Guest Blog: Jerry’s Garden-Seed Start’n Ideas


Hey Everyone!  Jerry Greenfield here again!  Inspired by Humble Seed’s recent blogs on starting seeds indoors and planning a spring garden, I thought for my guest blog this month, I would expand a bit on indoor seed starting and offer some biodegradable seed pot ideas!  Planting in seed trays is a fantastic idea if you have some extras in your garage or gardening shed, but if not, consider using biodegradable items you may have around the house.  Here are some examples:

  1. Cardboard Egg Cartons: These are perfect for seedlings!  They hold just enough soil, allow for excess water to drain, and are very portable if you end up needing to move your seedlings.  In addition, by re-using these cartons as planters, you’re helping reduce your carbon footprint by getting two uses out of one item.
  2. Egg Shells: Let’s say you have Styrofoam or plastic egg cartons instead of cardboard cartons?  You can still put the shape and portability of the carton to use by planting your seeds inside egg shells.  Remove the top half of the shell and poke a small hole in the bottom for drainage.  When you’re ready to transplant, just break the shell to remove the soil and seedling, and then throw the shell into your compost pile or leave them in your garden soil.
  3. Newspaper Seedling Pots:   Okay, I’ll admit, not many of us even get the newspaper anymore, but if you do, building seedling pots out of the black and white pages is a great way to put your paper to use once you’ve finished reading it.  Here is a video on the “how tos” of building a newspaper seedling pot.  When transplant time comes, you can toss the newspaper into your compost pile.
  4. Plastic Soda Bottles: If you’re a big soda drinker (which you shouldn’t be!) you can use the bottom 1/3 or so of a plastic soda bottle as a seedling pot.  This option is kind of neat, as you can oftentimes see the roots growing in the soil because of the clear plastic.  Be sure to poke holes in the bottom for drainage, and once you’re done with them, wash them out and throw them in the recycle bin.
  5. Toilet Paper Rolls.  Yep, I said it!  And we all use toilet paper, so we all have rolls!  Each roll will get you two seedling pots, so this is a great way to re-use something that would normally just be tossed in the trash.  Similar to the newspaper pots, you would just throw these in your compost pile once you’ve transplanted your seedlings.  Here’s a quick “how to” on creating these.

In addition to these options, many garden supply stores will carry pre-made biodegradable seedling pots which can usually just be planted directly into your garden soil once you move your seedlings outdoors.  Whether you chose to use a plastic seed planter, one of the “around the house” options above, or store-bought seedling containers, the important thing is to re-use, reduce, and recycle.  Oh, and have fun!

Connect with Jerry via his blog and Facebook page: Grow Like Crazy

About Jerry Greenfield:

Jerry Greenfield

My number one focus is growing my own food. I don’t think that really counts as a hobby. For some people it is, but for me, growing my own fruits and vegetables and saving my own seed is the key to survival. The only person you can count on is yourself, if you ask me. The government is trying to “help” us all with GMOs and welfare, but it’s all a crock. I also like to build things and read Transcendentalist authors from the 1860s.

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  1. Thank you for sharing these great ideas.I have used almost all these same ideas for years but am always on the lookout for new ideas and ways to improve.

  2. […] Recycle, Reuse, and RepurposePotting Equipment. The best way to start your seeds is to purchase seed starting flats or use cut down milk cartons, chipped pots, or empty plastic containers that are two to three inches deep. Fill the containers with potting soil, gently firm the surface and water until moist. Be careful not to make the soil muddy and wash out the seeds. […]

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