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10 Seed Starting Pots Made from Recycled Materials

10 Seed Starting Pots Made from Recycled Materials

Those of us in the northern hemisphere who are fairly green-thumbed and happiest when digging in the dirt have probably begun to plan this year’s garden by now: sketches have been made, seeds have likely already been ordered, and although the soil will still be too cold to plant in directly for another 8 weeks or so, we can get a head start on our veggies and herbs by starting our seeds indoors. There’s no need to go overboard and spend a fortune on fancy starter kits or designer seed starting pots; all that’s needed is some potting soil, seeds, and whatever you may have lying around the house.

1. Folded Newspapers

Newspaper Seed Pots

    This is one of the most eco-friendly started pots imaginable: newspapers can be found pretty much everywhere, and a few simple folds are all that’s needed to create perfect little pockets for nurturing your seeds. Once folded, fill the pots with soil, pop in your seed(s), water, and place in a sunny spot.

    2. Cardboard Egg Cartons

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    Egg carton planter

      One of the most common ways to grow seedlings is to use a cardboard egg container. Just fill each individual egg cup with soil, drop a seed or two into each section, and water. You just have to make sure to keep these well-watered, as the cardboard tends to suck up a great deal of moisture over the course of the day, and dry soil = dried-out seedlings.

      3. Egg Shells

      Egg shell planters

        After you’ve cracked an egg or two open for your favourite omelette, don’t compost or throw them out immediately! If you’ve broken them in such a way that the shells are mostly intact (like, if you’ve just peeled the tops off for a soft-cooked egg breakfast), just wash them gently with soap and water and let them dry. Fill them with soil, pop a couple of seeds into each one, tuck them back into their carton(s), and water them well. You won’t have to remove the shells to transplant the seedlings; just crack the bottoms open for the roots to grow out from the bottoms.

        4. Jars

        Empty baby food jars are ideal for this purpose, but any clean glass jar will do. Once you’ve used all of the contents, wash the jar thoroughly with dish soap and water, and be sure to rinse it well. Let it dry completely. Pour a bit of gravel or some small pebbles into the bottom, and then fill with potting soil.

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        5. Mini Yoghurt Cups

        Those individual yoghurt containers aren’t just perfect little snacks when you’re on the go: they’re ideal for growing individual plants that need a bit of extra root-room. Use them to start sunflower seeds and beans, or herbs such as mint, cilantro, or parsley. If you plan to grow plants in them and not transplant them (like in a miniature windowsill herb garden), then poke holes in the bottoms for drainage and add a few pebbles before you pour in the soil.

        6. Pastry Containers

        Pastry box

          You know those plastic take-out containers with the little pop-slots? Pastries such as croissants, danishes, and such usually come in them, and they just end up being disposed of as soon as the last crumbs have been licked from the bottoms. These containers are perfect miniature greenhouses: fill the bottom portion with soil, plant your seeds, and then just pop the top closed in between waterings: it’ll create a warm, safe, humid environment for your little seeds to flourish.

          7. Paper Cups

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          Paper cup planter

            Unless you’re dragging a reusable cup with you every time you go to a cafe, chances are that each take-out coffee you purchase is served in a paper cup. I like to hope that you’ve been recycling these, but aside from turning them into mulch, you can also use them as planters. Larger cups are great for growing herbs on a windowsill, while smaller ones (like espresso cups) are better for things like tomato seedlings that you’ll be transplanting once the weather warms up. (These are ideal for kids to plant beans in: they sprout so quickly that the kids remain interested, and they can eat the green beans when they grow!)

            8. Cardboard Toilet Paper Rolls
            Toilet roll seed starters

              This one might sound a bit weird, but it actually works: take a toilet paper roll and make a few long vertical cuts into one end, then fold them inwards to create a cup. Fill that with soil, add seeds, water, and you’ll have plants in no time.

              9. Juice Cartons

              Slice the spout tops off, fill with soil and a few seeds, add water and sunlight, and poof! Seedlings. This one is best for those that grow quickly, but will need to be transplanted once they’re about 6 inches tall, like beans, tomatoes, and peppers.

              10. Cans

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              Can seedling

                Strong and sturdy, empty cans are ideal for starting all kinds of seeds. Empty tomato paste cans are great for individual ones, while larger cans like 28oz soup cans are great for mixed lettuces and such. If you want to be cheeky, you can use empty bean cans to grow your bean seedlings, tomato cans for tomato plants, etc.

                Try to use heirloom, organic seeds whenever possible, and never spray toxic chemicals into your garden! If you feel the need to fertilize your plants, use organic compost, ground eggshells, or “compost tea”. Save your seeds when they’re ready to be harvested, and you’ll be able to grow your own food for years to come.

                Reference Guide

                growing with plants

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                  Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                  How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                  How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                  Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                  If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                  1. Breathe

                  The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                  Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                  2. Loosen up

                  After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                  Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                  3. Chew slowly

                  Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                  Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                  Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                  4. Let go

                  Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                  The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                  It’s not. Promise.

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                  Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                  Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                  21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                  5. Enjoy the journey

                  Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                  Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                  6. Look at the big picture

                  The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                  Will this matter to me…

                  • Next week?
                  • Next month?
                  • Next year?
                  • In 10 years?

                  Hint: No, it won’t.

                  I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                  Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                  7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                  You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                  Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                  8. Practice patience every day

                  Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                  Final thoughts

                  Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                  Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                  Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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