Introduction: Start Seeds in an Egg Carton

Right now it may be hard to get to the store to purchase a seed starting tray. At all times, it is nice to find cheap things around your house that can be repurposed for growing seeds.

This instructable shows how you can use a simple egg carton to start seeds at home with minimal expense.


1) An egg carton (cardboard or styrofoam both can work);

2) seed starting mix;

3) water

4) light*

*For light, you can use a sunny window, or an indoor grow light. I personally recommend this grow light setup from another of my instructables:

Step 1: Get Out Your Egg Carton

Most cartons these days are either styrofoam or cardboard. The cardboard egg cartons have the added advantage of being biodegradable, which means you can add them to you garden and the natural soil life will eventually break them down (although perhaps not as quickly as you might hope).

Step 2: Cut Your Egg Carton

If using the cardboard egg carton:

Cut out each individual egg pod cell from the carton.Use something sturdy like a knife or screwdriver to poke holes in the bottom of the podsPlace the pods on a tray or container to catch water that drains out of them.

If using the styrofoam egg carton:

  1. The lid on egg carton doubles as a perfect basin for adding your water or liquid fertilizer for seedlings. You need to first detach the lid section from the egg-holding section of the carton.
  2. Use a pen, pencil, screwdriver, etc. to poke a hole in the bottom of each egg pod. This will later allow water to drain.
  3. Now place the egg carton section inside the lid section.

Step 3: Mix Your Potting Mix and Add It to Your Egg Cartons

Depending on what you are using as your growing medium, it is likely you will need to add water to it, prior to putting it into the egg carton. I used a standard dollar store seed starting mix. I poured it into a big bowl, added water, and mixed it together by hand. I then put the mixture into the egg container.

Step 4: Add Seeds

Place seeds in the seed starting mix in each cell.

Step 5: Cover the Cells With Plastic Wrap

While the seeds are germinating it is important to keep them moist. Plastic wrap works well. A plastic lid or dome also works well.

Step 6: Remove Plastic and Move to Light

After the seeds have germinated, you can remove the plastic and move them to light.

Cardboard Speed Challenge

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Cardboard Speed Challenge