Half gallon jugs?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I have 4 half gallon jugs. Can I use them to WS and should I leave the tops on my jugs or does it matter? Thanks.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

Absolutely you can use them.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

and leave the tops off until they start to sprout, then watch for cold night and recap the jugs.

This is what was told to me to do with them.

Oh how I wish I was back home in Kentucky,,,,, just so as to get a jump start on veg and flowers.....plus I would be closer to new granddaughter...LOL

Janet

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

I would punch the tops full of holes the normal way but that's just me, it's still snowy here.

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Cajun, I use lots of 1/2 gallon jugs, they work great. Do you mean the screw off caps? You leave those off, if that's what you're referring to.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes to the 1/2 gallons. Even 2 liter soda bottles will work fine.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Thanks.
I've got to get busy on this while it's still winter!

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

make sure you punch drainage holes in the bottom and I've seen where others do the top as well. then cut the jug in half put your wet soil mix then seeds, then duck tape that the top half to the bottom.

I'm hoping to get most of mine done this weekend....LOL

Janet

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

What if you do NOT have half-gallon bottles of any kind? What else is used for W/S?

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

evelyn

go to any of the coffee shops they have plenty of milk jugs and I'm sure being in CA would be more than happy to have them recycled..... for WS..LOL

Janet

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Some folks use clear lidded storage tubs, various types of deli containers, aluminum roasting pans with clear lids, or pots enclosed in large zip lock bags.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

My family drinks lots of soda, so I WS in them but I have found that you need more than 4" of soil - the roots get stuck in the swirls at the bottom.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

geminisage,
I'm a 1st timer at WS just this winter and I've had wonderful success. That said, there are those who came before me with years of experience. It was easier to just follow their wisdom.

Milk jugs, by far, are the most efficient, if you can get them. I collected from my local Starbuck's, almost 20 jugs at a time, every time I called to ask them to save them for me.

I used a phillips screwdriver on the stove to burn the holes in the tops and bottoms.

Here's a pic.

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

how long do you have to leave the screw driver on the stove before it will burn into the milk jug? I tried last night with no results, so I'm thinking about getting a small electric screw driver to do the job.....

Got to get started...

Janet

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Janet, what kind of stove do you have? Gas, electric or one of the flat surface? I'd be scared to death to put a screw driver on an electric stove burner for fear of electricution. A gast stove would be better but my husband had an old soidering iron that I bet he hasn't used in a zillion years and I use that. Doesn't take long for that to heat up and melt into the plastic jugs/containers. The bottoms of soda bottles are tough but it can be done, it takes longer.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Not to worry I gave up on that idea as I have electric and was afraid of getting electrocuted. So I went with a electric drill and drilled the holes in the bottom.

I make a good dent today, as I got 129 jugs washed and cut in half.... what a learning experience that was...LOL I started out using an utility knife to cut half way through then used scissors to finish cutting.

Then I started the drainage hole drilling only got 20 jugs done as I was drilling 3 holes in each section of the bottom that has four sections.

I've decided to leave the labels on to make it easier to put my labels on.

Here are a few pictures from todays act ivies...

Janet

Thumbnail by meadowyck
Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

another smaller stack to make the 129 total jugs.

Janet

Thumbnail by meadowyck
Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

The cutting of the jug in half...

Janet

Thumbnail by meadowyck
Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

and the drilled holes in the bottom of the jug.

Do you think those holes will be enough for drainage...

I hope to get the planting started within the next few weeks.

I've got sinus surgery on Tuesday, so it will be a few weeks before I get to play in dirt,,,, have to wear a mask... but I hope to have them done by the first weekend in March... If these 129 go ok then I'll be going to get another 200 jugs, I've got a lot of seeds that I need to get started this year... Our garden club has a big plant sale which is our main fund raiser for the year and I want to be able to donate a boat load of plants this year...

Janet

Thumbnail by meadowyck
Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

ya know I wanted to say I tried to do the half gallons, but the few I cut into had more height than I wanted compared to the gallon jugs, so I just recycled the half gallons... Although now that I think of it I just might go pull them out and use them for some clem seeds as they like to have lots of room for roots.. Maybe for me there is a good use for them.

Janet

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Excellent job Meadowyck! 300 jugs and I'd invite the garden club over 2 help!

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

Thanks

I'm hoping that after this year they will all become more interested and that we can have a ws party.... for one of our club meetings.

Janet

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Are you going to have to repot all those plants to sell them or just sell the jugs? Are you planting a lot of seeds to each container?

Good luck with your surgery Tuesday... too bad they couldn't have done it in early fall instead of the time of year you will soon be wanting to get outdoors. Wishing you a successful surgery and speedy recovery Janet!

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Most what I sow are perennials. I did many last year in the kitchen paper/baggie method, which really worked great. This year I have Clematis and Iris seeds I want to WS. I too don't have much space for jugs so using those clear plastic shoe boxes from Walmart.

Both varieties require flunctuating temps and should sprout in the spring when the temp goes to 50F degrees.

Here are the 3 boxes as an alternative to jugs.

Thumbnail by blomma
Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

And here shows the inside of the boxes.

Thumbnail by blomma
Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

blomma, what kind of Iris are you starting? I wintersowed I.tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) last year and they did great.

Brooksville, FL(Zone 9a)

thanks for the well wishes on the surgery....

Yep I'll repot them for our plant sale as well as my own plant sale. But then some think I'm strange as I really enjoy the repotting stage. I like the challenge of trying to save every seedling and transplanting it to an individual container...LOL

Janet

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

gemini,
My TB Buffawn (Andrew 1940) and TB Echo de France (Anfasso 1984) surprised me with setting seed pods summer of '09.

Will be interesting to see what I get.

Below is Buffawn, my favorite historic iris.

Thumbnail by blomma
Grayslake, IL(Zone 5a)

Mmm, adding Buffawn to my want list. I used only a few gallon and half gallon jugs, many more 2 liter soda bottles. Some annuals that I start later I'm going to try in 16 ounce cups.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I have used a lot of G2 bottles also.

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

Anyone that lives near a Burger King could probably request their 5 gallon plastic containers that veg oil comes in. They have a screw-on top and the containers are rather square. They can be cleaned with hot sudsy water and brush. I think they would make an ideal WS container for lot of seeds.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Only thing growing in my jugs is weeds. :(

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Weeds? How odd? I get the occasional weed in a couple, but not many typically can blow into the little hole in the top of the jug. Do you think the potting soil was contaminated?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

I used my compost.

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

I did that once and had the same problem. The seedlings grew really well in it, but it was such a booger keeping the weeds out, and figuring out what which ones were the weeds. I even tried sterilizing the compost in the oven, but still got weeds.

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Oh, just thought of something. One time I made potting compost out of 100% leaf mold, and it was awesome. Did have a few weeds, but not enough to be a problem.

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Oh well, C'est La Vie.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

GeminiSage,
How did you make the AWESOME potting compost out of leaf mold?

Biggs, KY(Zone 6a)

Checked my WS containers today ans some have sprouted plants!

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Congrats Cajun!

Gymgirl, we used a leaf blower that also has a vacuuming feature that mulches and bags the leaves. I just piled it up in the fall and by spring it was full of worms and worm castings. I grew the prettiest little bedding annuals in that stuff that year!

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