DIY: Making you own seed starting trays and pots from Recycled Materials

I love to recycle, and reuse, I believe you do need a little bit of creativity to reuse the apparently useless and soon to be trash into something functional. I also love to garden and to save, you can see how I save in home decor here. I sowed so many seeds , I have so many due to participate in a seed exchange forum and I had to find pots for all of them. Why would buy pots for seeds when I have plenty if I look keenly enough into my home? My husband told me the other day that I utilize everything twice, I was glad to hear that. Besides recycling all our organic waste as seen in here, we also recycle paper and bottles, which we separate into the recycle can and I also find them useful for my garden, this is how:

Coffee cups, water cups, soda cups: This are a perfect size for bigger plants, like zucchini and pumpkins, where the seeds will reach the bottom of the cup.

water bottles: I cut them in half and plant little seeds like tomatoes and  peppers, with the other half I cover the containers to create a greenhouse keeping the warmth and the moist in longer.

~ boxes are the trays,some cups, paper rolls cartons and water bottles ~
juice bottles: Cut them in halves, I use the top to cover the seedlings that I planted outside during danger of frost to protect them  and  the lower half to plant together seeds, when all of them germinate they must be thinned,fro example:  brussels sprouts, flowers, cabbage, broccoli.

egg cartons:  They are perfect for seeds which seedlings do not like to be disturb, like cucumbers, (only two plants survived for now out of six, I already have them growing in the ground), they do not like transplanting, as soon as they germinate I cut the egg carton piece where the seed is in and plant it in the ground together with the carton for minimal disturbance. I use the egg carton lid as a tray if it is a plastic egg container, but if it is a paper carton(biodegradable, the perfect one for do not dirturb seedlings) I substitute it for some plastic container.

pastry containers: The pastry containers are a seed starting kit by themselves, the lower half is where you place the seeds with the potting soil and the top can cover it to make a 'greenhouse', as soon as the seeds germintate uncover the pot and place the lid under it, if you grow them inside this will prevent leaking on your floors.
strawberries, baby lettuce containers: They come with holes already for drainage I used them to start flowers inside, or any kind of vegguie.

yogurt containers: It depends what kind you will use, there are some that have the top narrower than the bottom and I think those will give me trouble at the time of repotting or transplanting in the ground ,I used the big one to repot tomato plants, pepper, etc. You can plant anything in there.

Cardboard rolls :( from kitchen rolls like bounty or toilet paper): I used them for gourds, cucumbers, melons.
I used paper too, but I guess I did them too weak( you can see what happened here), although since I have so many possible strong containers that will last for next sowing season I don't see the need of using paper next time.I will store these recycled trays for the nextx sowing season( late summer next fall for Sacramento, more about it here)
I detailed how I used each container for, but It doesn't really matter , you should try yourself, that it's just what I did and thought it worked well. The best to learn is from experience.

How do you recycle and start seeds?


Romi said...

Excellent post! I recycle a lot when it comes to the garden as well. I love using cupcake holders to start small seeds in. I also recycle the seed starter pots my mom gets flowers in from home depot. Take pictures of your garden when you get a chance :) The weather is finally getting nice in Sacramento. I am so excited.

Andrea said...

Thanks Romi!
THe cupcake holders (lining) it's a great idea! I love the weather too, I will take pictures soon! I just check my rose bushes and they have little buds, so flowers will be blooming shortly !
I am tryting to germinate gourds now, it's my goal for this month, wow it's april already. :)