Quick Tip: Save Nursery Containers for Seed Starting Instead of Buying New


recycle planters for seed containers

By Jennifer Poindexter

Do you ever buy plants from a local nursery? Do they come in nice plastic containers which have four to six plants in them? You may even have nice plastic containers only holding one plant. 

Some of these packs (or single containers) even come with nice trays beneath them to provide support. If so, don’t toss these containers out when you get home.

Instead, save them for starting new plants in the future. If you’re purchasing seed-starting containers, here’s my tip to help you save money and upcycle what you have on hand.

Here’s how you can save the containers you get from your local nursery to save money around your garden:

Quick Tip: Save Your Containers for Seed Starting Instead of Buying New

I must admit, when I first started gardening over twelve years ago, I didn’t think outside the box a whole lot.

Instead, I purchased everything I thought I needed. Eventually, the cost began to add up, and though I loved gardening, I wondered why I chose such an expensive hobby!

Overtime, I started looking for ways to save money while still growing a lot of my own fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

One thing I started doing was saving any containers I received from the local nursery when I purchased plants. I even started buying entire discount racks of the “ugly” plants which were extremely discounted.

I practiced on the sick plants to see which I could revive. I also purchased annual plants that I could enjoy in my greenhouse a little longer into the season.

I not only grew my gardening skills, but I managed to create a stockpile of plastic containers that I’ve used for years when starting new plants from cuttings or seeds.

Once the purchased plants died or outgrew their current containers, I’d stack them inside one another until I was ready to start seeds.

It’s important to store the containers out of direct sunlight to help them maintain their quality. By doing this, I’ve managed to keep some of the same seed starting containers for almost ten years.

Another tip to keep in mind is when you begin purchasing discount racks, mainly for the purpose of saving the containers, it’s not unheard of for some retail stores to cut you a break since you’re buying the stock they’d otherwise throw out.

Neighbors may also notice that you start a lot of seeds and might share their plastic containers that they aren’t using. I’ve experienced both of these scenarios which has helped add to my stockpile of containers.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, if the nurseries supply the plastic containers for plants and trays which make them easier to carry, keep the trays as well.

The trays that have a lattice style bottom are great for keeping your greenhouse organized when starting seeds.

Trays with a solid bottom are wonderful if you prefer to water your seedlings from beneath. All of these things may have a use around your seed starting set-up. 

Buying seed starting containers may be necessary in the beginning, as you start your gardening journey. However, if you save the containers of the plants you buy, you should create a nice stockpile to start your seeds.

With proper care, these containers can last a long time while also saving you a bundle in gardening supplies and plants.

More on Starting Seeds

https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1432&title=starting-plants-from-seed-for-the-home-gardener

https://extension.unh.edu/resource/starting-plants-seed-fact-sheet

https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/starting-seeds-indoors

gardening planters in greenhouse with text overlay quick gardening tips saving containers for seed starting

The post Quick Tip: Save Nursery Containers for Seed Starting Instead of Buying New appeared first on Gardening Channel.

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