Seed Starter Pots
Seed starter pots are used to start seeds indoors and then transplant the seedling (pot and all) into the soil of a garden. Seeds started in this manner generally have a higher percentage of seeds that germinate and come up faster than planting outdoors. You are able to control the germination conditions (temperature, moisture, wind, and sunlight) to help the little seeds get a strong start. What's also nice is that you get to be close to your seeds and look at them all day long!
Here are some seed starter pot ideas that you can make from items you have at home.
Egg Shells & Egg Cartons
Save an egg carton and plant directly in the egg crevices or plant into half of an egg shell. Be sure to poke two water holes in the egg shells for drainage using a toothpick.
Save your citrus fruit rinds to plant in! Simply cut the fruit in half, scoop out the fruit, add a drainage hole at the bottom, then fill with soil and plant your seeds. When your seedlings are ready to transplant, put the whole citrus shell in the soil. The citrus peels will compost into the soil.
Toilet Paper Rolls
Save the cardboard roll of toilet paper to make seed starters. You can also use a paper towel roll, and cut it into thirds.
To make: measure 1 inch up from the bottom of the roll and make 5 equidistant dash marks. Using scissors, make a straight cut up to the dash line to make 5 panels. Fold the panels in over each other to make the bottom of the seed starter pot. Fill with soil and plant! This seed starter can go directly into the garden when the seedlings are ready!
Use the crinkle paper that is often used in packing and shipping to make seed starter pots. Blend the crinkle paper and warm water in a blender on high until you make a pulp. Scoop out the pulp and drain as much water as you can. Scoop the pulp into a muffin tin and spread the pulp up the sides to form a cup. Blot with a paper towel to remove excess water. Place outside in a sunny spot for a couple of days (or heat in the oven at 220 degrees F for an hour or more) until the starter pots are hard and dry.
These seed starter pots are shallow. They will work great for starting seeds that require a small planting depth from a 1/4 to 1/2 inch such as some flower seeds.
A handy Pot Maker makes it easy to turn newspaper strips into seed starter pots!
You don't need the Pot Maker to make the pots though! Cut newspaper into 5" height strips and roll it around a spray can (such as a PAM vegetable spray) with 2" hanging over the bottom. Fold the bottom 2" into the can to form the bottom of the seed starter pot.
*Avoid using shiny color print newspaper which is toxic.
This is a fun, unique use for gardeners who grow loofahs! Loofahs make wonderful sponges and they can also be peeled, cut, emptied of seeds, filled with dirt, and planted with seeds to make seed starters.