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5 Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

Learn how to make a DIY greenhouse to starting seeds in using recyclable materials and become more self-sufficient!

5 Quick Homesteader Tips For Starting Seeds

Regardless of the level of expertise, anyone can start seeds all year round. Seeds basically need two things to get them started: moisture and heat. Sources vary on techniques, proper conditions, and soils required for healthy plant growth; however, moisture and heat alone can get you started immediately. Following are a few tips and methods I used to start my patio garden.

Tip 1: Simplify Your Choices | Don’t Over-Think It

Tip 1: Simplify Your Choices | Don’t Over-Think It | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

My first seeds were germinated during the winter. I did not have a plan for what I wanted to grow or the supplies needed to get started. I simply used what I had around my home. I used seeds from peppers that I had in my freezer, given to me by friends. I also used a few lemon seeds I saved from a delicious glass of iced tea I ordered at a local restaurant. I started saving seeds from fresh fruits and peppers as they were given to me. Months later, I began to purchase seed packets from the store.

Caution: Seeds harvested from fresh produce should be cleaned off and allowed to dry completely before planting. This helps reduce early rot and mold that could hinder the seeds from sprouting and maturing.

Tip 2: Choose to Recycle

Tip 2: Choose to Recycle | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

Tip 2: Choose to Recycle | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

There are few rules to selecting a container to start seeds. I did not have soil or pots ready, so I recycled salsa jars lined with moistened coffee filters to jump start my seeds. These jars served as a mini greenhouse, trapping moisture and heat, forcing the seeds to sprout. The jars were kept on my kitchen counter until the seeds sprouted. Once roots and leaves were visible, I opened the jars and set them on a sunny windowsill for a few hours throughout the week.

When I determined the seeds were ready for soil, I moved them into small recycled water bottles. The tops of the bottles were removed and seedling soil was used to allow the seedlings to acclimate to the new growing conditions. The bottle tops were placed over the seedlings to maintain the greenhouse effect but were later removed throughout the week. Sometimes the tops were removed when the seedlings were placed on the windowsill.
Last year’s potting soil can also be used, but there are several things to be aware of when doing this.

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Tip 3: Choose A Growing Method

Tip 3: Choose A Growing Method | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

Tip 3: Choose A Growing Method | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

Whether you decide to start your seeds inside, outside, in containers, in raised beds, or haphazardly on the ground, it really doesn’t matter; at least initially. Since I live in an apartment community, my choices were a little limited. I started several seeds indoors and transplanted them into pots outside when the warmer weather was more consistent. I have also planted seeds outside in store bought pots, recycled bottles, strawberry containers, and cookie dough tubs.
Seed packets provide a guideline for optimal growing conditions. You can choose to follow them exactly or be a little adventurous. I chose to be adventurous with many of my seeds since I wanted to grow the most produce for the size area I had available. I simply filled a container with seeds to see how many would grow. Surprisingly, they all did.

Tip 4: Prepare For Future Needs

Tip 4: Prepare For Future Needs | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

Tip 4: Prepare For Future Needs | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

The ultimate goal is to produce healthy plants. It’s never too early to gather essentials now for the different stages of growth. The more supplies you have on hand, the faster you can be available to supply the need.
I started saving plastic bottles for when my plants were to be transplanted outside. I knew I wanted an outside container garden, so I recycled different sizes and styles. Now I have a selection to choose from. I also saved egg shells, coffee grounds, and other natural substances that could be used as fertilizer and pest deterrents. Now is also a good time to save organic matter for a DIY compost.

These four tips should help you have a successful start with starting seeds during any season. If you are still in doubt, follow this extra tip.

Tip 5: Don’t Be Ignorant | Do Your Research

Only you know your limitations. If you are the type that requires detailed information before venturing out on a new gardening quest, by all means, research your heart out. There are millions of YouTube tutorials, blogs, gardening clubs, local farmers, libraries, friends, family, and acquaintances that can provide the information you need to feel comfortable. It is beneficial to stay connected to a local gardening community that status abreast of changes that may affect your ability to grow certain plants. I just found out that my city government had initiated a watering restriction several months ago to regulate water usage. Lucky for me I chose a container garden.

Still in doubt? Continue below to see how I put these tips to use for my bell peppers…

Still in doubt? Continue below to see how I put these tips to use for my bell peppers | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse

Still in doubt? Continue below to see how I put these tips to use for my bell peppers | Homesteading Tips For Starting Seeds In DIY Greenhouse
I love bell peppers, especially sautéed in a skillet with fresh onions. That was exactly what a friend was preparing for a dinner party to which I was invited. We were discussing the success of my citrus seeds when she asked if I wanted the seeds from her bell peppers. This was a no-brainer. I gladly placed them in a Ziploc bag (tip 1). I washed off the seeds, but placed them back in the bag and kept them on the dining table. The next day, I decided to plant a few of the seeds. I chose a recycled strawberry container (tip 2) and sprinkled a few seeds on the top, loosely covering them with soil (tip 3).
A week later I saw the seeds were sprouting in the plastic bag and decided to plant all of them. All 150+ seeds. I was feeling a little adventurous. Surprisingly, most of the seeds quickly sprouted. I watched amazed as my containers filled with little plants. I began collecting extra bottles as I realized more seedlings were growing (tip 4) and searched YouTube videos on growing bell peppers (tip 5). I especially wanted to know how big these plants could get. I quickly realized I may have a small forest on my apartment patio.

Want more tips for starting seeds? Check out this video from SSLFamilyDad:

Starting plants from seed has many practical benefits: You save money, get a head start on the growing season, and choose from varieties far beyond those locally available. By starting seeds, you also get to experience the joy of watching a seemingly lifeless seed sprout into a living plant. I hope these tips have helped you in starting your seeds from now on.

Have you ever started seeds before? Have you had luck with starting seeds indoors? Were you able to make your own mini DIY greenhouse? Why not share it with us! Share your thoughts and comments in the comments section below.

Want to get started with seed saving? Learn the art of seed saving and never run out of seeds again!


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This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!


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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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