Egg Carton Seed-Starting
egg carton, any size |scissors | ice pick or sharp screwdriver
seed-starting mix | water spray-mist bottle with lukewarm distilled water
labels | plastic wrap
cut off the top of the carton. Save it for later.
Next, poke a few small holes in the bottom of
each egg "cell." These are for drainage.
sprinkle soilless seed-starting mix in the bottom of each cell 'til they're
more than half-full. Mist with water just 'til it's moist.
two seeds in each cell. This is in case one doesn't germinate. Later, you'll
choose the strongest one and cut the second one off at ground level and
the seeds with a light sprinkling of soil and spray-mist again. Remember to label
your seeds! Most seedlings look remarkably alike!
take the lid you cut off earlier so that it looks like one long container. It
is going to become your "tray." Place a layer of plastic wrap over it, hanging
an inch off all sides.
the carton half that contains the cells into the lid so that it "nests." The
lid will act as a support to the carton half, because when it gets wet, the
paper sides will get weak, and you don't want it to fall apart.
you'd rather water your seedlings from below, you can place the egg carton on a
cookie sheet filled with water once a day for a few minutes.
seeds should sprout in a week or so. You can see the germination time on the
back of the seed packet. Check every day. Most seeds don't need light to germinate,
but a few do. Again, check the seed packet for details.
seedlings have sprouted, you can water them lightly with lukewarm water from a
watering can with a long spout, or other small-nozzled container.
the plants are large enough, cut the cells apart and plant them, paper and all,
directly into garden. The egg carton is biodegradable and the soil will help
the plant with nutrients.
It is wise to carefully cut the
paper of each egg cell and pull it apart to make it easy for the roots to spread
into the soil, if the paper hasn't degraded by the time the roots are ready to
This is a good solution for starting
corn from seed.