Seed Starting Naturally w/ Egg Shells

We have been discussing gardening and how you start your seeds.  Many readers have expressed an interest in lower costs to seed starting.  With this in mind, we bring you a wonderful concept brought to us by Natural Culture on Seed starting simply, naturally, and affordably. Natural Culture has been kind enough to provide us with simple step by step instructions on how to make it happen with some common household items you may already have on hand. This project is great for adults, but also one that children of all ages really enjoy.  It is a great family activity to get everyone involved with this years gardening project.

Egg shell Seed Starters

These biodegradable eggshell planters are perfect for starting seeds!
When the plants get too big for the shells, you can transplant them straight to the soil, shell and all.

Step 1 Materials


Things You will need to start your seeds:

Egg carton
Potting soil & spoon
Awl/needle/pin – anything long and sharp

Optional Items:
Pot & stove
Spray bottle
Egg cups/miniature clay pots for display

Step 2 Prepare the eggshells

Prepare the eggshells

If you eat eggs, then save the eggshells when you use them. If you don’t eat eggs,
ask a friend to save the shells and carton for you.

1. Carefully crack the top third of the egg. You can do this by tapping the egg on the edge of a bowl, or tapping with a sharp knife.

2. Empty out the eggshells completely.

3. Wash the eggshells out well.

Optional step:
If you are concerned about salmonella on the eggshells,
put the empty eggshells in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes.

Step 3 Add drainage

Add drainage

Take the empty eggshell, and poke a hole in the very bottom with your sharp object. If you are using a thin needle or pin, widen the hole a bit with a pushpin or small nail.

This hole provides drainage, so the roots of your plant don’t drown. You only need to poke one small hole; more than one might crack the shell.

Step 4 Add potting soil

Add potting soil
Using a small spoon, fill the eggshell with moist potting soil.


If the potting soil is dry, spray it with water from a spray bottle as you fill the eggshell.

Step 5 Add seeds

Add seeds
Think about the amount of light you have available in your home and garden, and use seeds that will thrive in these conditions. Plant your seeds according to directions. The seed package will tell you how deep to plant the seeds, or you can find this information online.

If you want quick results, try beans or cucumbers – they usually sprout in a few days.

For even more affordable gardening, use seeds that you saved from last year’s crop
instead of buying seeds.
Oh my goodness, seeds are AMAZING!

Step 6 Enjoy!


Display your green treasures!


After you have planted the seeds, you can simply put the eggshell planters back into the carton. The carton provides a stable base with room for drainage, is freecycled and looks cute.

Clay pots:

You can get miniature clay pots, or use eggcups to display the planters.

Mini Greenhouse:

If you want to keep your seedlings extra snug and promote faster growth,
Keep in mind when you do a project like this and you end up with a harvest, you really end up cutting your food costs way down, making eating not only more convenient, and fresh, but also much more affordable.  It is entertaining and enjoyable to watch your plants grow, as well as rewarding to have the bountiful fresh foods a garden provides.  We at are great fans of this project.  We tested it before sharing it with our readers, and love how our seedlings turned out.  We saved quite a bit as the recycled material pots were $1 each which we did not have to spend, nor did we need a seed starter kit which you typically use 1 to 2 at $10 – 20 each for the kit.  We started 72 seeds for the garden which would have been expensive just to get started.  We were helped with our egg shells by letting friends know about our garden and the egg shells we would need.  They were all very happy to help us collect the egg shells making it a community effort.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Ok, that looks so cute! Much better than my little egg cartons with the jiffy pod things. Nice!!

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