Starting Seeds in Egg Cartons

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My son has kept a sunflower seed he found in his room for months in hope of planting it in the ground.

He has gotten his love of growing this from his mom, I guess.

Every January the false spring of January here in SoCal teases me for what gardening I could be doing. This year, with no chance of a freeze in sight, we are off to a start just a little bit early to cash in on the early growing season.

So, along with a whole packet of fresh new sunflower seeds being guarded carefully by my four-year-old ready for this weekend, we started our annual vegetable garden on Monday by starting lettuce from seeds- in an egg carton.


To start seeds in an egg carton you need:

–          Egg carton

–          Toothpick or other sharp object

–          Potting soil

–          Seeds

–          Helpers (optional)

Cut off the lid and flap of the egg carton and recycle or reuse in another way.


Take a toothpick and poke holes in each section of the carton, making drainage holes for the plants.

Fill the sections most of the way full with potting soil. Give it a pat to even out the lumps.

Poke a small hole in each section of dirt with a little finger and put in a couple seeds in each of the holes.

Cover the tops with more soil and tuck everyone in nice and gently.


Water your little egg carton garden. This will help remove any air pockets and give thirsty seeds a drink.

Keep cartons inside in a warm spot by a window or outside if you are also experiencing a very warm winter.

In a couple weeks you will have seedlings! Be sure you are watering every one to two days- you don’t want the soil to completely dry out and hurt your tender little seedlings. Thin out seedlings as needed.

After there is no more chance of a frost, you can take the plants out of the container for planting or cut apart the paper carton and the plant and its little ‘pot' in the ground – the paper will disintegrate in the soil.

Enjoy your new plants!

Which do you prefer- starting from seeds or starting with plants?


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3 thoughts on “Starting Seeds in Egg Cartons”

  1. I always try to start with seeds, since I fear that if I start with plants, I will kill the plant before I get to enjoy it. I’ve killed plants I just bought in the past, so I definitely prefer starting from seeds.

  2. I need to do that more- my parents owned a plant nursery so I always took home the ugliest plants to help get them sold. Sometimes just an extra year and good trim made all the difference.

  3. I purposefully saved an egg carton over the weekend just to do this! We always plant seeds in the planter out front and then I forget about them. haha

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