Eggshell Seed Starters





Introduction: Eggshell Seed Starters

These biodegradable eggshell planters are perfect for starting seeds!

When the plants get too big for the shells, you can transplant them straight to the soil, shell and all.

Step 1: Materials

You will need

Egg carton
Potting soil & spoon
Awl/needle/pin - anything long and sharp

Pot & stove
Spray bottle
Egg cups/miniature clay pots for display

Step 2: Prepare the Eggshells

If you eat eggs, then save the eggshells when you use them. If you don't eat eggs, ask a friend to save the shells and carton for you.

1. Carefully crack the top third of the egg. You can do this by tapping the egg on the edge of a bowl, or tapping with a sharp knife.

2. Empty out the eggshells completely.

3. Wash the eggshells out well.

Optional step: If you are concerned about salmonella on the eggshells, put the empty eggshells in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes.

Step 3: Add Drainage

Take the empty eggshell, and poke a hole in the very bottom with your sharp object. If you are using a thin needle or pin, widen the hole a bit with a pushpin or small nail.

This hole provides drainage, so the roots of your plant don't drown. You only need to poke one small hole; more than one might crack the shell.

Step 4: Add Potting Soil

Using a small spoon, fill the eggshell with moist potting soil.

Optional: If the potting soil is dry, spray it with water from a spray bottle as you fill the eggshell.

Step 5: Add Seeds

Think about the amount of light you have available in your home and garden, and use seeds that will thrive in these conditions. Plant your seeds according to directions. The seed package will tell you how deep to plant the seeds, or can find this information online.

If you want quick results, try beans or cucumbers - they usually sprout in a few days.For bonus points, use seeds that you saved from last year's crop instead of buying seeds. Oh my goodness, seeds are AMAZING!

Step 6: Enjoy!

Display your green treasures!

Carton: After you have planted the seeds, you can simply put the eggshell planters back into the carton. The carton provides a stable base with room for drainage, is freecycled and looks cute.

Clay pots: You can get miniature clay pots, or use eggcups to display the planters.

Mini Greenhouse: If you want to keep your seedlings extra snug and promote faster growth, you can make them a greenhouse out of a pop bottle.

Step 7: Care for Your Plants

Put your completed planters in a sunny spot, and mist them daily with water so that the soil stays moist. For easier care, you can build a simple greenhouse out of a plastic bottle. I did this with mine and it worked amazingly well.

When the plants grow too big for the shells, gently crack the shells and plant them straight into the garden or a bigger pot. The shell will eventually biodegrade, and the roots will grow out of the shell. The shell also supplements the calcium in the soil.



    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest

    61 Discussions

    That would be perfect for the hatched eggs coming out of the incubator! Most come out with just a cap off the egg like they show here.

    In good many cases comments and replys drag on to deviate from the main subject.

    D'you think one could use hard-boiled eggs for this? Or does it not matter?

    Awesome instructable -I'm definitely doin' it when I get back from a trip so I can have my own li'l herb garden =)

    6 replies

    I think hard boiled eggs would be way easier. You can cut off the top and spoon it out. It's hard to break a raw egg in the right way. It also eliminates the salmonella threat.

    And before planting you can easily crack the bottomside of the shell by tapping it on the ground and roots will have no problems breaking through.

    I like this idea. :D

    I'm using the cardboard packaging directly and have good results!

    When having reached the right size, the cardboard sections are cut into separate "pots" and planted "as is".

    Roots are getting through the material apparently without any great efforts.

    The main idea here is not gardening, however, to use the egge shells before throwing them away.

    I suspect that it would be very difficult to remove the shell in a sufficiently intact fashion from a hard-boiled egg.

    no it think the idea was to use the egg as a growth medium. that'd bee sick. ima try it

    rotting egg bacteria and mold would destroy the plant... they can resist some but not that much

    This is a great way to re-use dyed Easter eggs and to get kids into gardening #win!

    You can also sprinkle broken eggshell on the soil around your plants to prevent slugs from destroying them. Slugs dislike eggshell fragments.

    5 replies

    leftover beer (in a lid) works too, seems they like it as much as people do and drown to death

    leftover beer? there should not be such thing as leftover beer! ;o)

    Well said, but that last sip in the bottom of the bottle or can is getting warm and is starting to get flat, I'll let the slugs have it and open a fresh cold one instead.

    This is such a cute idea! I will definitely have to try it as spring comes along.

    I love this method and have used in countless times.

    But, don't forget to crack and peel away the bottom of the eggshell so the roots can spread out.

    Great Ible!

    Why don't you try it without the container? Soil Blocks are easy and work really well:

    These look great! I can't wait to make them! One question though: How do you know when they are to big for the eggs? When do you switch them to a bigger planter? Thanks!