Kick off gardening season with these clever DIY ideas using recycled finds from around your home as seedling starters.
We’ll be the first to admit that when spring rolls around, we’re keen to get out and garden. But while there’s still a chill in the air, starting seedlings indoors is the best way to get a head start. Luckily, you likely already have the makings of a seedling starter at home. Plant your seeds in one of these easy DIY planters now, and then transport the resulting buds to your garden when the sun is out and shining.
Don’t throw out those empty eggshells after making breakfast—put some soil in them! Eggs are a great source of calcium for plants, too. When you start to see sprouts, you can place the whole shebang right into the dirt—just give it a squeeze so the roots can find their new soil easily.
Get the tutorial at Squawk Fox.
Just because they’re disposable doesn’t mean they’re trash—K-Cups are actually more reusable than you might think. To turn them into seedling starters, just spoon out used coffee grounds and remove the filter lining—but hold on to both. The filters are biodegradable, and spreading coffee grinds in your garden can keep out neighborhood cats.
3. Citrus Fruits
Poke a hole in the bottom of an already juiced lemon or orange rind for drainage and fill it with soil for a seedling starter that can be planted right in the ground. The peel will compost into the soil, adding nutrients to the plants as they grow.
Get the tutorial at My Roman Apartment.
4. Toilet Paper Rolls
Seedling starters can also prevent your garden from being overpopulated after planting too many viable seeds. These emptied toilet paper tubes with brown packing paper wrapped around them are cute enough to gift to friends if too many sprouts start popping up.
Get the tutorial at Carolyn’s Homework.
5. Ice Cream Cones
These cute biodegradable pots combine two of our favorite summer activities—eating too much ice cream and spending time in our gardens. Don’t want to let good ice cream cones go to waste? Only use ones that have gone stale already.
Get the tutorial at Design Mom.
If you often let old newspapers gather dust in your foyer, this one’s for you! Wrap your newspaper around a soup container to get the right shape, forming cups to hold seedlings.
Get the tutorial at Cottage Hill.
7. Ice Cube Trays
While you can’t place this option right into your garden, it’s a much cheaper solution to store-bought seedling starters, plus you can reuse them year after year.
Get the tutorial at Mr Brown Thumb.
8. Egg Cartons
If you’re looking for a seedling starter you can plant right in your garden when you start to see sprouts, the material should be your primary consideration. Paper egg cartons are biodegradable and can be easily pulled apart for planting.
Get the tutorial at The Soft Landing.
9. Soda Bottles
Repurpose two-liter bottles into self-watering planters for a low-maintenance way to start seeds indoors.
Get the tutorial at Seattle Sundries.
10. Milk Jugs
This DIY planter actually lets you start seeds in the winter! Cut the top half of a milk jug off and plant seeds inside with some holes for drainage. Once you have a more traditional looking seedling starter, tape the top and bottom half of the jug back together. The plastic will act as a greenhouse, keeping the soil warm, even if it’s snowing. Come spring, you can remove the top half.
Get the tutorial at Garden Gate.
For another take on repurposing milk jugs, build a tiered planter. While constructing its wooden base does takes some extra time, it doubles as a space-saving garden solution that will look at home in any greenhouse.
Get the tutorial at Leaves n Bloom.