11 Frugal Seed Starting Hacks to Get Your Garden Going

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Can you believe that it is almost time to get out the seeds to start our spring gardens?

Can we all have a collective ‘Yay!’ for just a moment? I’m so happy! I know that winter is really just getting started, but the sight of anything new growing lets me know that spring is’a coming!

But did you know that there are many different hacks that we all should know and take advantage of to make our seed starting experience that much better?

Well, I wanted you to at least know some of the hacks I’ve seen over the years so you could try them out and see which ones worked best for you.

Here are different seed starting methods we all should know about:

1. Paper Mache Planters



Starting your seeds can get really expensive if you buy everything you need to start them.

Well, thankfully, people started getting creative in ways to save money, and they shared their thoughts. Instead of having to purchase a bunch of seed starter trays, you can make your own paper mache seed starter pots.

According to the tutorial, this is a great way to reuse old cereal boxes. But if you have other cardboard boxes on hand you could re-use, then this would be a great way to upcycle items to create new items that you need and save money in the process in too.

2. Grow Under Shop Lights

When I wrote the Morning Chores article about starting your own seeds, I shared then how my husband and I couldn’t afford typical grow lights. They can be quite expensive.

So instead, we found where people were using shop lights to start their seeds. In our area, shop lights were about half the price of grow lights.

Naturally, we tried it out and fell in love with the idea. It worked really well for us, and we’ve used them every year since.

3. T.P. Pots


What do you do with all over your toilet paper rolls? Whether you are tossing them into the trash or the recycling bin, there is still a way that you can upcycle them.

Basically, you’ll save them to plant your seeds in. You just fill the rolls with potting mix and plant the seeds in them.

Then the seeds will grow, and when it is time to plant them in the ground, you can literally put the toilet paper roll and all in the ground. It will then compost and make the soil around the plant that much more vibrant.

So consider starting your seeds in your old toilet paper rolls this year and see what you think.

4. Portable Greenhouse

A portable greenhouse is a really cool idea that I’m going to implement this year when we start our seeds. In previous years, we’d grow our seeds in trays (we used either seed starting trays or aluminum lasagna dishes to start our seeds in), and when it was time to harden them off, we had a greenhouse to do that in.

But we moved this past year and don’t have a new greenhouse up just yet.

So this year, I’m going to have to get creative. Thankfully, there are lots of great ideas on the internet (like this one) where you get clear plastic totes that have lids.

Then you set the plants inside the totes. You can leave the totes outside covered or uncovered, depending on the wind, weather, and what stages the plants are at. You’ll have a miniature and inexpensive cold frame greenhouse.

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