In this instructable, I will offer instructions for making, and discuss the pros and cons of, 5 cheap methods of starting seeds indoors:
(1) Egg cartons
(2) Toilet paper tubes
(3) Milk cartons
(4) Yogurt cups
(5) Peat pots and coco fiber pots
The seeds that I start using these methods include peas (climbers, like other legumes), tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants (nightshades), corn, basil, thyme, parsley, and marigolds. Since I live in an area where we can get snow into mid-May, it's important for me to have healthy, well-started seedlings by the time we're frost free so that my plants have enough time to mature and produce veggies.
Step 1: What You Need
Take a look at the various starters I've used and decide which ones best suit your needs. In addition, you will need:
- seed starter mix: it's not that expensive, and superior to potting soil because it's fine and uniform.
- water: I never use plain tap water, because it's chlorinated. At the very least, I run it through my Brita. If you have distilled water, that's the best for watering plants.
- something to mix your dirt and water in (I used the bottom half of a gallon jug)
- a latex glove: optional, but dirt dries your skin out and I don't like that, so I wear a glove on my dirt hand.
- seeds. I like heirloom seeds and buy them from Tomato Bob's website, where they have varieties on sale for twenty-five cents at times. But the local hardware store or gardening store sells seeds too, and there ain't no shame in that.
That's it. Do this outside on a mild day, or be prepared to clean up dirt inside.