Egg Carton Indoor Gardening: A Sustainable Journey with 3MomsOrganics

Mar 10 , 2024

Lisa-Jae Eggert

Egg Carton Indoor Gardening: A Sustainable Journey with 3MomsOrganics



In the heart of every home, there's growth potential—not just for us, but for our plants too. Today, we're diving into a simple, sustainable method of indoor gardening that brings the joy of greenery into our lives, with a nod to eco-friendly practices. Welcome to egg carton indoor gardening, a project that's as nurturing to our planet as it is to our souls.

When to Plant and What to Plant

So time your seedlings carefully. It’s important to ensure the weather is warm when the seedlings are transplant-ready! Check your local region’s frost forecast since you can not plant outdoors until there is no longer a threat of frost. Pick plants that grow well where you live. And lastly, read each seed packet for growth and planting guidelines.

Why Egg Cartons and Some Thoughts on Adding Egg Shells?

Cardboard and paper egg cartons are more than just containers; they're biodegradable vessels waiting for a second life. By repurposing them as plant starters, we're not only reducing waste but also creating a micro-environment perfect for seed germination. The compact size and biodegradable material of egg cartons make them ideal for starting your garden indoors, especially when space is limited.

Another green option is to recycle not just the egg cartons, but the eggshells too! The basic method is the same, but instead of filling your carton cups with soil and seeds, you’ll fill eggshells that will sit inside the carton cups. The shell of the egg is composed of calcium carbonate, an important nutrient for growing plants. 

Getting Started

1. Select Your Seeds: Start with something simple. Herbs like basil, cilantro, or chives are great for beginners. If you're feeling adventurous, why not try small vegetables like cherry tomatoes or leafy greens? Flowers can be fun to grow too!

2. Prepare Your Cartons: Cut the lid off your egg carton and set it aside; it will serve as a tray to catch water. Make sure each egg cup has a small hole at the bottom for drainage.

3. Planting: Fill each cup with high-quality, organic potting soil. Plant 2-3 seeds in each cup, following the depth and spacing recommendations on the seed packet. Gently water the soil, ensuring it's moist but not waterlogged.

4. Location: Germinating seeds need to be kept warm. Soil needs to maintain a minimum temperature of 70°F. You could place a warming mat under your seeds, use grow lights, or put them in a warm area of your home like on top of the refrigerator. If your house is cool, you may also want to put them in a plastic bag to keep them nice and warm. Once they reach about a half-inch tall, move them to a sunny windowsill or continue to keep them under grow lights. Seeds need warmth and light to sprout, so make sure they get plenty of both.

5. Seedling Care: Keep the soil consistently moist but not soaking wet.  Check on them daily and water frequently. Your seedlings will feel well-loved if you sing and talk to them as they grow. As your seedlings grow, thin them out, keeping only the strongest in each cup.

6. Transplanting: First and foremost, the threat of frost must be passed before transplanting outside. Please note, you also can’t leave your seedlings in their egg cartons for too long while waiting for the weather to heat up. Seedlings need to be moved to the garden once their roots reach the bottom of the cup. Once they’ve outgrown their carton, it’s time to transplant. Since you used cardboard/paper egg cartons, you can cut each of the 12 cups apart and plant each cup into the soil!  Cut some slits into the bottom of each cardboard cup to make it easier for the roots to expand as the plant grows. The cardboard will disintegrate into the ground.

The Bigger Picture

Egg carton gardening is more than just a hobby; it's a statement. In choosing to repurpose and grow, we're taking small steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle. It's a testament to the power of simple, natural solutions in our lives—a core value that resonates deeply with 3MomsOrganics' mission.

This project is a wonderful way to introduce children to gardening and the importance of sustainable living. It’s a hands-on method to teach them about where food comes from, the lifecycle of plants, and the joy of caring for something and watching it grow.

Closing “Happy Gardening” Thoughts

As we nurture these tiny seeds, we're reminded of the beauty of starting small. Whether it’s gardening, organic living, or making mindful choices about the products we use—every action counts. Let's continue to embrace practices that respect our planet, fostering growth in every corner of our lives.

Happy Gardening can help wash away the Winter Blues, and remember, even the smallest garden can have the deepest roots.






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