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trinda storey
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Location: kent, washington
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i was listening to an old episode of jack on the survuval podcast and he mentioned using eggshells as seed starting containers. i tried this but the soil dries out really quickly. has anyone else tried this method?
 
Amit Enventres
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Location: Ohio, USA
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Never used egg shells. Used egg cartons, but I felt it had the same problem in drying out. I used toilet paper rolls. That worked okay. cut in half I thought was better. The Jiffy cups are awful. The net does not decompose (despite the advertising). I am sheepishly using the pre-form compostable cups from the local store right now because they decompose and keep things so organized! I am thinking of switching to open flats or plastic boxes because then I can densely plant, thin, and keep organized, but I don't know what will work best. Good luck!
 
trinda storey
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Location: kent, washington
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the thing about using the eggshells is that all you have to do to transplant them is crush the shell into the ground and that also adds calcium to soil. it must be something to do with the carton, i use the carton as a tray to hold the eggs, maybe the it just absorbs all the moisture.

thanks for the tiop about the jiffy ones i was looking at those as well.
good luck to you too! i will keep posted if i find a good solution.
 
Tobias Ber
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Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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hey... i make containers from plastic trays/flats. in our supermarkets meat is sold in sealed plastic trays.
they often come the same size, so i can make small holes into one and put it into another. reclaimed clear plastic from packaging could serve as mini-greenhouse.

you can make pots from newspaper: http://www.gardenbetty.com/2011/03/how-to-make-recycled-newspaper-pots-for-seed-starting/
when you make them, wet the end of the paper strip, so it glues. then wet the floor (hmm... that might have more than one meaning ...). wet the floor of the pot, fold it over and compress it with the can unto a solid surface. i made some, they are quite strong, but did not test them with soil and plants. but it looks very promising by now.


when seed starting i prefer more soil to buffer more moisture.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 437
Location: Ohio, USA
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The newspaper ones look a lot like the toilet paper roll ones. The problem I have with the small free-standing cups is toppling over and breaking. I plant early and tend to carry my flats in and out of the house on a weekly basis. When they topple over real easy I get annoyed. Perhaps the advantage newspaper will have over toilet paper rolls is they can squish to square shape. You may also be able to take strips of newspaper and link them together for more stability. This means they can do a better job of supporting each other and lining up in a row, which I find important being a seed-saver and grower of hot and mild small peppers. I may have to give this a try next year! Thanks Tobias!
 
Tobias Ber
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amit, these are good ideas!

have you thought about building trays from scrap wood? with a high rim that will support the cups?
 
Jessica Padgham
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Location: Denver, Co 6000ft bentonite clay soil
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I've used newspaper pots. They pack together nicely which keeps them stable and slows drying. I like to use a spice jar or pill jar to make really small pots for some things. The ability to choose your size based on your needs is a plus. One thing to note is that when you plant things out sometimes you need to tear off or fold over the upper rim so it isn't sticking out of the soil and wicking away moisture.
 
Amit Enventres
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Location: Ohio, USA
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Good idea for drier climates. Certainly differences in soil type and shrink/swell nature of the mix versus surrounding soil can cause problems. Covering the whole seedling with a sprinkle of straw or a few tree branches as canopy helps with transplant shock and lowers the swings in wet/dry on the top layers of soil where the young plant is trying to get a grip in. Also, when I can, I try to bury the seedling deep to help with that (like tomatoes up to their first leaves). Some people will also apply mulch close to the plant, but not in contact with the plant stem.

Also, yes - I have considered cutting up pallets for wooden trays. Then, lining with a plastic garbage bag or some sort of water-proofing preserver. This would be sturdy, the right height, and look a lot prettier (in my opinion). The only thing I am worried abut with this is rot and leaks. I keep my seedlings above a book shelf sometimes.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
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It seems like it might be worth trying to use the egg shells as a seed starting pot if you maybe left them in a paper egg carton or even the large paper egg trays like you would get from a five dozen bulk egg purchace (i.e. Costco, etc) and filled a plastic seed starting tray with the paper egg carton/tray, put the shell seed pot in those, then soaked the paper kind of like bottom watering. I bet enough moisture would make it through the egg shell to keep the soil moist, but not sopping wet. Could be worth a try....for tiny stuff though, that's a small pot!
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Amit Enventres wrote:Perhaps the advantage newspaper will have over toilet paper rolls is they can squish to square shape.


So will the toilet paper rolls. Squish them flat in one direction, then the other. I squish them flat to save space while I'm collecting them anyway.

Because I put the seedlings out pretty fast after sprouting, I cut the rolls in thirds. It saves potting soil and gives me more containers. If I had a grow light or better light than a tiny window (that *really* needs to be cleaned), it would be worth it to keep the plants inside longer and they would need more room for roots. But at just a couple of weeks old any more container height is just a waste.

Last year I made a bunch of the paper pots as well. Once you get into the rhythm of making them they go pretty fast. I didn't like how fragile they ended up, but they were more resistant to a mold issue.
 
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