Spouting Made Easy: Start Your Seeds In Egg Cartons

Seed starting takes time and effort. Egg cartons will come in handy if you want to speed up the process without sacrificing the outcome. 

How to start your seeds in egg cartons? We will give you step-by-step instructions right here. Let’s follow our post to give your plants the best treatment! 

Spouting Made Easy: Start Your Seeds In Egg Cartons

Before starting, make sure that you don’t miss anything in this checklist:

  • Cardboard egg cartons
  • Scissors
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Water

The instructions for starting seeds in the cartons are as follows: 

Step 1: Prepare the cartons

Start by collecting the egg cartons. Since drainage is crucial to keep water from accumulating and damaging the seeds, poke some tiny holes in the bottom of the cartons. 

You can also use the lids of the cartons to place underneath the cups. The lids will help catch water. 

Step 2: Plant your seeds

Next, add the seed starting mixture to the cups until they are halfway full. This soilless mix won’t make seedlings sluggish. There isn’t any complaint about its quality, but you may mind the high cost. 

To save money, you can combine potting soil with perlite in a 3:1 ratio. Use light volcanic glass to make the soil less dense. 

Experienced gardens share that not all of your seeds can germinate. So, place two or three seeds in each egg cup. Then, cover the seeds with the soil mix you have created. 

Avoid planting the seeds too deeply by checking the seed packet. It refers to how deep you should place the seeds in the soil. 

Eggshells are another option for this phase. You’ll instead fill the eggshell with the soil mix and place it inside the carton. 

Eggshells make excellent pots because they contain calcium carbonate, a crucial mineral for plant growth.  

Step 3: Water the seeds

Now, water the cups. You need to keep the planting soil moist for germination. Yet, avoid soaking the seeds, or you will ruin them all. 

If the weather is cool, put the cartons in a plastic bag to help them stay warm. Don’t forget to check and water the seeds every day. 

Step 4: Keep the seeds warm

Warmth is the key to seed germination. The soil must maintain an average temperature of at least 70°F. There are two simple ways to achieve this warmth:

  • Put a warming mat under the cartons
  • Place the cartons in warm areas in your home, such as on the refrigerator. 

Do not expose the seedlings to the sun until they reach the height of 1/2 inch. 

You can put your seeds straight into the garden when the time arrives. The egg carton allows you to put it in the ground as it will decompose gradually. 

The plant’s roots will have no issue piercing the material up until that point, so you don’t need to be concerned about that either.

Why Should You Use Egg Cartons For Seed Starting?

If you’re new to gardening or have never grown plants from seeds before, using cartons can be helpful because of these reasons: 

  • A seed tray made from an egg carton is cheap or sometimes free. Since gardening is expensive, it will be important to cut down as many costs as possible. 
  • You can protect the environment by reusing materials. Instead of throwing the used egg cartons away, save them for your gardening project. 
  • The egg cartons have different sections and are small, making them easy to plant seeds in. 
  • An egg carton is simple to set up on a bright windowsill due to its shape.
  • Since the egg cartons are flexible, you can use them as a whole set or cut them into separate cups. 
  • You can easily write on the carton to organize your seeds. 

What Type of Egg Carton Should You Use?

Generally, the primary materials for egg cartons are styrofoam, paper, and plastic. Among the three, paper is the best choice because:  

  • Styrofoam and plastic can’t break down in the soil. Hence, they are not biodegradable options. 
  • Styrene, a composition of styrofoam, is a potential carcinogen. Using it can be a cause of cancer in animals and even humans. 

Tips For Using Egg Cartons to Start Seeds

If you choose to grow your seeds in the carton trays, focus on preserving moisture levels and ensuring adequate illumination. The following tips will ensure you have the highest chance of success:

  • Check the tray regularly to guarantee the potting soil (18- Sheet 1) has the right amount of moisture. If necessary, use the spray bottle to mist the soil.
  • Before transferring seedlings outdoors, harden them off (2 – Sheet 2). Make sure your seeds have hardened off over one week or two. Then, they can adapt to the harsh outdoor light and temperature.
  • Move your seedlings to larger pots when they get taller. 3- or 4-inch nursery pots can help because some plants, such as cucurbits or sunflowers, will quickly outgrow the cups. 

Best Seeds To Plant In Egg Cartons

Eggshells are ideal if you only want to start some plants indoors (especially flowers and herbs) and only have a little indoor room. 

You can’t actually start an entire season of vegetable seeds in eggshells, but some garden-themed projects will work. For example: 

  • Pizza theme: Onion, basil, tomato, and bell pepper.
  • Salsa theme: Hot pepper, cilantro, tomato, and onion. 
  • Burrito theme: Cilantro, onion, black bean, and tomato.
  • Herbal tea theme: Mint, lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, and stevia.


Starting your seeds in egg cartons is an excellent idea because they are easier to use. Moreover, this eco-friendly project will have a positive effect on the environment. 

While planting, remember to pay attention to the moisture and warmth. You will have a rewarding outcome if you put your heart into what you do. 

Thank you for reading! 

For over eighty years the Wightman Family has been growing and selling fruits and vegetables at the farm.