Inside: Break out the seeds and soil. Here’s a method to start seeds for your garden without spending big bucks.
“And now for my next trick, I’m going to build a rocket ship from tissues.”
I have a friend who likes to poke fun at my budget-friendly ways.
He breaks out this saying when I bake my own granola, shop at thrift stores or find frugal ways to start a garden.
Maybe I earned it.
I have been known to drag a bag of potting soil into the kitchen for an indoor gardening day. Or, fold dozens of newspaper pots to start seeds. And, I’ve composted table scraps in a plastic cereal container in my apartment kitchen.
Growing your own food is rewarding, but it’s also cheaper than buying those same tomatoes, basil and squash at a store. Not to mention fresher and tastier.
If you garden, then you probably like to save money too.
Well, here’s a fun way to save some green with that green thumb of yours. Get your gardening going with this frugal (and unexpected!) way to start seeds.
A Little-Known Way to Start Seeds for Your Garden
Skip the seed trays. You can start seeds for your garden without spending big bucks by growing them in….wait for it…eggshells.
Eggshells serve as ideal vessels to start seeds. Why?:
- They’re a good size
- An egg carton fits easily on a windowsill
- They’re biodegradable
Once your seedlings grow sturdy enough to transfer to the garden (or to containers), you can plop them right in the soil—eggshell and all. The eggshell will break down and provide additional nutrients for the plant.
And, you can feel good about reusing those eggshells you might have otherwise thrown away.
How to Start Seeds in (Yes!) Eggshells
Ready to get your eggshell garden growing? Follow these easy steps.
What you’ll need:
- Egg carton
- Small spoon
1. Save your eggshells
You have two options to save your eggshells:
- Save your eggshells as you use the eggs
- Crack all of your eggs at one time and save the yolks and whites for later
I saved my eggshells in an empty carton as I used them. Then, I planted my seeds after I had 12 eggshells. Either way works!
2. Crack them correctly
Don’t crack your eggs all willy nilly. You want to leave a majority of the eggshell intact.
Here’s how to crack your eggshells:
- Tap a spoon near the top of the egg. This will split the egg into three quarters and one quarter instead of half and half
- Save the three-quarter section of the eggshell to start seeds
- Compost the rest
Rinse your eggshells and let them dry.
3. Add drainage holes
Poke a few holes in the bottom of each eggshell for drainage using a needle.
4. Fill with soil
Fill your eggshells almost to the brim with organic gardening soil.
5. Add your seeds
Using a pair of tweezers, insert two seeds into each eggshell.
You want to plant two seeds in case one of them doesn’t grow. If both seeds sprout, you can pinch off the weaker seedling.
Follow the directions on the seed packet to determine how deep to place the seed into the soil.
6. Give your seeds some TLC
Keep the soil moist and set your eggshells in a sunny windowsill.
In a few weeks, your baby seedlings will sprout. (Look on your seed packet for specific information on days to germination.)
7. Transplant to your garden
When you’re ready to transplant your seeds into the ground or into a container, crack open the bottom of each eggshell to free the roots. Then, place the plant and eggshell into the soil. Leave the eggshell because it will biodegrade and add nutrients to the soil.
I planted heirloom tomatoes, carrots and lettuce seeds in my eggshells.
Now to tackle that rocket ship.
Have you ever planted seeds in eggshells? How did it work out for you? Share in a comment below.