How To Start Seeds For Next To Nothing

Reader Contribution by Emma Raven

Growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money at the grocery store on fresh, organic produce but did you know that you can save money gardening too?

One of the easiest ways to save cash is to reuse containers to start seeds in. Seed starting trays can be made inexpensively from plastic salad boxes, milk cartons and even cereal boxes.

Yogurt pots and coffee cups make easy seed starting containers.

To use containers such as these, carefully make drainage holes in the bottom to allow water to flow through and prevent over-watering.

Plastic trays, lids and old cookie sheets make great free drip trays to place plant pots on to hold the water.  

Cookie sheets make great water catchers when watering seedlings.

Other great seed starting containers include yogurt pots, cottage cheese pots, sour cream containers and plastic fruit trays.

Toilet paper tubes are great seed starters for beans.

I like to use salad containers as holders for toilet paper tubes, paper towel cardboard tubes.  Plastic salad containers, cookie or cake boxes can be used as a homemade mini greenhouses to warm the soil and get your seeds starting earlier.  If you don’t have any hard plastic containers, a simple clear plastic bag can be placed over a pot to increase humidity and temperature.

Newspaper pots can be made for free!

The free newspaper or circulars which arrive in the mail are a great resource to the gardener!  You can use newspaper as sheet mulch to block weeds, shred it and add it to the compost heap or make free newspaper pots.

Newspaper pots are ideal for free biodegradable plant pots and are made by rolling newspaper around a solid container such as a jam jar and folding newspaper around the bottom and pulling the container out and filling with soil.  

Seedlings which do well in these pots include those which don’t like having the roots disturbed like carrots, beans, peas, squashes and pumpkins. 

If you don’t like the idea of using empty food containers, waiting until the sales at the end of the season mean you can pick up plant pots, seed trays, mini greenhouses and even seeds, plants and crowns like asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes can be picked up super cheap.

To get the best out of your seed containers, clean them first with hot soapy water if they have food residues in them.  Ensure the compost is kept moist like a wrung out sponge and give your seeds plenty of light to help them grow strong.

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