The plastic milk bottle

After weeks of waiting, the mangetout peas I sowed outside are finally poking their leaves through the soil. So, to protect them from the spying parental eye of our visiting birds, I have put used milk cartons over them as a cloche.

I did that once a few years ago, but then the milk cartons were needed more for storing water when we had heavy and prolonged rainfall in the summer of 2012. After that, I forgot about this technique until I was reading a blog recently which mentioned doing the same.

I hadn’t intended to plant out any cabbage today but a slight mishap occurred. Basically, whilst putting the pots outside to do some hardening off, oops! A seedling tumbled to the ground. So, rather than refill the pot, it seemed better to plant the cabbages out and protect them with milk cartons, too.

Alround then I am most satisfied. With the cabbages out, I had room to pot on some tomatoes. And now I can put my mind to where the mangetout indoors can go in the garden, since they won’t be needed as replacements for the ones started outside after all!

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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20 Responses to The plastic milk bottle

  1. streepie says:

    My sweet peas are also poking their first leaves through the soil. Protecting them with milk cartons sounds like a good idea.


  2. Snug and cozy under a milk carton.

  3. Isn’t planting a process? I too enjoy recycling those plastic milk bottles 😀

  4. drofmit4108 says:

    Helen, some people use fizzy drinks/posh water bottles…
    beware…they can fry your plants on a sunny March/ early April day.
    Plastic milk cartons have a similar effect to a professional polytunnel…
    the covering on those lets only about 70% of the available light through!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you for your advice, Tim. I don’t drink fizzy pop or bottled water 😊.

      • drofmit4108 says:

        BUT… you can always ask around!

        • Helen says:

          But why, if they will ‘fry’ my plants?!!!

          • drofmit4108 says:

            At this time of the year, they will not fry your plants…
            Given the climate in the UK and here, in France, at the moment… the poor plants need all the help they can get.
            It is the full sunshine of late May… through to September… coming through clear plastic that will fry your plants… half-an-hour to an hour of that will cook any tender growth.
            The Victorians used wonderful, blown-glass, bell cloches over tender plants in Spring… 2-litre coke bottles have the same effect. Also, they can be stored easily over an upright cane in a shady corner of the garden.

          • Helen says:

            I see. Thank you for the clarification, Tim.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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