Now that you’ve picked the mix you want to try, what kind of container should you use?
Endless choices exist from containers made of peat, newspaper, plastic to no container at all.
Peat pots and newspaper pots are biodegradable options. The soil goes into the pots, the plants grow there for said length up time or until the weather warms up enough to plant them in your garden, and you plant them outside, pot and all. These options are great if you want something that will break down in your garden soil.
You can buy molds to make newspaper pots, but when I make them, I wrap them around a small spice jar and “glue” the bottom and open side with a mixture of flour and water. Once they dry, they last without problems until I plant my baby veggies.
The downsides? In my opinion, peat pots dry out quickly, making them harder to pull apart at planting time. Homemade newspaper pots are a little awkward (because they are round and unattached, they may not always stand up straight), and they take time to make.
Plastic pots(see the picture above) are easy to find and can be reused if you’re careful as you handle them. But they aren’t biodegradable, and if you reuse them, they need to be sanitized so as not to spread soil diseases lingering there. Still, I like to use them, especially if I am growing plants to give to friends.
Last year, I discovered another great alternative. I use it when I’m growing my own plants or plants that will be transplanted later into bigger pots. This method doesn’t use pots.
I use a handy little gadget called a soil block maker, a mold that forms freestanding blocks of soil. In the picture above, you can see the blocks after they’ve been planted. Even when watered, they hold their shape well.
There are several sizes of molds. I like the soil block maker that makes 2” square soil blocks. Most of my veggies grow well in this size, and they can still be planted in a larger container if they outgrow their home before planting time.
What are your favorite seed starting containers? Please share in the comments below.