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With the next gardening season always approaching, it’s constantly time to plant the next batch of seeds for our next crops, so it’s time to learn some of the best DIY seed-starting ideas.

Unless, of course, you don’t mind shelling out extra money for pre-started plants each time you want to plant something in the garden.

That’s why knowing the best tried and true DIY seed-starting ideas are more than worth knowing for any gardener.

Read on below and explore 13 of the very best tried and true DIY garden ideas for starting seeds!

1. Sew Seeds in Soil on Plastic Starter Trays (From the Store)

A DIY seed starting idea: plastic seed trays filled with potting soil mix and small green seedlings.
Idea shared by homesteadandchill.

One of the easiest ways to plant seeds, indoors or outside, is in plastic seed-starting trays and a bit of potting soil or organic compost.

Thankfully, just about every big box store like Walmart, Home Depot, and even the local Kroger or Safeway carry plastic seed starter trays during seed planting seasons.

2. DIY Seed Starting in Carefully Prepared Eggshells

Eggshsells in an egg carton; the eggs have rich brown potting soil in them with small green seedlings.
Idea shared by balconygardenweb.

A clever DIY seed-starting idea that is also practically free (you already paid for the eggs and egg carton when you bought them for breakfast) is starting seeds in carefully prepared egg shells.

The trick is to only crack and remove the top quarter to a third of the egg shell, the rest of the shells must be intact so it can hold soil and seeds.

3. Use Toilet Paper Rolls as DIY Seed Starters

A DIY seed starting idea: recycled toilet paper rolls filled with dark potting soil mix and seeds and colored popcicle sticks for plant markers.
Idea shared by messforless.

Another low-cost to “free” idea for DIY seed starting is repurposing old toilet paper rolls into planters.

The great thing about this idea is practically everyone can do it, and the “planters” are biodegradable.

4. DIY Seed Starting in Coco Coir Planters on Trays

A DIY seed starting idea: seedslings growing in chunky muddy brown dirt in brown biodegradable planters on black plastic grow trays.
Idea shared by sunnyhomecreations.

Whether you buy them or make them yourself, biodegradable planters are one of the best tried and true DIY seed starting ideas out there.

The planters seen above are storebought and can be purchased locally during gardening seasons (from any department store, gardening center, or major retailer).

5. DIY Seed Starting in Old Milk Jugs

A DIY seed starting idea: plastic milk jugs that have plants growing in them; the jugs are cut in half, one part as a pot and the other as a lid.
Idea shared by preen.

If you live in the United States, chances are you buy milk for your household. Further, your milk probably comes in a plastic jug, whether it’s a gallon or half a gallon.

These plastic milk jugs make a perfect DIY seed starter that lasts for several gardening seasons.

6. Use Old Plastic Bottles and Jello Cups as Mini-Greenhouses

Water bottles cut in half, the top flipped upside down and stuck in the bottom half of the bottle, with soil in it and a jello cup upside down on top of the bottle as a lid withsmall green plants and humidity visible inside.
Idea shared by thegardeningcook.

In North America, and other countries that consume jello and pudding in little plastic cups, gardeners can use old plastic water or soda bottles in tandem with the used jello cups to make greenhouses.

Very few DIY seed-starting ideas work as amazing for starting seeds as this one.

7. Plant in Raised Beds Covered With Cheese Cloth

A light rose color painted raised bed with plants strung off to one side and seeds planted under four sqaure cheese clothes on the other side.
Idea shared by annieskitchengarden.

If you have raised beds in your garden, you may always opt for sewing seeds directly in the soil and covering them with pieces of cheesecloth or kitchen towels.

The covering keeps more moisture trapped in the ground, and filters some of the sunlight, helping seeds germinate faster.

8. Use Old Produce Containers as Miniature Greenhouses

Tangles of small green seedlings growing in old salad containers as DIY miniature greenhouses.
Idea shared by hgtv.

If you buy a lot of pre-made salads, or fresh produce like strawberries, cherry tomatoes, or grapes, you may have a few extra plastic containers with lids lying around the house.

If so, all you have to do to make this tried and true DIY seed starting idea work for you is add soil, seeds, water, and sunlight.

9. Make Mini-Greenhouses With Cake Pans and Lids

A DIY seed starting idea: three cake pans or seed trays with seedings sprouting and growing under clear cake pan lids as greenhouses.
Idea shared by media-cache-cd0.

If you have a cake pan that comes with a lid, you have a mini-greenhouse at the ready.

Likewise, you can pick up a few plastic seed starters and throw lids over them for the same effect.

10. DIY Seed Starting in Classic Soil Blocks

A DIY seed starting idea: several dozen dark black soil blocks with seedlings sprouting on a white seed tray under an indoor growlight.
Idea shared by thegardenersworkshop.

Classic soil blocks is another excellent way DIY seed starting idea if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty.

All you need to invest in for this idea is a bit of potting soil or organic compost, and a block mold to make the soil blocks with.

11. Plant Seeds in Styrofoam Cups in Plastic Totes

A DIY seed starting idea: four clear totes filled with two dozen white cups of dirt with seedlings growing out of them, outdoors in the sunlight, with gravel and pebbles surrounding them.
Idea shared by morningchores.

If you don’t want to recycle materials, head to the store and pick up a few sleeves of styrofoam cups and totes.

This easy tried and true DIY seed starting idea works well indoors under grow lights or outdoors.

12. DIY Seed Starting in Paper Mache Planters

A kitchen blender that is ready to create a paper mache paste for molding DIY seed starting planters.
Idea shared by My Home Style on Pinterest.

Paper mache molds are one of the easiest methods for biodegradable seed starters.

You can make these DIY seed starting planters for practically nothing at all.

13. DIY Seed Starting in Self-watering Trays (Under Grow Lights)

Two shelves of plastic seed starting planters growing seedlings under several indoor hanging grow lights.
Idea shared by MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

If you have the time and money to do so or are already growing indoors, the easiest tried and true DIY seed starting method is using planters and grow lights.

Mounted or hanging grow lights work best if you plan to start dozens to hundreds or thousands of seeds each growing season.

Which DIY Seed Starting Ideas Are Best For You?

We hope that with all of the amazingly cheap and easy tried and true DIY seed starting ideas above, you will have zero issues picking the best way to start your seeds this growing season.

Do you have a favorite method for starting seeds that you’d like us to add to our list? Let us know about it below!

If not, feel free to leave us a comment explaining which of these seed starters is your favorite way to start seeds for your gardening needs and why!

Suggested Reading: Starting How to Grow Seeds With Sponges

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