My Favorite Recyclables For Seed Starting

Today I am going to share with you some of my favorite recycle items to start a  garden by sowing seeds.  You will find images of my favorite recyclables I use to sow seeds. I hope you get a few ideas on just how easy it really is to grow an edible and flower garden.

Recyclable Seed Starting Containers

I’ve been collecting many different containers to use over the years for seed starting. Most of which I’ve been able to start seeds successfully. If it can be saved and hold water I have most likely tried it in my garden endeavors.  Below are a few that are worth mentioning.

collection of recycles to use in seed starting

Yup… that is a toilet paper roll.  In years past I’ve collect toilet paper rolls as a fun project with my toddler Niece to teach her about recycling and starting a garden. The toilet paper rolls are not recommended unless you are growing something FAST!  The tubes get soggy and fall apart really quickly unless you are starting lettuce or something that grows in 40 days or less.  It was a fun experiment so give it a try!

K-Cups and Produce Containers

k-cup fit great in recycled salad containers

This is my 2nd year I’ve using  K-cups for seed starters.  Fill the K-cup with soil after punching a hole in the bottom for drainage. Set the K-cup in a recycled lettuce container that has a lid. Using the lid in the first few weeks of seed starting works great to keep the moisture in creating a micro-climate.

growing seeds in k-cup

The starter plant is easy to remove from the K-Cup as long as you give it a little squeeze.  In this collection, I grew cardinal climber vine.

climber in a k-cup


 A microclimate is the climate of a small area that is different from the area around it. It may be warmer or colder, wetter or drier, or more or less prone to frosts. Microclimates may be quite small – a protected courtyard next to a building, for example, that is warmer than an exposed field nearby – from From Cornell University 

Jiffy Pellets and Recyclable Container

container by jiffy

This product I’ve been using since 2007 and have had amazing success each growing season.  I believe I started using this exact container in 2007 when I first blogged about the pellets and mini-greenhouse by Jiffy.  The lid is funny… but it works great to start seeds in each year.   You get the same mini-greenhouse effect that I get with my larger lettuce containers I recycled to start seeds in.

Recycled Lettuce Boxes

We started buying the larger boxes of lettuce from the grocery store after a year of growing our own during the spring and summer. Once you start eating healthy varieties you just can’t stop! I keep the containers and use them to make mini-greenhouse ( microclimates) to start my seeds in and house the new plants for the first few weeks of growth.

most fiber cells fit perfect in the salad containers

The fiber seed starter featured above is very cool and fits perfectly in my recycled lettuce containers.  I use the recycled container to create a micro-climate kind of effect by putting the lid on after watering the seeds.

kitchen plastic for the top

If for some reason you lose the lid to the lettuce container or have a nice size plastic container that allows the seed to grow to last east 1″ tall you can always use a plastic wrap over the top to hold in moisture.

home made greenhouse

Be sure to keep the container moist.  If traveling you can add extra water to the bottom of the container/tray, apply the lid and keep it in a low light area for up to a week.  The lid or plastic wrap on the container will help keep the moisture in so the seeds and new plants do not dry out. If you using LED lights in a grow tent be sure to set a timer so you don’t fry those plants!

Let’s Connect

What are you excited to grow this year for your home garden?  I’d love to connect with you so please connect with me on Twitter by clicking the tweet below or visit my contact page to write a detailed comment.
Happy Seed Starting Friends,

Bren Haas

This post was updated on 12/2020

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