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Recycled Seedling Container Ideas

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A variety of materials and food containers can be reused for starting your garden plants. This guide is about recycled seedling container ideas.


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March 23, 2013

I find that egg cartons and pudding snack containers do not provide enough space for proper root formation of indoor seedlings. I make my own containers with no more than pages from an old phone book and masking tape.

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December 27, 20161 found this helpful

A great way to recycle toilet paper tubes is to use them as containers to start vegetable and flower seeds for garden plants. This is a guide about toilet paper tube seedling pots.

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February 26, 2015

I still tape my homemade seedling pots as I have not mastered the crimping technique. I would like to add though, if you have access to phone books, the pages are the perfect size for seedling pots. Without any cutting, and depending the size of your form and how the page is folded, you can make pots in a variety of sizes. Very small pots will require only one page, while large pots should be made with two to three layers of pages.


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February 3, 2011

For many planting zones, it is close to time to start your seedlings indoors. Be creative-you don't need the expensive jiffy pots. I like to use the cardboard egg cartons, and cut down used Styrofoam cups. Sometimes I make my own containers out of newspaper. I roll it around a spool of thread, then tuck in the ends as if I am wrapping a gift. Fill with potting soil or seed starter mix. I am sure you can find other items to start them in as well.

Those containers that salads, cakes, and pies come in (with the dark bottoms and clear plastic dome lids) make great "terrariums" to put your seedling containers in. I cut my egg carton cells to fit in them.


On top of the refrigerator is a great place for your seedlings, providing you have a kitchen with good lighting. The refrigerator top provides heat that is important for the seeds to grow, and it is a spot where they are out of the way and won't get smashed. I usually start my plants around Feb 15. By transplant time I have some good sized zucchini, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins, and more ready to transplant over.

I usually get my seeds at the dollar store, 10 packs for a dollar, and the rest of my planting is recycled. A good sized bag of potting soil usually lasts me 3 years.

By mom-from-missouri from NW MO

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March 17, 20171 found this helpful

Toilet paper rolls and paper take out food drink trays make excellent containers for starting your seeds. This page explains using recycled cardboard for starting seeds.

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By 1 found this helpful
February 16, 2010

I have been using ice cream tubs as window sill propagators I have larger ones but these work OK for a small number of seeds. I also use lollipop sticks to label my plants with.

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March 15, 20170 found this helpful

Many plastic containers work quite well for starting your seeds prior to spring planting. This is a guide about reuse plastic containers for seedlings.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 27, 2013

My little gardeners call these "banana pots." Cut the top off a 2-liter bottle and toss or save for another project. Punch 2-3 small holes in the bottom for drainage. Make four vertical cuts to splay the bottle.

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February 3, 20110 found this helpful

When I am starting to grow plants indoors, I drill a couple of holes in an empty yogurt or juicy juice container (I cut the tops off) and use them as the pots.

By Abigail from Columbus, SC


Recycled Seedling Containers

The 100% reclaimed paper egg cartons make great seed starters. When the plants are large enough cut each egg holder apart and plant them into the ground not disturbing the small plant. Talk about recycling.


By Carolyn

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May 19, 20080 found this helpful

I love to start seedlings early, and didn't have anything to put the soil and seeds in to get started so I went to the kitchen and there was my answer! You know the containers that the floor cleaning cloths come in, they are perfect for starting seeds in. You use the container part for the soil and seeds and the cover to place under the container. This works great and you're recycling too.

By Joyce from Tennessee
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