When the promise of spring is in the air and gardeners everywhere are gearing up to get their little seedlings started for their summer gardens, you may want to take some time to consider your various options for biodegradable containers for seedlings.
Using biodegradable containers for your seedlings and starts gives you a couple of benefits; there is no need to remove a plastic container from around the delicate seedlings when you are ready to transplant them, and if you choose items that are compostable then you are getting some of those extra nutrients and ‘food’ into your garden soil that will greatly benefit the plants over the course of the growing season.
Here are 5 fun ideas for biodegradable seedling containers:
With a little planning and preparation you can save up your egg shells to use in your garden! Make sure to save the cartons to use with the open shells so they will be stable. Rinse out the shell halves and let them air dry. Carefully poke a hole in the bottom of each shell for drainage (just use a decent sized sewing needle) then fill each shell with some high quality potting soil. Using your pinky finger make small holes in the dirt for the seed, place a seed in each shell, and cover with dirt. In no time, with a little water and sunlight, your seedlings will be sprouting and growing. When you are ready to move the plants out to the garden plot, simply place the whole shell down into the prepared hole and cover with dirt!
Toilet Paper Rolls
Simply take the empty toilet paper roll, fold in one of the ends to create a bottom, fill with dirt, plant, and grow! Each tube can be placed directly into the garden soil when the plants are ready to be transplanted to your outdoor garden space which makes the transplanting process easy and quick.
Instead of throwing the fruit and vegetable rinds into the trash or compost bin you can use them for seedling starts. The process is very simple – fill them with dirt, plant the seed, give them some water, sun, and food, and easily plant them right into your garden when they are ready. You can use all sorts of rinds and peels – oranges, avocados, coconuts, small pumpkins, etc.
This one is a little trickier, but provides the same great biodegradable result! Make individual ‘cups’ out of newspaper and fill just like the toilet paper tubes. The newspaper will breakdown in the garden soil leaving you with a healthy and growing seedling.
Toilet Paper Rolls
Garden Therapy had a great idea how to fix the bottom of a toilet paper roll. Cut four 1″ long symmetrical cuts along the end of your roll, then fold them on themselves like the image below. I am excited to include my kids when I make these containers for our seedlings this year.