This spring I've suddenly gotten into gardening, so I figured I'd share what I've been using to start my seeds. These are mainly older seeds, that I didn't plant last year, or from last year's crop, and since I'm not sure they'll grow, I want to make sure by planting them inside first.
These planters mainly came out of my recycle bin, or were rescued from the trash can, and almost all of them were previously used to store food, so they shouldn't contain any harmful chemicals.
Step 1: Egg Carton Seeds
Pretty old school, this one. And space-efficient without crowding the seeds, especially if you use the 18 egg cartons.
Since I already have a lot of seeds started, and am running out of window sill space I don't have a real picture of an egg carton planter, but I will explain as best I can, with the help of the picture.
Cut the cover/top off, then fill one or both sides with dirt or potting soil and plant your seeds. Easy as a mud pie.
The best egg cartons to use for this are the cardboard type ones, as you can just cut off the bottoms and put it straight into the ground when it's time to get it outside. (Of course you could do the same with plastic or styrofoam ones, but it's not very eco)
Step 2: Milk/Cream Carton
This is actually two planters. Cut it in half and the side you would usually pour from can be taped up (DUCT TAPE!!) and used as a planter as well.
Pros- Mostly Waterproof because they had liquid in them before.
Cons- If you don't tape up the top side really well it leaks.
Step 3: Can Planter
Probably not good for houses with young children, but if you have a safety can opener it shouldn't be too dangerous. Wider cans are the best for starting seeds and then transplanting, and taller cans would work best for seeds that need to be kept inside awhile.
I do a mix of regular dirt and potting soil (half and half) for most of my seeds and because this is a can you can dig up the dirt with the can itself, even if the ground is hard.
(Sorry about the picture, it's hard to photograph)
Step 4: Tofu Planter
Water packed tofu comes in a plastic container which is absolutely awesome for seeds. This is one of my favorite planters.. perhaps because it was the first to sprout this year, but either way. It hardly leaks, and because it's big you can plant lots of seeds in it.
I poked about 6 holes in the bottom and then when I water it in the sink I squeeze it to get excess water out. It's a really nice size for setting on the window sill!
(The seed marker is an old razor handle. See: https://www.instructables.com/id/10-Uses-for-a-Razor/ )
Step 5: Styrofoam Planter
You can see the full 'ible on this here.
It's more of a indoor garden then a seed starter, but it could be used for seeds as well.
This one didn't last long for me, only because I chose to use a manure based compost and.. well you can guess what happened. I can't vouch for this in the long term, but it was working well for me until it got thrown out.
Step 6: Candy Planter
This is similar to the milk carton planter but smaller and not a two in one deal. And because the containers used to contain candy it isn't water proof.
I made this by pulling off the flaps, filling it 3/4 full with dirt and then folding the sides down. However it's probably best to fill it full because a week later mine is sorta falling a part because of the folds. The plants (Peacock orchids) inside are doing well though, and I am planning on transplanting it as soon as the plants get big enough. The transplanting will be easy, because I can either just tear the pot off or even just open up the bottom so the roots can get through.
This planter is very breathable but doesn't leak (that I've seen)
(I only buy candy on holiday clearance, so I'm not sure if this type of container is available year round.)
Step 7: Untested Planters
I don't have photos for these, but here are some more recycled planter ideas
- Ice Cream Container
-Soda Bottle (cut in half)
-Peanut Butter lid
- Plastic Iced Coffee cup (Starbucks-esque)
I could continue this list for awhile, but you should get your own ideas. Go raid your recycle bin or eat up some extra food in your cupboard or fridge. You'll find something. I would suggest poking a hole or two in the bottom to drain water, and then you're good to go!
Thanks for reading. I would love to hear/see your ideas and how your seeds turn out!
If you're doing this with kids, I would recommend putting your plant through DoctorDv's Plant Maze, which I haven't tried yet, but looks like lots of fun!
Ready? Set? Grow!