DIY: Container Gardening

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by Cassy Krueger

The weather may not be exactly frightful but the warmer weather of spring isn’t quite in the forecast, either.  It may be a bit early to fully anticipate spring but now is the perfect time to think about gardening!  Where you live—whether that’s a house, apartment, dorm room, or otherwise—makes no difference as long as you have a window (and you may have bigger problems if you don’t).


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Potting soil
  • Seeds – here we used cilantro (herbs are easiest, but more experienced growers could test out other plants as well)
  • A plastic container with lid – here we used a frosting container with the label peeled off
  • Scissors or a knife


Decorate your container however you’d like.  I found some glitter glue and decided to try that out, but you could also paint it, write with sharpie, use glue to attach things to it, etc.  The possibilities are truly endless.


Use your scissors or knife to create a medium-sized hole or several small holes in the bottom of the container.  This is an important step to allow for drainage.


Fill your container to the top with potting soil.  Push down on the soil to make it more compact and refill to the top.


Place your container on top of its lid and add enough water to saturate your soil without soaking it.


Add your seeds.  We used 5 cilantro seeds, but you can use more or less depending on the size of the seeds you’re using.   Push the seeds into the soil about ¼ inch deep.


Set your container near natural lighting.  Be sure to keep the soil evenly moist and be careful not to overwater.  Seeds should germinate in 7-10 days.  After a few weeks, it’s best to remove the weakest seedlings (usually only 1-2) so that the strongest ones have room to grow.

After about 45 days, you can transplant your plant outdoors if you’d like.  In my experience, however, it’s not necessary.  You may have to transport it to a larger container, but herbs especially are very easy to grow indoors.  Enjoy your first taste of spring!

Check out this DIY story in the Winter/Spring issue of MODA, now on newsstands around the UW-Madison campus! 

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