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I’m a gardening expert and here’s 5 items that usually go in the recycling that you can turn into seed trays – there’s no need to fork out on expensive products


With the warmer weather slowly creeping up on us as the days become longer, before you know it will be time to pick up your trowel and get into the garden.

Gardening equipment can sometimes be costly, however you don’t need to shelf out a fortune to grow plants and vegetables in your back garden. 

So those with budding green thumbs shouldn’t be deterred from making a start on their leafy paradise – as all it could take is an old egg carton.

Gardening expert, Amy Chapman from Carmarthen, has taken to TikTok to share how you can save items from landfill and use them to make a start on your blossoming garden.

Here, FEMAIL takes a look at the five items you can reuse as seed trays so that you can get your food flourishing ahead of summer… 

UK gardening expert, Amy Chapman, has taken to TikTok to share the five food packaging items you can save items from landfill and use them to make a start on your blossoming garden

UK gardening expert, Amy Chapman, has taken to TikTok to share the five food packaging items you can save items from landfill and use them to make a start on your blossoming garden

1. DRINK CARTONS 

According to the gardening pro there are a myriad of different items that you already have that can be used to sow your seeds, with even drink cartons proving handy.

‘You don’t need much  to start a garden you can reuse things you already have to sow your seeds,’ the gardener told her TikTok following of 53,100.

‘Drinks cartons like this oat milk one make great seed trays. Just cut a rectangle out of one side, saving what you removed for later.’

She then instructed gardening hopefuls to create a few holes on the opposite side so that the water from the seed tray could drain. 

Whilst packing the container with soil, she explained a carton makes a perfect seed tray for micro-greens, so she opted to fill hers with fenugreek seeds. 

Finishing off the seed tray, she added: ‘To block out the light I’m covering them with the rectangle I cut out earlier.’

2. PLASTIC VEGETABLE CONTAINERS 

Another common piece of packaging that often goes to waste is the plastic containers vegetables are sold in. 

Amy explained that these work well for a myriad of seeds because of the space usually available.

Similarly to the milk carton, the gardener advised poking holes in the bottom of the packaging before filling it with soil, so that the water doesn’t become trapped and drown the plant. 

‘You could sow so many different types of seeds  in this container but today I’m just sowing lettuce seeds,’ she explained.

Milk cartons are a great item to reuse, especially for micro-greens such as fenugreek seeds, according to the gardening enthusiast

Milk cartons are a great item to reuse, especially for micro-greens such as fenugreek seeds, according to the gardening enthusiast

3. EGG CARTONS 

Next up on Amy’s list of reusable items that can be easily transformed into seed trays are old egg cartons.

The gardening enthusiast described the packaging as ‘great’ to use as a seed tray because they are compostable.

Unlike the previous reusable items, you don’t need to stab holes in the bottom of the egg cartons because of its compostable properties.

‘Herbs like coriander work well for this and once they’ve grown to a good size I can plant out each section of the egg carton straight into the garden,’ Amy said.

4. TOILET ROLL TUBES 

According to Amy, you can also use something as simple as toilet tube as seed trays in your garden.

Stacking six vertically in a tray, you then fill each cardboard tube to the brim with compost.

A seed tray of this kind works well for vegetables like sweet peas, the gardening pro says, as they allow plenty of space for the plant to grow deep.  

So next time you finish your loo roll, how about saving it as a potential seed tray instead of immediately throwing it in the bin. 

The content creator also says egg cartons are also a great option for seed trays as they are compostable - so no need to poke holes in the bottom for drainage

The content creator also says egg cartons are also a great option for seed trays as they are compostable – so no need to poke holes in the bottom for drainage

5. PLASTIC BOTTLES

Finally, the last item on Amy’s list for alternative seed trays are old plastic bottles.

When you pick up a big 2 litre bottle from the shop, seed tray are not the words that immediately pop to mind.

However, the green thumbed content creator swears by it, adding that this type of seed tray is excellent for rapidly growing plants or for replanting seedlings elsewhere at a later date.

Explaining on how to transform the old plastic bottle, Amy advised: ‘Cut your bottle in half, remove the lid and then fill the top half with compost.

‘Insert the top half of the bottle into the bottom half to use it as a stand and to catch any drips.’



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