DIY Indoor Seed Starting Ideas
Although it’s tempting to hop into the car, drive down to the nearest garden store, and pick up an array of ready-to-plant flora, there is something magical about sprouting a seed from scratch. This gift of life is much easier to come by than many self-proclaimed “black thumbs” believe it to be. Even now, as you are reading this post, I’ll wager that there is at least one thing within eyesight that could be used as a seed starter.
“Upcycling” is a term used to represent an even deeper step into the mind of the eco-conscious individual. Raw material is wasted when new products are made from the old (i.e. recycling) and that it is possible to repurpose old products and items without having to expend energy to break them down and rebuild them into something new. This could be anything from using your old hair tie to keep together pages of your favorite old novel to using old tires and empty aluminum cans to build a house.
When deciding how to start your seeds, it can help extremely cost effective and environmentally friendly to keep the 5 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose/upcycle, Recycle) in mind. Below are some ways to use common household items and waste to start your seeds off well.
$1 1. Compostable Food Items
Compostable items are usually the best items to start seeds in, since they can be planted directly into the ground once the seeds sprout. Any organic material will break back down into carbon and nitrogen rich compost, which supplies the surrounding soil with these essential nutrients for plant growth. Some examples of this are Egg Shells, Avocado Peels, Peanut Shells, Corn Husks, Seashells, Peach Pits, and Citrus Peels (citrus peels take a very long time to break down and are not highly recommended, as they can also hurt animals if ingested).
$1 2. Compostable Waste Materials & Up/Recycled Items
Up/Recycled items are great alternatives for sprouting seedlings. Items that would normally be directed to external sources is first diverted for a few weeks-months, giving us (humans) a bit more time to deal with our global waste management problem. These are not as eco-friendly as the compostable food items, as many of the papers and cardboards that are compostable are also made with dyes, glues, and other industrial chemicals. In situations where the material is recyclable, but not compostable, it is likely the material is made from either a type of metal or plastic, in which case the roots of your new baby plant will be unable to spread, initially inhibiting growth and eventually killing the plants. It is best to re-plant whatever grows in this category directly into the ground (unless specified organic and compostable). Items that fall into this category include: Coffee Filters, Plastic Bottles, Aluminum Cans, Cardboard, Newspapers, Toilet Paper/Paper Towel tubes, Egg Cartons, Bottle Caps, and Magazines
$1 3. Household Items
Household items are always a great way to get your seeds going without having to put too much effort into it. This is where the true spirit of Repurposing comes into play. All of those old boxes containing gardening gold in the basement, those scratched kitchen items you almost threw away but didn’t because “maybe you would need it one day”, this is where we find our repurposing spirits! These of course always require transplanting babies into the ground, and are therefore not much less work than the other two categories. Some examples of useful household items are: Ice Cube Trays, Old Sponges, Plastic Chinese Food Containers, Votive Candle Tins, Shot Glasses, Old Shoes, and Candle Holders.
Looking for unique ways to spread the message of growth and renewal this season? Check out Bloomin’s line of Seed Paper Products and Gifts, and start sprouting seeds of change today!