Seed Starting Guide: Quick Tips for Starting Seeds Successfully

I raise a lot of seeds and thought it might be helpful for beginners. These are some tips for those who struggle to raise 'plant babies'.
When growing edibles I always start with organic, heirloom and my own saved seeds so there's no chemical nasties. Fungicides are sprayed on many brands of seeds to prevent rodents and insects from tucking into them during storage. So choose what you buy carefully!
If your seed packet date says it has expired - don't throw the seeds away! If you've stored them well, a percentage are likely to still be viable. These are some ways you can use old seeds up.
If your budget doesn't extend to new trays or seed raisers, try repurposing everyday kitchen containers like plastic punnets that berries come in. The lids often have ready made holes - perfect mini greenhouses.
Toilet roll & egg carton seed raisers
Another sustainable option to save money & avoid landfill is to reuse your toilet rolls, egg cartons and paper towel rolls as seed raisers. Kids love decorating them. I give them a pair of scissors once the seeds are sprouted, so they can enjoy a healthy snack while giving their baby plants their first 'haircut'. I've found if they grow it, they eat it!
A quick summary of some of the main tips I use to raise seeds successfully. I go into more detail with step by step instructions and pics on the blog post.
The Micro Gardener - Anne
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 11 comments
  • Edie Edie on Aug 23, 2017
    I tried this about three years ago and the tubes ended up getting moldy almost right away. It's a great idea for keeping things inexpensive, but it didn't work for me that round.

    • DJK DJK on Dec 13, 2018

      Sprinkle some cinnamon on the soil, it works as an antibacterial, and make sure extra water can run out of the carton.

  • Mary Mary on Apr 01, 2020

    I have been saving toilet paper rolls/paper towel rolls for the last 5 months to be able to plant seeds in them. Now I am afraid that the tubes will get moldy as Edie stated. How can I prevent mold from forming, other than watering them only when the dirt is dry?