Just because it’s snowing outside doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on your garden for next year. Countertop greenhouses are one of my favorite projects for Spring Break when the kids are out of school.

They love to help with the planting and it’s a fun activity to do together, watching each day how our little seedlings are making progress before they are ready to be put in the garden when it warms up outside.

Here are a few DIY mini greenhouses you can put together in an afternoon and enjoy for months.

    This is probably one of the fancier countertop greenhouses I’ve seen, but you can make it yourself! The instructions are on Instructables.com, and it looks absolutely beautiful. You can make it as big (or small) as you need, and the best part is you only have to build it once, and it can be used year after year.

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    Can you believe that this greenhouse is made entirely of old empty CD cases? The architecture is incredible, and Mega Crafty gives you detailed instructions to make your own!

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    When I was little, this was the type of greenhouse we would do. It’s nothing more than egg cartons and plastic bags, but you can’t argue with the results. It creates great seedlings that can easily fit on your windowsill.

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    I’m pretty sure most of us have plenty of these old CD holders laying around the house. I haven’t burned a CD mix in years, but they make the perfect setting for a tiny greenhouse. All you need to do is cover up the hole in the base and add some holes in the top cover so the plants can breath.

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    A Rubbermaid container also makes a great setting for creating your own greenhouse. They are easy to store, easy to clean, and have plenty of space for plants of all sizes.  If you have warm days and cool nights, take the plants outside during the day and bring them in at night until they build up a cold tolerance.

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    This greenhouse is a simple glass gar on top of potted plants that gives the plants the isolation they need while they are still in the early phases. Be sure to allow oxygen to flow underneath the jar. Once the plants are strong enough, simply take off the glass jar and no transplanting is necessary. Make sure you use this technique while temperature are still low to prevent them getting burned on a hot day by the glass.

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    Sometimes it is as easy as a little plastic wrap over your plants. You can do this with seedlings purchased at the store, or small pots of your own. Just a little plastic wrap and a sturdy container and you’re good to go. This one is a good option if you prefer to let your plants get a little bit larger before transplanting.

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With any DIY greenhouse, be sure to use seed starting soil (or soilless) mix. If your seeds need heat, you can put the container on a heating pad that provides heat from underneath. Once the plants have started sprouting, you can take the cover off so it doesn’t turn into an oven.