Using Recycled Items to Sprout Seeds

Recycled seed sprout container plantWhen starting seeds, it's best to plant many seeds in many small plant containers. The seeds that sprout and grow the best can be planted in larger containers and moved outside once the weather gets warmer. While seeds are sprouting and the seedlings are growing, they are delicate and often can't survive (or won't even germinate in the first place) if put outdoors in the cooler months.


Because gardeners generally want to get a head start on their spring gardens, they will have seed trays or other ways of starting seeds indoors in February or March. Once spring comes around, they will have container plants ready for full sun.

Some gardeners buy plastic seed trays, but eco-friendly balcony container gardeners should try to find recycled materials to start their seeds in. Besides, it's cheaper to use recycled materials!

Three types of recycled plant containers that you can start your seeds in include old toilet paper tubes, plastic party cups (or Starbucks cups or any other plastic fast food cup) and egg crates. Make sure to poke drainage holes in the bottom of any plastic containers you use.

Unless placed on a waterproof surface like a kitchen counter, all of these recycled containers for your seeds should be placed on a waterproof tray (on a plate, old plastic storage bin lid, lid of a plastic take-out container, etc.). The tray will catch any water that spills or comes out of the drainage holes of your containers.

Also make sure that your seedlings are properly taken care of. You may need to keep them on top of a heating pad for warmth. They may need a grow light or be placed next to a brightly lit window. Some seeds also need to be scarred (scratched or hit), soaked in water or have a casing removed before they will sprout. Make sure you know what your seeds need before planting them! Read more about starting seeds>>

Additional information