Recycled Seedling Pots

If you’re a savvy gardener, you may propagate your own seedlings to save money and resources. Here are some cheap options for seedling pots.

It’s hard to argue that peat or plastic seedling pots (those little pots used to germinate seedlings until they’re big enough to plant) are exactly expensive…but you know, even a few dollars saved can go to that vacation fund and bring a dream that much closer to reality.

So instead of spending that money, why not exercise some ingenuity, and engineer some pots out of objects you’d otherwise recycle or throw away? In this article, we’ll offer two suggestions that are biodegradable and mostly organic.

The Egg and You

Do you eat eggs? Most of us do, and end up tossing the eggshells into the garbage or, at best, the compose heap. But believe it or not, they have a number of gardening uses. Among other things, you can make them into handy little planting pots for seedlings.

I know this sounds weird, but it works!

When most of us crack an egg, we end up with two roughly equal halves. What you can do here is wash out the larger half, and put it back into its depression in the egg crate. The rest can go in recycling, or you can crush it and put aside to use as a slug barrier in your garden later on (there’s another free tip for you).


When you’ve used all the eggs in the crate and have replaced them with half-shells, you can put those shells aside in a cool, dry place until it’s time to start germinating some seeds. Then, leaving them in the crate, fill them with growth medium, plant your seeds, and proceed.

When the seedlings are large enough and it’s warm enough to plant, just go ahead and plant the entire set-up, eggshell and all. Each little “pot” will biodegrade quickly, offering no resistance to the plant’s roots as they grow.

This is an especially good trick for acidic soils, since the calcium in the shell will moderate the soil’s pH a bit.

Newspaper Pots

Here’s another easy, fun way to make simple seedling pots. All you need is biodegradable tape, newspaper, and a tin can. Cut the paper into strips eight inches wide, and then roll the strips one at a time onto the can, leaving four inches of paper sticking out on one end.

Next, fold over the open end and tape down the flaps, and pull your little cylinder off the can. Viola, you’ve got a nice little pot for your seedlings — and all it took was a minute of work! Just add soil and seeds, and when they’re ready, plant them directly in the ground.

Like the eggshell seedling pots, your newspaper creations will also quickly biodegrade.