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It won’t be long until I can start planting the first seeds of the year. I can’t wait – I always get itchy to get my hands in some dirt.
I begin to dream of being in the garden, working the soil and being in the sun. For now I have to content myself with starting seeds indoors.
Part of the process is getting my hands on containers for seed starting.
What containers to use for seed starting
Once you start looking around, you may be surprised at how many used containers you can recycle into seedling pots.
Get creative – the idea is to reuse and recycle! Why buy seedling trays if you really don’t need to?
I save any type of container I think I’ll be able to use for seeding. Just some examples are cartons from coffee cream (great for tomato seedlings) and wide squat canned vegetable containers.
Also the wonderful tall containers that hold the malt we use for making beer.
When I get ready for seeding, I punch holes in the bottoms for drainage, 3 holes per container will do.
Years ago, I bought several packs of styrofoam cups. I know, not very environmentally minded of me.
BUT since I am very careful with handling them, I can reuse these as well.
I still have some from the first year we moved up here and they are still going strong.
Also, whenever we hit a Costco and buy things in bulk, I save the cardboard trays – usually they have plastic wrapped around the outside.
I don’t pull off the plastic as it adds another layer of protection during watering. I’ll keep seedling pots in these trays until I can move the plants out to the garden.
The trays are really strong, especially with the plastic on. We keep every styrofoam tray we can get our hands on too.
They are handy for putting seedling plants in our windowsills.
If you aren’t doing it already, save every type of container you can find.
I used to use those little seedling containers (the ones with 4 or 6 cells), but have moved away from them.
Although they are good when first sowing seed, because they are so small, I end up having to transplant them. This is something I avoid if I can.
I don’t mind transplanting once but don’t like having to do it more than that.
I’ll find someone to pass them along to or just get rid of them. I don’t like using them.
Using the styrofoam cups works the best for me – I seed them right in the cups.
Many vegetables don’t need to be transplanted again until I am ready to pop them into the garden. Exceptions? Tomatoes!
Easy is best! Why create extra work for yourself? Reusing your pots and trays is cheap, cheap, cheap. There is no point in spending lots of money on those trays with the cell packs and covers.
For every move you make planning and starting your veggie garden, think about it. Is there a way to use free materials, or reuse something you already have?
I seed the cups in my potting room, then move them into my seedling room, where Graham has hung lights. They stay in here until they are up and doing well.
Then I move them upstairs into the living room in front of the big windows. By the time mid-May rolls around, the living room is filled with plants. I usually still have a full seedling room downstairs as well.
For the hardier seedlings, I can put them in our unheated Greenhouse. Depending on the nighttime temperature, I can cover these with Remay cloth and remove it in the morning.
Thinking of getting a Greenhouse? Read about how we were able to build a greenhouse for less than $200
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on containers for starting seeds indoors. Here’s what I use as containers for starting seeds. Recycle!
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