Container tools-what is best? Help for a newbie....

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I am collecting milk jugs and pop bottles for next winter. I would like to ge them all cut and ready now. What tools do you feel are best for cutting them, making holes, etc. Some websites talk about slitting them, some about drilling through them, so before I purchase any tools (we don't even own a drill, LOL) I would like advice please! Thank you! Cynthia

Thumbnail by hanseycollie
Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

No expensive tools necessary. I start my first cut into jugs with a utility knife, then finish with large scissors. Very easy. I poke drain holes with pointed scissors, twist a little to make holes bigger. Easy peasy.

In 4 years of doing this I haven't lost a single finger yet.

Karen

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Thanks - I'll do the same and hope not to lose a finger too, LOL.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I just used a stiff bladed knife and was careful to cut "away" from me. No bandages needed yet. I will say I found it easier to draw a line with marker on the jugs to be cut. Otherwise my surgeries would end up kitty wumpus ~ LOL

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I think I'll do that too - the line on the jugs. I read in another thread that a box cutter works good too. May make a trip to Menards and pick one up. Will drill holes in the top and bottom for drainage and get them ready now. I really want to keep all my fingers, LOL. I am saving boxes from Sam's to put the jugs in so they don't blow around and I look at every container I buy now as a "possibility." This is addicting.

Podster, how is the "real" Pod doing? My dog's brother is coming to visit in November...here's his photo. He's a white collie (on the right.) The left dog is a Shetland Sheepdog, totally different breed.

Thumbnail by hanseycollie
Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

good to see you made it over here hanseycollie..

Yes you know you have the fever bad when all items start to considered as a possible WS item....rofl.

Janet

Thumbnail by meadowyck
Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Hey Janet, good to hear from you and your gorgeous collie - which one is this? Blessing? I can't wait to see Han's brother again in November and also meet my God-dog, Gracie. She was used as "pit bull bait" for dog fighting - here's her story. She's mine should anything ever happen to her momma, so she's my god-dog. It'll break your heart, but she's healthy and happy now - and very loved.
http://members.petfinder.org/~MO233/grace.html
Gotta go to bed - talk with you soon. Glad to see you in this venue now!
Cynthia

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Cute photo! Look like a pair of "party" animals. LOL

Janet ~ your handsome Collie looks like it is a darker coloration? So serious looking. I must say Collies are photogenic and seem to pose well.

Are you seed shopping as well as gathering containers? I am promising myself not to overdo on the seedlings. I have trouble letting things die.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Podster, LOL, I honestly have a WHOLE refrigerator drawer full of seeds I've been buying! I could plant every inch of my lawn and still have seeds left over - nothing is in moderation - I think I need to learn self control. (NOT) If you need seeds, let me know and I'll mail you some - I have two more shipments coming this week. I just pray something will grow!

Janet, which collie is this - so gorgeous! Collies aren't just photogenic, they "are" the picture, LOL. Han goes to the groomer tomorrow so will get some new photos.

Hope you guys have a great day! Cyn

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

This is gracie. My silly little girl. She is so full of herself and an alpha female. She can roll her two BIG half brothers if they don't do what she says...LOL

Gracie is a tri (black/tan/white)

This is Blessing (right after playing with the water hose and boy was she dirty last year) who crossed over the rainbow bridge in february this year.

Janet

Thumbnail by meadowyck
Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

My next collie will be named Blessing - that is the best name for a collie. I grieve for you losing him - I love my Han so much!

Okay, as I mentioned above, the next obsession I'm running into with Winter Sowing - Sam's Club. They have AMAZINGly great boxes to put the milkjugs and pop bottles in this winter. Now I'm deciding which boxes to take so I can use them WSing. They are strong so the wind won't blow them away, and FREE. So, now the daughter's empty room has big boxes in it (open on all sides but hold two or three milk jugs) being filled with containers for this winter.

And the seed drawer continues to grow ... I think I'll be able to seed the whole neighborhood, LOL. It's bad. "Hello, my name is Cynthia and I'm a seedaholic."

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL ~ here's hoping your daughter doesn't come home for a visit before WSing season begins!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

My DH used a power drill to drill the drain holes in the bottom of the jugs and the extra air/water holes in the tops.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Stephanie, that's what I'll use too for the holes to save time. My DH likes this is "my" hobby so I'll be doing the work as I go along. May buy a really good utility knife to cut them in half too.

Sanford, MI(Zone 5a)

okay I know that some where some one has shown what the jugs look like when you are done cutting them but I missed it this will be my first year doing it I have the water jugs do I cut the whole top right off then tape shut ???
Gloria
Okay I dident look far enough so what is your fav way of doing it I need all the advice I can get

This message was edited Sep 21, 2009 6:25 PM

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

After three seasons of winter-sowing, I have found a sharp utility/craft knife blade and some duct tape to be my best friends when making WS containers out of milk jugs, water bottles, etc. Just slice off the top, leaving at least 4" depth on the bottom, make about four triangular drainage holes with the knife of said bottom, and then use a strip of duct tape to reattach the top of the jug/bottle on one side. Then after you have filled the jugs/bottles in winter with your potting mix and seeded it, you can tape the opposite side shut--not to be cut open until the weather warms up and you push back the tops of the containers.
Hanseycollie, you're wise to do this ahead of time (like now.) I always wait until just before I want to WS in the winter and then get mad that it all takes so long.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Cape Cod, how cool is that??? I went there once when I was a kid - got terribly sunburned and loved it!! I'm jealous of where you live...okay, done now. :*)

Thanks for the good advice. You cut yours all the way through? I'd read to leave a connecting point, but I'd really rather cut mine all the way through so I can stack them and save room in the daughter's empty room.

What kind of soil do you use CCG? And what did you sow?

Gloria, you and I are both newbies - this is a good thread for us beginners. Also, there's a good website called www.wintersown.org which is fun to read. Have you sent off for your free seeds yet with Dave's Garden? I got some amazing seeds mailed to me, it was so cool.

Cynthia

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Quoting:
You cut yours all the way through? I'd read to leave a connecting point, but I'd really rather cut mine all the way through so I can stack them and save room in the daughter's empty room. What kind of soil do you use CCG? And what did you sow?

Hi Hanseycollie! I also read about leaving a connecting point, and did so previously--this works fine. But using a tape "hinge" is easier because it's more flexible. You can bend the top all the way back--easy to sow and water. In fact, I sow first, and THEN tape the top on. And as you say, having the top separated is more convenient when stacking the containers for storage.
I've used Miracle Grow potting mix for the last several years. The type I buy has some controlled-release fertilizer mixed it. This may or may not help, but it doesn't appear to hurt.
I sow a LOT of seeds because I never believe how miraculous the WS method is. Then I always have too many seedlings to plant, so I give 'em away. STILL have a few tall teenagers to put in.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I don't cut the label side, use that as the hinge. As long as you cut around the corners, no problem at all to flip open and leave it there.

Karen

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Interesting, I will try that. I always left the handle corner attached.

I thread these jugs by the handle and hang them up on the back porch and in the plant shelter till ready to use.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

That's exactly what we did Karen! It worked great!

Sanford, MI(Zone 5a)

thank you for the info !!!
Cynthia : I have seeds that I have collected so I want to try them first to see how they do ;0)
Gloria

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Here's an entry I wrote on my gardening blog about my WS project with pics of jugs.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Stephanie, your link didn't come through - would you mind reposting it as I'd love to read it and see photos? Thank you!
Cynthia

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Sorry about that! Forgot to add the link.

http://haphazardgardener.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-winter-sowing-project.html

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Stephanie, thank you for sharing the link - your blog is amazing - very creative - am anxious to sit down and read it from beginning to end. May read it a couple dozen times from beginning to end, LOL! I put it in my favorites so I can share with other friends here that have not (like me) ever heard of WSing. I hope it works for me this winter - I have thousands of seeds I've been buying all summer from different companies. I can't wait!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you! I don't update it very often, but it's a place to share. I update my other blog (the cross stitching one) much more frequently.

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I used to cross stitch in my young days, but once you hit 40, the eyes aren't as good upclose for seeing, LOL. Bifocals send me into a migraine, so I think those days are behind me. Gardening will be the hobby from hereon - and I have a feeling our house will soon start filling with plants too. All cause I'm empty nesting - loving it too! Thanks again Stephanie in Texas!

Warners, NY

I confess I was a skeptic (I don't know why-----I've started seeds in all sorts of containers inside and out) but I got more organized last year and while I only started three containers, all grew, the echinacea, the orange milkweed. the kniphofia even though the kniphofia was probably planted to late and is still grass sized----it may not survive the winter planted out. I may do some milk jugs but I've been buying grapes in plastic containers already with holes top and bottom---------however we have eaten a lot of grapes and Herself is complaining about the clutter of plastic containers on the back porch!!--------------------Weedy

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

LOL, I have all my boxes, milk jugs, etc. in our daughter's empty room - half the room is almost full. It's gonna be a fun winter to sow!

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

so how many seeds are you up to now?

I've only got about 149 different ones that I want to start this year.....LOL

Janet

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

Oh my gosh, Janet, I am afraid to get them out. I have like 20,000 black eyed susan seeds - I mean, why buy 50 when you can get them value priced for 20,000? LOL! When I get time, I'm going to make a spreadsheet so I know what I'll be sowing by container. I know I don't have 149 different varieties, as our soil is pure clay and only easy plants will grow.

I worked in my passed mother in law's garden this weekend to clean it up for the winter. It's been neglected for four years. The Iowa soil was amazing - I mean, I wanted to cry it was so beautiful! Gardening would be a breeze if it wasn't in clay - when I pull a weed, I pull out about a pound of clay with it and then have to pack the hole shut. No wonder everything rots in the ground, LOL. Next year I may live in Iowa with my DH's dad so I can tend to the farmhouse and its upkeep, LOLOLOLOL!!! I can dream about soil like that!

How are you? How are the collies doing? Han is a mess - he so needs a good grooming. Poor boy.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

girl, you might be on to something by living in Iowa,,,,, just think not only how easy to garden, but think of how many collies you could take on....rofl.... All that wide open space just begs for collies on the farm.

Don't worry so much about the clay, that is what I garden on. What you have to do is build up, do nothing but raised beds. It is very labor intensive at first with getting the beds created, but then it is a breese. Never walk inside your beds, always make paths within wide beds, this helps to keep the soil from getting compacted. Weeding is a dream... I know I'm nuts, I love to weed.

I'll get back on later tonight, have to get ready for work...

Meadowyck Collies, is wagging tails hello to yall.

Janet

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I think whatever won't make it in clay will be taken to Iowa. Oh my gosh, Janet, I wanted to cry with that soil it was so beautiful. Real Iowa farmsoil, whoa.... I can't let Han off his leash on the farm because of the electric fencing - he doesn't know not to chase a bull or run into the fence, ouch! I also love to weed, I don't think we're nuts, we're just odd maybe? Here's my first garden - all in clay but I'm proud of it!

Thumbnail by hanseycollie
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Stupid ? but I'll ask it anyway because maybe there are other Newbies that wanted to ask it too. How do we know what seeds to plant uncovered or covered with soil? Will it tell us on the seed packages? For those of you who buy those large amounts of seed, where or how do you store that much? Do you use all of them in your flowerbeds or buy that much to package up for seed exchanges? If you still have a bag of the bulk seeds you ordered, can you post a pic for us to see? It is hard to imagine 20,000 seeds. I have rec'd starting seeds from 3 generous people and I'm so appreciative so was thinking about ordering some seeds from cheapseeds or Swallowtail so I can share with others too. I am waiting for several flower/seed catalogs to arrive.

Buckley, WA(Zone 7b)

http://tomclothier.hort.net/

This is an excellent source of information that tells you how to sow, how long to germinate, etc. It is what I used last year,

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

I don't bother with that much either. I found that in all the snow and ice, most seeds just heave out of the soil to the surface anyway. For tiny seeds I just sprinkle on top of soil. For bigger ones like zinnia or marigold I stick individual seeds barely into the top of the soil. And when you get right down to it, when I did try to cover the seeds, I couldn't tell if I'd sprinkled the equivilent of half the width of the seed or whatever it is . Who can tell 1 mm from 2mm?

Karen

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

I think a really important thing to remember when doing the ws is to do as close to what nature would be doing. so if a particular plant spreads by the seeds just being blow around, then don't worry so much about that seed being covered by so much soil.... while other do take some intervention from us then those would need some soil cover......

Janet

Cynthia (N. Kansas C, MO(Zone 5b)

I read in one of these threads to fill each jug with about 2 1/2" of potting soil - to put potting soil in the bottom and then top that with a layer about a half inch thick of Jiffy Seed starting mix or similar. They said it seems to help when there is too much moisture.

Another dumb question - on each milkjug, I drilled four holes around the top and four in the bottom for drainage. I just saw a photo of a milkjug that had more than twice that many. Do I need to drill more holes for water & drainage?

I have three friends who will WS with me this year, so I don't want us all disappointed if we do it wrong! :^(

Thumbnail by hanseycollie
Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

I never drilled holes in the top of the jugs last year. I just left the lids off. With rain and condensation, they were fine. As a result, I should think your holes will be fine. Or perhaps you might try some both ways and see which works better. A double blind study... lol

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images
    BACK TO TOP