Thrifty seed starting

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Motomom34, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    There are so many seed starting kits one can buy. Some have the plastic trays with covers, just the little pots or some come with the peat pellets, just add water, fluff and plant. Yet there are ways to start your seeds without running to the gardening supply store. With a bit of creativity and time you can make your own seed starting kits with recyclables.

    You can use:

    Toilet paper rolls
    Tin cans/ plastic bottles
    Pastry or strawberry containers
    Egg cartons and egg shells

    Here is what a mini strawberry seed starting garden looks like:
    seedlings in strawberry containers.JPG

    I am going to try starting my seedlings in egg shells. I love this idea because the shell helps feed the seedling and once you are ready to plant, you plant the whole thing . I found this on Garden Betty. You could probably use normal dirt instead of seed starting mix.
    natshare, chelloveck, Ganado and 4 others like this.
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I would never have thought of this!! Perfect!!!! [winkthumb]
    Motomom34 likes this.
  3. smithcp2002

    smithcp2002 Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    Paper cups and mulch with garden soil so we don't get a set back after transplanting.
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  4. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    Love the egg shells. A question... Why not poke a hole in the bottom?
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  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    In one of the articles that I read it suggested poking holes in the bottom. Another suggested boiling the eggs first.
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  6. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Why not use the egg carton itself? Cut the individual "cups" apart after starting from seeds and plant directly.
    vonslob, chelloveck and Motomom34 like this.
  8. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I have seen that. I am always skeptical of if things really do degrade. Would you slit the cup part prior to planting?
  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @Mtomom34 my grandmother always started seeds in card board egg cartons and they degraded fine.... idk about the new foam and plastic ones... Grandma just planted them with the carton poked a coupl of holes in the bottom before sticking them in the ground...
    Motomom34 likes this.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Right now, I'm doing a test with a sample of the cardboard type to see how it behaves when wet, if it gets soft enough for roots to push thru. (For sure I'd split the plastic or foam ones on at least two sides.) Even if the cardboard ones do soften up, I'd say put the top edges below the soil line. I'll let you know.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  11. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Egg cartons will degrade over time, particularly if set in bio-active soils and regularly watered. pierce a hole in the bottom to facilitate drainage and easy access to the soil for developing roots. Cover egg carton planter with a light covering of mulch to reduce moisture loss, particularly in arid zones or micro climates that get full sunlight in summer.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  12. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Think you are correct. I brought one of these Miracle Gro Groables. Miracle-Gro Gro-ables Salad and Herb Garden Kit, 18 Seed Pods (Not Sold in CA): Patio, Lawn & Garden Wanted to try it out and see how it preformed. I notice that it got drier faster then my regular plants. It ended up dying because I didn't water it enough. Now I am thinking that maybe the carton was absorbing to water and I should have X2 my watering of it.
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  13. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    That above looks really nice but is very misleading. I tried this and it was a mess. The slots on the bottom of the berry container are quite large and the dirt got everywhere. As for watering, make sure these are not just set on your counter because the water will drain out. I think if you put a paper towel in the bottom to keep the dirt in it would work. Plus the paper towel would help keep some of the water in.
    Mindgrinder and Yard Dart like this.
  14. Matteo10572

    Matteo10572 Monkey+

    I have been using solo cups with a hole drilled in the bottom with success as far as containers go. They com in different sizes and are cheap. Also like that they are typically taller than most pots of similar size. Squatty pots have not done well for me in the past. When done with them I just put them in the recycle bin because they are recyclable.
    Mindgrinder and Ganado like this.
  15. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Once your plants get to.pot size, I suggest a trip to your local grocery store with a floral section.
    My local Kroger store crushes about two hundred plastic pots every week or two. They come with every shipment of flowers, and keep piling up. I have about fifty stacked up right now. I used then to plant my oak trees from acorns. I got two solid years out of them so far, and will get more. Each one is about 10" diameter or so and about a foot high. Black plastic and sealed. (So drill your own holes for drainage).
    Did I mention these are free for the asking?;)
    natshare and Mindgrinder like this.
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