Homesteading Hacks #2 – No Pots for Seedlings? No Worries!

Do you have a whole lot of seeds and nothing to grow them in? Look no further than your own recycling bin!

By Megan Cassidy

As we’re all staying home a lot more now, you may be noticing an increase in your rubbish and recycling bin volumes. Don’t despair though, because there are many containers in there which can do the job of raising seedlings very nicely. Plus, there’s the added bonus of reusing some of the plastics that are very hard to avoid because most of our essential foods come in them. Properly washed out, most containers can still be put back into the recycling stream when they’ve finished moonlighting as pots!.

When we looked around for solutions to our pot shortage, we found several milk bottles. They’re food safe, robust, and not too big. It’s a cool little project to do with the kids on the weekend, as all you need for this hack is an adult with a steady hand, and a sharp knife or strong scissors.

Plastic milk bottles cut in half

1. Use the knife/scissors to cut the bottle in half (lid off).

2. Cut crosses/holes into the bottom of the bottle for drainage.

3. Fill with seed raising mix.

4. Plant your seeds (not ones that say they must be sown directly into the ground!)

5. Place in a warm sunny position. A greenhouse is great if you’ve got one, but our front porch is north facing and the brick wall provides a nice heat source to keep the temperature more even, plus it’s somewhat protected by the eaves.

6. Water every day or enough to keep them moist.

New seedlings ready to plant out

7. Enjoy planting out your seedlings!

If you don’t have milk bottles, or a sharp enough knife, consider using plastic strawberry punnets. They have built-in drainage holes and even their own mini glasshouse cover! You should take the lid off once they start to get bigger, but in terms of germination, we’ve had good success with them in the past. Same goes for bigger fruit containers, minus the lid.

What to do with all those toilet rolls you’ve got? You can create a single plant pot! Just bend one end so that you can fill it with soil, and put it in a bigger container to keep it standing up. Plant the seed, and when the seedling has grown big enough, put it all in the ground, as is.

What other containers do you have in your recycle bin that could be turned into seedling pots? Let us know in the comments!

So get out there and sow your winter veggie seeds now, and have the joy of picking and eating your own food in just a few weeks or months time!