Why a $21 greenhouse is the best purchase I made this winter

If you haven’t gathered yet, I am really a fanatic about plants and gardens.

I have loved them since the first time my Dad showed be a Burpee’s catalog. In first grade, my parent’s bought me a definitely not-my-reading-level book on butterfly gardens, so I could design by first garden. In my Easter basket, my Aunt used to tuck in seed packets.

So indoor and outdoor plants are a big deal for me.

Here’s the thing about it though – when I was living in Florida I was really bad at growing plants. The ground was sandy, the seasons were different, and I just really did not get it. So I got lazy and started buying plants to stick in the ground directly and gave up on the seed packets.

The catch to that is buying plants gets expensive really quick. $3 will buy you one sage plant if you’re lucky and it’s on sale. Buying $3 in worth of sage seeds will get about 100.

But a lot of these plants need an early start time if you want to have them ready for you yard come spring. Enter the $21 greenhouse.

A $21 greenhouse is the perfect place to start plants. | MostlyMinted.Com

I did a lot of research into my set up. I put the greenhouse in front of a bunch of south-facing windows to maximize the light, and then added some string lights I have set on a timer to off-set the early sunsets of winter. (Note: Most growers recommend using grow lights or shop lights when starting plants. I opted to use what I have in part because of the number of South-facing windows I have. We will see if I regret it.) And then I have heat mats set up.

For planters, I’m using a mix of saved egg cartons and lefter over planters from other plants I’ve purchased over the last year filled with seed starting mix I bought for $2.50 a bag. The egg cartons need to be watered from top, which it less that ideal because it can move the seeds around, but the ones in planters I have placed in a plastic tray so I can bottom water them. People who are serious recommend buying plastic trays designed for seed starting you can use year after year, but I opted to stick with what I have and instead put that money toward the green house.

The greenhouse is my favorite part. One, it creates a space in my house to put all the baby plants that makes me feel organized and professional. Two, it keeps it nice and warm and humid in there. It’s in an unheated part of the house, and without the greenhouse I really think the baby starts I’ve had would be at risk of dying either from the chill at night or from drying out to quickly without the extra humidity.

It has really suprised me that the greenhouse would be my busy-buy in this set up.

They’re very, very tiny but here you can see some of my baby sprouts. These are snapdragons but I have a lot more on the way.

I hope you all are getting to do some planting this spring.

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