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10 Ways to start seedlings for your garden: DIY Seedlings

Since I grew up around gardens every year, it isn’t surprising that I find myself with 10 Ways To Start Seedlings For Your Garden that are all useful, easy and varied enough to suit just about any need.

I have seen seeds put directly into the ground after watching it being tilled. I have taken part in afternoons planting seeds in cups, egg cartons and shoe boxes. There are numerous ways to start seedlings for your garden. Here are some DIY Seedlings options for you to try

Paper Cup Method

We all grew up with Dixie cups in the bathroom. They are the perfect size to start seedlings for things like tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and other common vegetables grown in your garden. Simply add soil to each cup along with seeds. Mark the cup with what plant it is, and water. Make sure to put in sunlight and keep from freezing temperatures. In a few weeks you have a perfect seedling ready to plant in your garden just by shifting out of the cup.

Mini Greenhouse

There are various methods of creating a mini greenhouse. One of our favorites is to simply grab the inexpensive seed starter kits and use it. They come with a tray full of soil that you add seeds and water to. On top is a clear plastic lid that attaches and creates a greenhouse effect. Perfect for teaching kids all about plant life cycles! Check out all the options available on Amazon

We opted to grow our organic seeds in a mini greenhouse this time around.. We’ve already planted them in the ground and they are doing wonderful (SO far!)

Egg Carton

Another DIY seedlings option is to use Egg cartons which have long been a great place to start seedlings. These work best for plants that you can plant a bit earlier since they won’t have as much support or be as deep for root growth.

Egg Shell

This is an even better method for small plant seedlings. Simply crack the egg leaving at least half the shell (preferably more). Add soil, seed and water. When it is time to plant them , you can easily crush the egg shell into the soil of your garden to act as added fertilizer. Easy and effective!

Window Box

Window boxes are great for creating herb gardens, but they are also a nice place to start your seedlings. To do the planting simply add soil and the seeds and water. It is a bit harder to transfer from these, but still a great choice and easy to manage.

Homemade Greenhouse

Whether you use one of the many tutorials online for using PVS and plastic to build your own large outdoor greenhouse, or you simply use clear plastic take out containers to create miniature greenhouse environments, you can easily whip up your own homemade greenhouse in no time and plant your seeds.


If you need to start seedlings and grow fast – you can invest in a hydrofarm or hydroponics system. This tends to get a bad rap because it is often associated with growing non vegetable substances, but it is a great choice for those who are serious about gardening but don’t have the climate to handle growth.

Recycle Plant Cups

If you purchased seedlings in the past, simply pull those plastic cups out and put them to use for your new seedlings. Keep them year to year and you can have a ready made seedling starter kit at no expense to you.

Styrofoam Cups

While we aren’t typically fans of Styrofoam for environmental reasons, if you already have them you might as well put them to use. They are sturdy enough to hold up to larger plant growth, and they are easy to reuse time and again in your diy seeds planting projects.

Water Only Germination

There are a multitude of seeds that you can sprout in water only. While this is a bit messier method, it is still very popular. Check into the plants you plan on putting into your garden and see if any would fit this. Building a garden this year doesn’t have to be tough when you have so many great ways to start seedlings for your garden! How are you growing your garden this year?! 

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  1. Patricia

    April 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Just a note here, and it can be checked out online, the Choctaw Nation now has the machine that recycles styrofoam. Just thought id share that information. Im not sure if anyone else does it, but the res does it in oklahoma.

    • Josie

      April 22, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      thanks Patricia!

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