Six Eco-Friendly DIY Seed Pots

As we enter March, it's time to start planting seeds. We're planting thousands of seeds here, so we try to do it as economically , efficiently and as environmentally-friendly as possible.

One solution we've used on the farm is homemade seed pots. They are easy to make and use recycled materials. Certainly frugal gardening at its best.

The other great thing about these seed pots? They can usually be planted directly in the ground, making it even easier during transplant time.   Take a look around the house and see what materials you already have on hand. Then get busy making homemade seed pots by following instructions in the posts below. Here are some materials you're sure to have around the house. Find them and follow the instructions for productive fun.

  • Empty toilet or paper towel rolls
  • Newspaper
  • Egg cartons (paper fiber only - no styrofoam)
  • Dixie cups, coffee cups (any kind of cup made of paper)
  • Cereal boxes (or other light cardboard)
  • Shredded paper

IDEA 1: Use toilet paper rolls for homemade seed starter pots

All you need is a collection of toilet paper rolls, scissors, potting soil, seed and a waterproof container.

  1. Cut the toilet paper roll in half
  2. Make four cuts in the roll, 1/3 of the way up
  3. Fold in the bottom like you would close a box
  4. Fill them with a light potting soil, pack it down with your thumbs.
  5. Add your choice of seed, planting to their proper depth.
  6. Place the planted pots in a watertight container and give them a good watering. You want to completely soak the paper roll and keep it wet the whole time you are growing.
  7. Place your container in a Ziploc bag or cover it with a clear plastic bag. You are creating a small greenhouse, trapping in the moisture, until the seeds sprout.
  8. Take off the plastic once your seeds reach the top. They will need air circulation, otherwise, the toilet paper seed pots may mold.

Once the seeds have sprouted and are hardened off, these toilet paper seed pots can be placed directly into the ground and will compost away. They are especially good for planting any kind of seed that does not like to have its roots disturbed.  Consider getting a head start on your melons, squash or sunflowers. 

IDEA 2: Cereal Box Paper Mache

Recycle your old cereal boxes (or other light cardboard packaging) and make paper mache seed pots. Make a paper pulp, add the secret ingredient (flour) and push the pulp into cupcake tins. Follow the link for full instructions.

IDEA 3: Pulp Paper Pots

Use your excess shredded paper and make these clever paper pulp seed starter pots courtesy of 365 Days of DIY

IDEA 4: Egg Cartons

You can start your seedlings directly into paper fiber egg cartons. Add the soil and the seeds. Keep them moist and tear apart the individual sections.  Of course, these can be planted directly in the ground.

IDEA 5: Newspaper Pots

You can wrap newspapers into pot shapes and use them as seedling starters. we have used a wooden newspaper pot maker for years but you can just as easily do it with a spice jar from the pantry. Here’s a tutorial to make square newspaper pots from Mr Brown Thumb.

IDEA 6: Paper Cups

And finally, if you have a paper cups from Starbucks, Wawa or a coffee shop, save them and convert these cups as seedling pots. Just punch a hole in the bottom before adding the soil and tear off any excess part of the cup before planting in the ground. This picture shows plastic and paper and obviously – you don’t want to be putting that plastic in the ground!

Again the key here is that the materials be paper-based. These are environmentally friendly options that are reducing new products and reusing old - far better than simply recycling. Fun time and good learning and sharing these experiences for a healthier planet and a healthier you.

Jason MesiarikComment