Saturday, January 28, 2012

Egg Carton Seed Starters

Using scissors, cut the top of the carton from the bottom.

 Trim off the edge that locks the carton.

 Using the point of a pencil, poke 4 or 5 drainage holes in each compartment of the egg tray.

Set the egg compartment into the top of the carton which is now the bottom of your seed starter.  When you water your new seedlings, the excess will drain into the bottom of the tray.

  Mix your seed starting mix with warm water.  Add water a little at a time and squeeze your mixture.  You only want it damp enough to be able to squeeze a few drops of water from it.  Too much water in the mix will cause your seeds to rot instead of sprouting.

Fill the egg compartments with the moistened seed starting mixture all the way to the top.  Pack the soil lightly.

Using a pencil, make a little dibble in the center of each compartment for your seeds.  Put 2 or 3 seeds in each little hole you made and gently press the soil to close the hole.  Gently water the top to settle the soil and seeds.  Don't use much water.

I use a marker and write the name of the seeds I have planted in the carton.  this one happens to be some flower seeds.  I have tomatoes, peppers, dill and other flower seeds planted in my trays.

 Cover the top with clear plastic wrap and use a small piece of tape on each side to hold it down.  I also used some 2 gallon freezer bags as shown here.  This will create a little greenhouse environment and hold the moisture in.  Place the seeds in a warm location.  Sunlight is not necessary until the seeds sprout as long as the trays are in a warm spot.

 When the seeds begin sprouting, remove the plastic and place in a sunny location.
 If the soil looks or feels dry I will begin to water with a weak solution of plant food to get the seedlings off to a good start.

When the seedlings have grown 2 to 4 true leaves, I will transplant to 4 inch pots to finish growing before I transplant into the garden.  I'll do a post on this process when they are ready.

It's getting closer to garden season and I can't wait.  I love knowing I can provide good nutritious non GMO food for my family beginning with an egg carton that would normally go into the trash.


  1. Nice, Mamma Bear! I have several 18-ct egg cartons in sizes too small for the eggs our hens lay. Now I can put them to good use!

    1. Thanks HB... I haven't tried it yet but I think 2 of the dozen egg cartons will fit into the 2 gallon bags. This will allow 6 more seedlings to a bag instead of 18. I think I paid $1.59 for the 2 gallon freezer bags for the store brand. When I am finished sprouting seeds, I'll put them away in my seed box and use them again next year.

  2. Very nice to have the details MB, thank you. I have not yet started seeds, just put them right into the ground. I do think about it though and should try it, but because of where we live I would need lights. We just don't get enough sunshine in winter, although this year's been a bit strange. More sun and rain than snow :/ We love our sparkly snow!

  3. I love to look at the snow from far away!...LOL

    I have so many trays started that I will probably have to use some grow lights. It will get a little crowded at the patio doors where I keep them for sunlight.


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