Plants: the Inexpensive and Environmental Friendly WayKenn Parry
Using pressed paper egg cartons are an inexpensive, easy, and environmentally friendly way to start seeds. Instead of buying costly starter kits, consider making a round of omelets and saving the empty egg cartons. Not only do egg cartons provide perfect cells for seedlings to grow, they also make it easy to transport the plants into your garden and are bio-degradable! Egg cartons are a wonderful tool for starting herbs, annuals and vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, and peppers. You will want to place the egg carton inside a solid container (such as a roasting pan). This will prevent the carton from falling apart as the paper pulp becomes wet. You can pull the plants out of the egg cells before planting or let the egg carton dry out slightly, then cut the plant sections with a pair of scissors or sharp knife, and plant outside! The egg carton is made of paper pulp and will degrade in a few months. Perfect.
- Empty egg carton
- Plastic wrap
- Spray bottle
- Potting soil or composting mixture
- Solid container (such as a roasting pan) to hold the planted egg carton
- Place the empty egg carton inside the solid container. Cut the lid off of an empty egg carton. Use scissors or knife to trim along the sides. With a needle, poke three or four holes along the bottom of each egg cell. This will help to drain the cells.
- Spray the egg carton with water from a spray bottle until it is moist.
- Fill each cell with potting soil or a composting mix until it is about a quarter of an inch to the brim. Drop seed into each cell. Then cover again with a fine layer of the soil mixture.
- Place the planted egg carton inside the solid container in a warm, sunny place. You can also place them in a plastic bag or cover them with plastic wrap to preserve heat and moisture. This creates a hothouse for the seeds.
- Spray the seedlings with water when soil becomes dry. Sprouts usually appear after seven to ten days. Once sprouts appear, remove the plastic covering and place the egg carton in a sunny spot.
- Observe the sprouts for growth. When the first true leaves appear, it is time for the sprouts to be transplanted. The true leaves grow above the leaves that first push out of the dirt. This usually takes about three to four weeks. Seedlings should be around 1 to 2 inches tall.
Meanwhile, back at the farm…