Saturday, March 31, 2012

Eggshell Seed Starter

Jana here with a frugal way to start seeds for your garden!  Although our area of the country has had a warmer than usual Spring, it is still a good idea to start some of your garden seeds early in a starter pot.  You can either keep them inside the house near a window, or in a greenhouse outdoors.  We found a small, inexpensive greenhouse at Tractor Supply that has been working well for our family.  Anytime in the next few weeks is a great time to get your garden seeds started, so they'll be ready to plant in your garden space when the threat of freeze has passed.

Home supply and gardening stores sell seed starter pots, but they are not cheap, especially if you are needing to buy many at all.  We eat quite a few eggs in our house, so we began saving our egg shells. It is very easy to crack the egg towards the end of the shell, leaving you with the majority of the shell as a starter pot!  Once we had saved enough empty shells (we stored them in empty egg cartons to keep them from cracking), we began the process of preparing them for seeds.

First, we made a small hole in the bottom of each shell.  This could be accomplished in a number of ways, but we set a small stone on the ground, and slightly pushed the eggshell on it, making the hole.  This will allow the water to drain through the shells.  Next, we filled each shell with potting soil.  The seeds were planted afterwards, and watered!  Now that we have had them planted for a week or two, we are starting to see plants pop up! 

There are a few things to remember....make sure you watch the seed starters, and keep them moist.  Ours have needed water everyday.  We planted two seeds in some of the shells, with plans to remove the smaller/weaker looking plant once they came up.  If you use the cardboard egg cartons to hold the shells, they will absorb the moisture.  If you are using styrofoam egg cartons, you will need to poke holes in the bottom of the carton to allow the water to drain.

After the plants are large enough to be planted in your garden, you can just place the whole thing, eggshell and all, in the ground!  This will save you lots of money in your gardening!  


  1. I LOVE this! I am totally going to do this with my kids -- perfect for Minnesota when I absolutely must start seeds indoors.
    And your photos? Gorgeous.
    Blessings to you.

  2. No way!! I never would have thought of this one! Thanks a lot!

  3. I've seen the idea to use egg cartons before, but never egg shells. What a clever idea!!! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  4. Joanna VanderkooiApril 2, 2012 at 7:13 PM

    I have done this before, and (this is how pitiful I am) I always feel bad for the little plant I pluck out to grow the stronger-looking one. They are not people, but I always do feel guilty! Sad, eh? :)

  5. If you don't crack the shells when you set them into the ground, the roots will have a hard time finding a place to go out---young roots are too weak to crack through the shells.

  6. We just made these recently. It was less to do with gardening and more to do with an indoor, kid-friendly activity. Here's what we did:

    We put a few grass seeds in the eggshell planters. Then, to make it really fun we drew faces on our eggshells and then after 1 week when the grass grew it looked like hair to compliment the faces. Furthermore for the "female" planters we tied the grass together at the middle to look like a pony tail!!! It was super cute and the kids loved it!!!!

  7. do you have to wash out the eggshell first?

  8. It is not necessary to wash the eggshell, although it wouldn't be a bad idea!