This year I’ve had major spring fever. By the end of March, I couldn’t wait to get outside and dig around in the dirt. It was still a little too cold to start my garden, so I decided to start my seeds indoors.
An easy way to start seeds indoors is to use egg cartons! I first did this when I lived in Hungary. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money and I didn’t know how to explain in Hungarian what I was wanting to do, so rather than buying some elaborate seed starting kit, I just used some old egg cartons!
This turned out to be a great way to protect the new little seeds from the fickleness of spring weather. Plus, you get to see life emerge up close and in the comfort of your own kitchen. It’s pretty exciting. I love watching the little seeds that were once in darkness break through towards the warm sun. Inspiring, isn’t it?
Paper egg cartons are bio-degradable and compostable so they can be transferred along with the seedling right into the ground/soil/pot when the timing is right. Using egg cartons to start seeds isn’t just for indoors. You can also keep them outside if the weather is warm enough.
Starting Seeds in Egg Cartons
- a paper egg carton
- potting soil
- *tooth picks
- *plastic wrap
The individual dimples within the egg carton will be used as individual seed-starter pots.
1. Take an empty cardboard egg carton and poke a small whole in the bottom of each dimple to allow for water drainage.
2. Fill each individual dimple with potting soil. I used organic soil like this here.
3. Plant seeds according planting-depth instructions (found on the back of the packet) in each individual dimple. I used these seeds.
4. Mist with water regularly keeping the soil moist (but not soaked). You might want to keep the carton on a plate or something so the water doesn’t go everywhere.
5. *To give extra warmth and humidity (if needed), I like to cover the top of the egg carton with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should be like a little tent. To prop up the plastic wrap, I like to position tooth picks in the middle of the egg carton (where the arrow is). Too bad I don’t have a picture to show you.
6. Place the carton in a sunny spot and watch the plants grow!
7. Once the seeds start to sprout, cut apart the individual dimples and plant the seedlings straight into your prepared garden or pot. There is no need to remove the sprouting seed from the carton, just plant the whole thing!
(As stated above, the paper carton is bio-degradable. If you start seeds in a styrofoam egg carton, you do need to remove the seedling from the carton)