What You Need
- Drill or Sharp Metal Object (letter opener)
- Egg crate
- Potting Soil
- Vegetable Seeds
1. Creating Drainage
The first step to creating a potting carton is to create drainage for your seeds. To do this, simply drill a hole (I used a 3/8" drill bit) in each egg holding pod. I've found that with Styrofoam cartons the "leaflet" stays attached, but for plastic there are flakes that come off (so do it over a garbage can).
2. Fill with Soil and Seed
All-purpose potting soil works fine for starting seeds. While some guides recommend putting seeds in the refrigerator for a couple days before seeding, I've found that planting them immediately from the store works fine. The easiest method I've found is to fill each egg section 4/5 of the way with soil. Add a couple seeds to each pod, and then add a thin layer over the seeds to bring it to full.
3. Water and Place Strategically
Soak thoroughly with water and place in a warm spot in your home near a heater vent or radiator and water every other day. Again, some guides say to use warm water; however, cold water out of my tap has worked just fine.
Once the seedlings have germinated, you may consider thinning each pod so that there are only 2-3 seedlings per pod.
After the seedlings have formed a couple sets of true leaves, they can be individually potted, but don't place outdoors until all danger of frost has passed. Once you're ready to plant, simply dig a small hole, place so that the dirt levels are the same as before, and water thoroughly to force out any air bubbles and let the soil settle.
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(Images: Trent Johnson)