DIY Seed Starter: Upcycling Egg Cartons


Ever since quarantine life started back in March, we all have been spending a lot more time at home (I hope) and finally getting to those personal projects and hobbies we always wanted to do. In my case, that’s gardening. If you’ve seen my previous blog and Instagram posts, you know that I am a gardening wannabe. I’ve always wanted to be known for having a green-thumb or a plant guru, but alas I have much to learn.

Anyway, because I have been at home a lot, I noticed something that was constantly in our recycling bin: egg cartons. I always thought that they were perfect to upcycle, but I never found the opportunity… That is until I needed a seed starter.

For this DIY, you can use either a compostable or styrofoam egg carton. A compostable one is… Well, compostable. A styrofoam egg carton can be reused for more batches of seedlings. In this case, I will be using a compostable egg carton.

Once you’ve finally eaten all your eggs, take the egg carton and cut the lid off. Next, wrap some foil around it to make a drainage tray. This part is not totally necessary, I just made it because I did not have a drainage tray at the time.

If you already have one on hand, you can keep the lid attached (or detached) and cut out a rectangular “window” on top to make your egg carton a mini greenhouse. If you make a drainage tray, you will have to find another way to create a humid environment for your seedlings. I just cut off the bottom half of a water jug and placed it over my egg carton.

Next, poke some drainage holes at the bottom of your egg carton. Each hole should be the same size. Next, place your egg carton into your drainage tray and fill each section with some good, fresh soil.

Now it’s time to plant your seeds! Before you do so, make sure you label where each seed is going to go if you are going to put multiple types of seeds in the egg carton. To label your seedlings, take a marker and write the name of the seed on the little “pillars” in the middle of the carton.

Once that’s done, sow your seeds according to the instructions on your seed packets, moisten the soil, cover your seeds, place them in a warm place, and keep feeding them until they sprout!

Each of my seedlings sprouted in less than a week. Some grew faster and stronger than the others, so I then transferred them into compostable peat pots where they are currently thriving like this little guy in the picture below.

Good luck with this DIY and tell me… What are some ways you are upcycling materials in your home?

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