parkton, NC

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March 30, 20100 found this helpful

Your idea is not bad; but is maybe more complicated that you need. Really, you only need the "greenhouse" to keep the seed medium moist until the seeds sprout; then you need air circulation or you risk the sprouts "damping off". That can be accomplished with bin, for sure. Once the seedlings are up and growing, the grow light is the key--you certainly have the right idea there. You might want to make a frame for the lights (PVC pipe is easy and fun to work with); because you will want to be able to raise them as the plants grow--but keeping the lights close to the sprouts is helpful.


A "soil-less" planting mix should keep molds and odors minimized, but you will need periodic fertilizer.

If your indoor air is dry, you can use your bins to keep you plants from drying out by putting a layer of gravel in the bottom (maybe an inch or so), then setting the plants (in pots) on top of the gravel. Keep the gravel wet--as long as the plant itself is not sitting in the water, you should not have roots rotting.

I think your biggest advantage will be your grow lights! Good luck!

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March 31, 20100 found this helpful

Jilson, Thank you so much for your feedback. I'm going to print it out and save it for this winter. Hopefully then I can get some seeds to sprout and give me some flowers for next spring!

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April 2, 20100 found this helpful

I also think you are trying to do too much with the storage bin. The lights and other instructions will be a great thing and should get you through. Good luck

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