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5 Biodegradable Seed Starter Pots Made With Recycled Materials

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Spring is on its way, but it’s still too early for most gardeners to do any planting outdoors. Here in our cold northern climate, we’re still a couple of months away from our last frost date. Now is the perfect time to finish up garden planning and seed buying, gather up seed starter pots, and get some seeds started indoors. 

If you live in an area with a short growing season, starting seeds indoors will give longer-season plants a chance to produce earlier and longer than if you sow them directly into the ground when the soil warms up. 

Below are 5 ideas for seed starting pots you can make using materials found around your house. All of these items are biodegradable, so you don’t even have to take the plant out of the pot when it’s ready to be transplanted into a bigger pot or the garden; just plant the whole container!

5 DIY seed starter pots

Toilet paper roll seed starting pot

Toilet paper roll seed starting pot | Garden Therapy

I love this idea from Garden Therapy to use toilet paper rolls for starting seeds. Toilet paper rolls are something we all have around and usually throw away, so this is a great way to recycle them.

Citrus peel seed starter pots

Citrus peel starter pots | My Roman Apartment

My Roman Apartment has a brilliant way to utilize citrus peels by planting seedlings in them. I have started saving orange peels for this and they retain their shape even when they dry out, so you can stock up on peels for a while before planting them if you want to plant several at once.

Egg shell planters

La corneja artesana/Shutterstock

Eggshells make great seed pots. Just poke a hole in the bottom of the shell for drainage, fill with soil, and add the seeds. You can keep the shells right in their cartons for convenience until they are ready to be transplanted outdoors.

To transplant, gently crush the eggshell before placing your seedling in the ground. The shells will provide your plants with valuable nutrients as they decompose.  


Egg cartons are the perfect shape and size for starter pots. Just fill the carton with soil and seeds, then transplant straight into the ground when ready.

If the plants you put in the egg carton don’t need much space, you can plant the whole carton in the ground. Otherwise, the sections of the carton can easily be separated and planted individually.

And finally, we posted about these newspaper pots a while ago as a free, earth-friendly alternative to plastic starter trays. Most people have papers lying around their homes that would otherwise end up in the trash or recycle bin, so you might as well use some up and save money at the same time!

I chose these 5 options because they are biodegradable, but there are many other materials found around the house that can be recycled into seed pots. Yogurt containers, soup cans, water bottles with the tops cut off (which can also double as mini greenhouses), deli food trays, and baby food jars are just a few more ideas.

Biodegradable seed starting pots

Welcome Buzzfeed & Offgridworld Readers! | My Roman Apartment

Tuesday 15th of April 2014

[…] To read the article that features my citrus peel starter pot, along with 4 other biodegradable seedling pots made from recycled materials, go here. […]