Starting Seeds Using Coffee Cups, Egg Shells or Newspaper

It is hard to believe that it almost time to start thinking of planting seeds, but before you know it – spring will have arrived.

Growing flowers and vegetables from seed is both fun and rewarding.  You can ‘cheat’ the weather a little and start planting your seeds before it is warm enough outdoors.

How?  Well, you can plant your seeds in small containers and grow them indoors for 6 – 8 weeks.  Then, by the time temperatures have warmed up enough outdoors, you will have a good head start when your transplant your 8-week old plant out in your garden.

Typically, seeds are planted in spring once the danger of frost has past.  So, if you want to get a head start, then you need to start your seeds indoors 8 weeks before the average planting date for your zone.  Warmer zones (like mine) mean that you start seeds indoors earlier in the year then those of you who live in cooler zones.  You can find out when the best time to plant tomatoes as well as other vegetables and more for your area, by clicking here.

I took a look at the calendar yesterday and realized that I had better get my tomato seeds started.  An early start to planting tomatoes is essential in my garden because the heat of summer stops all tomato production.  So I gathered my seeds and Starbucks coffee cups that I had been saving (along with some other household items that could also be used as plant containers).

I like using saving coffee cups because they make great containers for starting seeds in.  I cut the bottom portion of the cups off using a knife.  Coffee sleeves also work great as containers.  Other household items that you can use to grow seeds inside of are toilet paper rolls (cut in half), egg shells and even newspaper folded into ‘cups’.


If you start your seeds in toilet paper rolls, coffee sleeves, egg shells or newspaper ‘cups’, you can plant the seedling – container and all in your garden.  Any of these containers will decompose in the soil.  When using coffee cups as containers, I don’t plant them in the ground because their waxy coating will keep them from decomposing.  So, I simply cut along the side of the cup and remove it before planting my 8-week old seedlings.

In addition to seeds and containers – you also need a good quality potting mix.  Choose a type that indicates it is suitable for starting seeds.

For step-by-step directions on how to start your seeds indoors, you can read how I started seeds indoors last year, here

I almost always grow my vegetables from seed and tomatoes are especially easy to grow from seed.  I promise to keep you updated as to how they are growing.

How about you?  Do you start your seeds indoors?  What type of container(s) do you use?

For more seed starting tips, check out “Ten Seed Starting Tips”.

  1. Shelly says

    I’ve used yogurt, sour cream or cottage cheese containers. I drill holes in the bottom so there is drainage. This way I can clean them and use them year after year.

  2. Al says

    I plan on using cardboard egg cartons and plant the seed in the empty egg shell. Just the ticket for getting essential nutrients for a faster start! Use a scissors to cut apart and plant the whole thing in the garden.

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