09 July 2012

A Simple Seed Starter

Save your cardboard egg cartons for starting seeds.  They are easy to plant and look after and when the seedling is ready to go into the garden you just break off the pod and plant it, no need to disturb the roots of the seedling.

Fill each pod in your egg carton with seed raising mix or a good potting mix or clean soil. Plant one seed per pod and gently water in. Keep your egg cartons somewhere warm and light, I have mine lined up in front of the big window in the kitchen (on a tray to catch the water). Make sure they stay moist and watch your seeds sprout.  Write the date you planted them on the lid so you know when they'll be ready to go outside.

Once the seedlings are large enough to go outside just break off each pod, dig a hole to the depth of the pod and plant it. Gently press the soil around the pod, water in and you're done.

The seedling will make the transition happily, without any trauma to it's delicate root system. The pod will break down quite quickly and you'll have happy and healthy plants.

Starting your seeds off like this makes it easy to plant in rotation. I like to start 4 cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli off every two weeks through the season so we have a constant supply of vegetables ready to eat straight from the garden.

I can put them all in one egg carton and just tear off the pods and plant in the right spot in the veggie beds.

My flowers all get started like this too. I love petunias and one egg carton of seedlings is enough for three hanging baskets or two large pots.

It makes planning and planting so easy I wish I'd started doing it 20 years ago.


  1. Thanks for this information. Your post is really very informative. Your reviews are helpful for me.

    Oil mill machinery from india

  2. I tried this at home. Beware of crows, they are quite capable of destroying egg cartons. My peas did not survive the attack.

    1. Hi Robynlouise, I must be having a dense moment - how did the crows get to the egg cartons?

      I know from experience that birds wreak havoc in my veggie patch, especially when the plants are small and tender. I use bird netting to keep them safe. I've never had them destroy the container the seedlings were planted in before, although they do a good job of ripping the plant out of the ground.

  3. Do the roots work there way through the egg container? I found my egg containers were very very slow to break down and the leafy greens seemed a bit stunted - so I poked holes in the bottom of the egg carton for the next batch. Anyway, last year I planted out 20 rocket seedlings and a rabbit (someone's escaped pet?) neatly chopped of 17 of them and ate them! What with the rabbit and snails and fruit bats eating the bananas

  4. With the snails and rabbit etc last year, I'm finding it hard to get motivated this year!
    Winny. In Sydney.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment...I just love hearing from you!

Just a couple of things:

Please don't use your comments to advertise your business or goods for sale, any such comments will be removed.