How to Start Plants in Mini ‘Milk Jug Greenhouses’

Updated: Nov. 09, 2023

You can grow plants in milk jugs! Here's what to do.

Collage Of Tiktok Showing How To Start Plants in Milk JugsVia @lonelypinesfarm/Tiktok (3)

We’ve all got our own big dreams and goals when it comes to our gardens. Some of us prefer plenty of open space with a handy shed in nearby, others enjoy container gardening for kitchen herbs. Whatever your backyard oasis may look like, starting seeds is a sure sign that spring is around the corner.

How to Start Plants in Milk Jugs

This method works best for starting seeds in spring or in locations that lean toward cooler weather.

@lonelypinesfarm don’t forget to cover your jugs if night-time temps are still below freezing #jugsowing #sowing #sowingseeds #gardeningtips #gardeningtipsforbeginners #garden #spring ♬ Blue Blood – Heinz Kiessling & Various Artists

Tools You’ll Need


Step 1: Clean the milk jugs

TikTok user @lonelypinesfarm obtained empty milk cartons from a local coffee shop, but you’re welcome to save your own. Let friends and family know you plan to reuse them, and soon you’ll have more than enough! The first step is to reinflate them (if necessary) and give them a thorough rinse.

Step 2: Drill holes in each milk jug greenhouse

Drill four holes along the very bottom of each jug and four holes along the bottom sides for drainage. Then, take your scissors and cut the jug in half except for a single small corner. You’ll want the jug to have a hinge so the top can open and close.

Step 3: Add soil and Seeds

Grab your gloves and start packing the bottom half of each milk jug with gardening soil. Once that’s done, thoroughly drench the soil with water. (The moisture will help give each jug a greenhouse effect.) Next, heavily sow your seeds within each jug. Don’t worry too much, as you’ll be separating the seedlings later.

Stick to spring produce and flowers for best results.

Step 4: Tape, label and grow

Once your seeds are sown, do your best to tape each jug shut with duct tape. Don’t worry, it’ll be a bit awkward. Once each jug is closed, make sure to label each seed type with your marker. Jug caps should be kept off (but cover your jugs if night temps are below freezing).

Now all you need to do is wait and watch the plants in your mini greenhouse grow!