Getting Started with Seedlings: Make Your Own Recycled Starter Pack Containers

March 24th, 2009
Success with eco-friendly seed pots!

Success with eco-friendly seed pots!

Perhaps, like me, you’ve made the decision to try your hand at raising plants from seed this spring – only to discover that your eco-friendly plans go awry when you realize you have no containers on hand! A quick trip to my storage area didn’t turn up much, so I reached out to my bloggy friend Jess of The Green Phone Booth (and formerly of Surely You Nest), hoping we might be able to stage one of our rare reunions so that I could pick up some cast-off seed starter pots.

A died-in-the-wool Earth Mother who was raised by a Green Mom before they called themselves Green Moms, Jess went one better on me. She had no cast-offs to share, but she did share some of her gardening wisdom. She suggested toilet paper, egg shells, or newspapers. And knowing full well that those suggestions would leave me flummoxed, she helpfully pointed me to this great post from Planet Green, which suggests whipping up planting pots from egg cartons, yogurt containers, newspaper and toilet paper rolls.

The egg cartons seemed easiest to me – I’ve got plenty on hand and frankly, as I’m not really the artsy-crafty type, I found the instructions for the toilet paper and newspaper options a bit too complex.

Turns out fellow Green Mom Jenn Savedge, aka The Green Parent, is also a fan of egg cartons for seedlings, as she explains here. Here’s what works for me, based on tips from all three of these fabulous green women – JessTrev, Jenn Savedge and Jasmin Malik Chui.

1. Figure out how many seedlings you’re going to start, and make sure you have enough egg cartons and egg shells on hand.
2. Yes, as Jenn points out, you’ll want to wash those eggshells first with a gentle cleanser and water. I’m using the produce rinse for this job too!
3. Take a pin and poke a tiny hole in the bottom of each egg shell.
4. Fill with soil (hopefully organic compost from your compost bin), and drop several seeds inside.
5. Voila – once the seeds have sprouted, you can take the eggshells and the cardboard egg carton holders and plant them directly in the ground!

Not only is this a great project for home, but think about all those other times when you’re asked to come up with a craft project for the kids. This is a great spring craft project for school, scouting, or Sunday School. Works for me!

— Lynn

Note: As you can see, I updated this post with a pic of my successful seedlings sitting besides some newspaper pots I purchased at my CSA!

Copyright OrganicMania 2009

9 Responses to “Getting Started with Seedlings: Make Your Own Recycled Starter Pack Containers”

  1. Ashley on March 25, 2009 4:23 pm

    I love this idea…this is what we’re doing too! I’ve already accumulated 3 shells! lol

  2. JessTrev on March 25, 2009 4:56 pm

    Yay! Glad you found a method that works for you. Can’t wait to hear what you planted!

    Oh, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here…I’m a DIY-er with training wheels. DH just nixed the idea of keeping these eggshell creations in the kitchen…says we have no room…We’ll see where this ends up! — Lynn

  3. Sommer @greenmom on March 28, 2009 5:02 am

    Brilliant post and very helpful. I’m trying to organize myself as well and figure out what to do. It’s overwhelming for someone like me who doesn’t garden but is trying to begin and challenging others to do the same. I think the White House heard my challenge! These were great suggestions.

    Thanks for your nice comment, Sommer! Unfortunately I’m discovering that this isn’t even as simple as I made it sound….you really need to plan ahead and get tons of egg crates. I just made a funny video about it and hope to figure out how to upload it later this weekend!

    Hey everyone, Sommer is having a gardening challenge..check it out at — Lynn

  4. Sadie from on March 28, 2009 8:37 pm

    Very cool ideas!

    We just started growing some grass in a basket to be ready for Easter :) Wow, that stuff grows so fast and we feel so accomplished with our less than green thumbs.

    Getting greener every day…

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