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How to Make a Mini-Greenhouse

How to make a mini-greenhouse from recycled materials. A quick and easy tutorial for making a DIY Mini-Greenhouse for starting seedlings.

I love starting my seedlings inside in the spring. I always start my coo-weather crops in late February even though the plants cannot be put outside until early May. I start my warm weather crops in late March, but they can’t be planted outside in my region until after Father’s Day. Since my seedlings will be growing inside for a couple months they have an opportunity to become quite established before I harden them off and transplant them to my garden. For that reason, I often use yogurt cups, so there is plenty of room for the roots to develop.

How to Make a Mini-Greenhouse

Items needed for this project:
repurposing salad and yogurt containers to make a mini-greenhouse
10 oz. empty salad container, washed by hand (these are often made of cornstarch and will melt in the dishwasher).

6 empty yogurt cups per salad container, washed (these are rugged enough to be put in the dishwasher when you have extra room).

hammer and 1 nail


How to make a mini-greenhouse from recycled materials

With the hammer and nail, make two holes in the bottom of each yogurt cup. Do not worry if you create a crack in the process; it will still work.

How to make a shovel from an old milk jug
Scoop dirt into the yogurt cups. If you can’t find a shovel, you can create a scoop from a milk jug.
How to make a mini-greenhouse from recycled materials
Add seeds, water, and put the lids on until the seedlings have emerged:
How to Start Seeds Indoors Using Recycled Materials
Then care for the seedlings according to the package directions.

I did not put the lettuce seeds in yogurt cups. I put dirt directly into the salad container and then sowed the seeds directly in the dirt. The lettuces will be put out earlier than the other plants, so they don’t need as much room for root development.

Have you found ways to repurpose and reuse items in your garden?

How to Make a  Mini-Greenhouse from recycled materials. Reuse old yogurt containers and salad containers to make mini-greenhouses to start seedlings indoors.

More Vegetable Gardening Tips:

How to Start Square Foot Gardening

Plot Gardening for Beginners

Vegetable Container Gardening

How to Start Seeds in Egg Shells

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About Alea Milham

Alea Milham is the owner and editor of Premeditated Leftovers. She shares her tips for saving money and time while reducing waste in her home. Her favorite hobby, gardening, is a frugal source of organic produce for her recipes. She believes it is possible to live fully and eat well while spending less.


  1. Brilliant use of those salad container. Now I wish I had saved more.

  2. Stine in Ontario says:

    Yes, I have grown seeds in mini greenhouses like yours…and they really work! Excellent post!

  3. I have tried this, but never seemed to work out. I just wait until I can plant in the yard. I do enjoy being out in the yard when it is warm.

  4. mitchdcba says:

    My dad has decided to grow a little small back yard vegetable garden. But, I do worry, he had a fall a few months back and cracked a rib, he is slowly getting better.
    backyard greenhouse

  5. Anonymous says:

    Obtain and pick some good things from you and it helps me to solve a problem, thanks.

    - Henry

  6. Candace says:

    I saved my little salad containers recently because I thought they would make great little greenhouses. I haven't tried it yet but I'm excited to see that they do work for that! Thanks!

  7. Such a great idea! I’l be starting my herbs in a couple of weeks!

  8. I reuse flower pots all the time. I was given some 5 and 7 gallon containers from a nice man who owns a nursery. Today I was freecycled some kitty litter containers to make a worm compost bin. I’m so excited!

  9. I had a salad container like this set out for this very purpose and while I was napping my teenage son took out the trash, saw the container, and decided it needed to go. :(

  10. I’ve never used those salad boxes, but it sounds like a great idea. Perhaps I’ll get my friends to save me some of them.

    Here’s what we’ve done the last few years, using other recycled containers.

  11. Wonderful!! Sounds like the cure for spring fever as well. Thanks Alea!

  12. Brilliant! I have thrown away more of those containers than I could count. This is a perfect use for them, thanks for the idea and inspiration!

  13. This is such a terrific idea – and a great way to get started on your garden. It’s nice to find a way to repurpose these containers, as there is nowhere I can recycle them locally – and it’s perfect timing to get started on my garden. Thank you for sharing this!

  14. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for this! I am determined to be successful in my gardening this year, and this will be such a huge help.

  15. Another avid gardener here, I do seed starting under lights for some things (eggplant) but more and more do the winter sowing in milk jugs. I’m looking at heading out to the garage when I log off to get the indoor set up going. You should have a great garden!

  16. Thanks for linking up! We also use small containers from the bakery. Happy gardening!

  17. I wish that I saved some of those containers! NUTS!!!! I have the dirt and seeds but no containers. I think that I need to start searching for containers quick.

  18. LOVE THIS IDEA!!!!! thanks~!


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