If you have a large garden, starting seeds at home can start to look like an expensive venture. Just think of all those peat pots, peat pellets or seed flats you will have to buy! But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Every year I start over 100 tomato seeds, plus pepper, eggplant, herbs, brassicas, etc. All totaled I probably have close to 500 seedlings inside during the later winter and early spring, and I don’t buy a single pot for them!

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Gather your seeds, mix up your soil, and extend your imagination and get planting. Here’s a list of 20 items you can repurpose for your seed-starting adventures! Click the links to see how other gardeners used the ideas!


20 Frugal Seed Starting Containers



Frugal Gardening Tips: Start your own seeds at home for cheap with these 20 repurposed, seed starting containers.


Recycled Food and Drink Containers

Think of all those containers that come through your house from the grocery store on the way to the recycling. All it takes is a little cleaning out and you are all set to start your seeds. Here are just a few of the food and drink containers you can use for seed starting!

egg cartons

yogurt cups– and anything else in a tub!

wooden boxes from clementine oranges

cut off milk jugs

cut off 2-liter or water bottles

strawberry boxes

salad containers– if they have lids you have an instant mini-greenhouse!

baby food jars

frozen food trays




Recycled Household Items

Household items that are past their prime are also an easy way to collect seed starting containers. Here are just a few of the items you can use.

ice cube trays

muffin tray– or other old cake pans

canning jars of all sizes


Recycled All the Way

Tired of throwing out the toilet paper rolls? Keep some of your recyclables for your gardening efforts!

toilet paper tubes

newspaper pots

reused nursery flats, pots and trays- just ask your local nursery for unused or check freecycle

cardboard boxes- simply fill and plant!

take out containers and cups


Reuse the Food

Food shells and peels make excellent containers for seeds because they are compostable themselves. You can plant them in the ground with the seedling and it will help to give a boost of nutrients!


Photo: Collecting the Moments


egg shells

citrus peels

scooped out avocado shells


So, skip the expensive peat pots and pellets and raid your recycling bin instead! Spend the money you save on more seeds instead!


Check out these other seed starting tips:

5 Tips for Starting Seeds Indoors

4 Seed Starting Problems and How Fix Them