07 May 2009

Egg carton as seed-starting greenhouse

Amazon: Haba Half Dozen EggsSara's tip for getting a head start on your vegetable-, herb- or flower garden:

If you are looking to start a vegetable or flower garden with your kids, the plastic carton that eggs come in with the anti-crush internal lids make great greenhouses for starting seeds. Just cut off the external lid and punch an air hole in the top of each dome of the internal lid, fill the bottoms (where the eggs were) with potting soil and plant your seeds.

I recommend 2 or 3 seeds per section; they can be thinned later. Leave the top down over the soil and place near a sunny window to make a nice warm greenhouse for the seedlings. You do need to water frequently as the little cups don't hold much soil.

I've also found that the clear plastic boxes that hold berries and other fruit work well, too -- and the holes are already punched in the top!

Related: Toilet roll seed starter

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Gardening with kids

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That is such a great idea. We're just starting with planting and I always have egg cartons around and also strawberry containers. I'll have to try it out this weekend.

We used the cardboard egg cartons. Then we'll just cut them into the individual egg holders and put them right in the garden. Biodegradable seed starting.

At my son's pre-school they started seeds in half-eggshells that the director saved over a period of months. She just very carefully broke the eggs evenly in half when she needed an egg for a recipe or for breakfast. Then they planted the seedlings, eggshell and all, in large planters outside. I thought it was a great idea. Nutrients for the plants.

We have all sorts of strange starters on our window sill right now... 2 liter bottles work well, too. Just cut them in half, fill with soil, and tape the top back on.

What a great way to teach kids how to "reduce, reuse, and recycle"! Though we've already planted our veggies, I may have to start a little project with my sons so they can take part in the miracle of nature.

I actually used the regular styrofoam egg cartons for seed starting this year by punching holes in the bottom of each well and then filling with soil. I watered it from beneath by keeping the whole thing on a cookie sheet. I have no doubt, however, that the cardboard ones or plain eggshells would be much easier in the long run.

I just wrote about starting seeds in egg cartons greenhoused in an empty plastic container that spinach comes in. Check it out: http://www.agirlandaboy.com/journal/archives/002530.html

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