A few years ago, the folks at CowPots sent me some samples of their “pots you plant” – and I loved them (and, yes, that’s an affiliate link). As a relative newb gardener at the time, I was open to anything that made the whole process of transplanting seedlings easier. Of course, I ran out of the samples they sent… so before going out and buying more to start seeds in this year, I started looking around for DIY options for biodegradable pots.
It turns out I’m not the first to think about this (imagine that!), and a number of people have shared their projects for making their own seed starting pots that can go directly in the ground and biodegrade. These may be some of the easiest upcycling projects we’ve ever featured: they don’t have to look good (since you’re going to bury them); they only have to function well. Here are the options I found for do-it-yourself biodegradable seed starting pots.’
1. Toilet Paper Rolls
We’ve all got these (and many of us, regardless of how green we claim to be, also have paper towel rolls). If you’ve also got a pair of scissors, you’re in business: just follow the lead of our old friend Mike Lieberman in this two-minute video:
2. Cardboard Egg Cartons
No doubt, you started seeds in an egg carton at some point in your childhood… but likely the kind made from polystyrene foam. Egg producers are getting a bit greener on the container front, though, and cardboard egg cartons should work great for starting and transplanting seeds. These would even be great for helping with companion planting: cut out sections of the carton with the number of plants you want to group, and then start the seeds together.
3. Egg Shells
With just a little planning during your next cooking or baking project, you can turn those egg shells that you’d compost into seed starting pots. Our friends at Eat.Drink.Better walk you through this very simple process.
Image source: Eat.Drink.Better
Still get a print newspaper – even just occasionally? Sure, you can recycle it, or tear it up and use it for brown material in your compost bin. Or… you can make plant pots out of that newspaper after you’ve read it. This can be as simple as rolling the paper up into a cone, or you can get more elaborate with a papier-mâché project.
5. Fruit and vegetable rinds
As with the eggshells, this one requires just a bit of forethought… but an orange peel, or avocado rind, can work great for starting your seeds. Our friends over at Crafting a Green World have a number of ideas here…
Got other biodegradable materials you use to make pots you plant? Share them with us…
Update (2/15/2015): Want to take this info with you quickly and easily? Share it? Download our new presentation from Slideshare (which I made with Haiku Deck)