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



  1. LV says

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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!

  6. says

    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!

  7. says

    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.

  8. says

    After 6 years of trial-and-error container gardening, my container garden has finally reached the point where it supplies 80% of my daily vegetable needs. I learned how to make my own compost, and reuse a large amount of any plastic container or bottle I initially used.
    I now have a container kitchen herb garden, a container medicinal herb garden (for teas, DIY cosmetics, oils and pultices), and a vegetable garden with all the veggies I love to eat.
    I also LOVE all the other websites of fellow gardeners – incl. yours – because I always get new ideas from them.
    I think that any avid gardener will agree: gardening is contagious, a lot of work, but also a lot of fun–in short: a labor of love.


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