Here’s an easy way to germinate and grow your seedlings without the need of a greenhouse or indoor lights.

Use a clear plastic container and I use the lids, instead of the bottom, to place my seedling trays. This way, if you are caught off guard by a sudden rain storm, your seedlings won’t drown if they are on the lid. I have lost many seedlings in the past because I forgot to drain the water out of the plastic boxes.

Once the sun comes up, these clear boxes become very hot and you absolutely need to open them up. It’s surprising how high the temperatures will rise. even on a cold day, when it is a sunny day. Also, always place the cover back when the sun goes down to protect the seedlings from frost, wind, and critters. If you expect below freezing overnight temperatures, then it’s best to bring the box inside to prevent freezing. Finally, it’s best to place the boxes above ground as temperatures are cooler on the ground (especially if it’s concrete or stone) and offers more protection from animals.

Growing seedlings this way during the cooler temperatures saves the hardening off stage as your plants are already adjusted to the outdoor conditions.