Ideas for Sustainable Seed Raising Containers for Your Garden, Balcony or Window Sill

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Growing your own veges and herbs is a great way of having access to fresh food. It also helps to reduce your carbon foot print. Here in New Zealand, especially in the North, it is still time to start raising your own seedlings.

In my previous post I listed a few vegan & sustainable options for growing media. There are also sustainable punnet and container options to start raising your own seeds.

Here are a few examples, please feel free to share any additional ideas in the comments. Thank you 🙂

Most of these options require filling with a growing media. Please check my post about sustainable and vegan growing media.

Seeds – Heirloom & Organic

In New Zealand you can purchase from an impressive collection that Koanga Institute offers on their website. Kings Seeds also offer a range of organic and also heirloom seeds. Another two smaller NZ based seed suppliers are Asian Seeds and Eco Seeds.

1. Toilet Paper Roll

If you have empty toilet paper rolls, you can easily transform them into seed raising containers.
Simply cut one end of the roll into approx. 1.5cm long strips. Then fold the strips into the center of the roll and push them inwards.
Be aware that some may unroll and need to be re-positioned. It’s best to have a group tucked together in a tray or dish.
Depending on the growing media, they might dry out quickly. This punnet is suitable to plant straight into the soil where it will break down.

2. DIY Paper Punnet

These bio-degradable DIY paper pots are easily made and a great opportunity to keep you busy during lockdown.
1. Cut and double fold a strip of paper.
2. Wrap it around a small jar, with about 1/4 jutting over the base of the jar.
3. Fold the paper around the bottom of the jar.
4. Carefully pull the paper tube off the jar.
5. Then fold over approx. 1cm of the upper part to stabilize the shape.

Some people prefer to avoid newspaper because of the ink.
In some conditions the paper can become mouldy. I didn’t have problems with it when using it in a hot house.
This paper punnet is also suitable to plant straight into the soil where it will break down.

3. Re-use Old Flower Pots

You might already have a few plastic punnets or pots from purchasing plants or seedlings before. You can also ask at the local flower shop or garden center if they have pots to give away (in my area it’s quite common).
These can be re-used many times.

4. Fair-Trade Coconut Coir Fibre Tabs

A big thank you to Jenny from fuchsteufelsgruen for the beautiful photos of her coconut coir tabs 🙂

Coconut coir is made from coconut husk. It usually comes in blocks or tabs which need to be hydrated prior to planting seeds. It is usually cheaper than seed raising mix but also doesn’t contain the nutrients. It also dries out a bit quicker.
The tabs are mostly suitable for one seedling each. They can dry out quickly, especially when exposed to direct sun.
Make sure to purchase fair-trade coconut fiber. Also, they usually are wrapped in plastic.

5. DIY Pallet Box

You can build your own seed raising box from pallet wood. Free pallets are available from many businesses. They are usually made from untreated wood.
In terms of size, you can adapt it to your own needs. They also work very well for growing your own micro-greens.

6. Peat-free Coconut Coir or Cardboard Punnets

These cute little punnets are made from bio-degradable coconut coir (made from coconut husk) or cardboard. They will break down if planted directly in the soil. But you can also reuse them for several seasons.
They might be wrapped in plastic packaging.

Do you have more Ideas?

I hope this article was helpful for you. If you have any additional ideas and suggestions, please let me know in the comments 🙂

You can also check out my Instagram account where I share pictures and stories from my gardening adventures 🙂

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