Planting in Egg Cartons

This year I decided to try a new technique for planting my lettuces and other leafy greens: egg cartons.

I filled a supply of paper egg cartons with sterile gardening soil and planted 2 to 3 seeds in each of the twelve cups. My theory is that as the plants establish themselves they should be able to break through the paper carton and ultimately grow as any other plant would in the garden.

Why bother? Well, it sure was pleasant to sit at my table in the sun planting the seeds rather than crouched over the dirt trying to sow a straight row. As I filled a carton or two, I’d walk them over to my garden bed and immerse them in the soil. A little water and they were good to go.

This technique also gave me control over the quality of the soil that they were started in. I used a Miracle Grow container soil with a small amount of 5-5-5 fertilizer.

Within a week I had signs of spinach and lettuce in the egg cartons, and in another week I’ll thin them out to give them plenty of room to grow.

Only time will tell if this technique will produce healthy plants, so watch for an update later in the summer.


11 thoughts on “Planting in Egg Cartons

  1. hanife says:


    I like you site very much. I live in Edmonton as well and needs to learn a lot about gardening. Just stared with some herbs and easy to grow ones.. Will be following you!

  2. hanife says:

    Ohh yes, will be reading most of them:))
    Can I ask a question? Where could I buy inexpensive soil and manure or other stuff.. Usually go to stores like Canadian Tire but it seem they do not understand that much..
    Thanks in advance!

  3. Laurel Adams says:

    Loved your blog; hope I haven’t discovered it too late, as it seems inactive this year…haven’t found an update to your egg carton lettuce planter. I love the idea: did it produce good lettuce and spinach?

    • My apologies for no follow up. The egg cartons didn’t work well and I’m not sure why, but they needed constant watering and dried out the soil surrounding them quickly. I think if I had planted them deeper it may have been more successful.

  4. Hi there, Great tips by the way and thank you. I did have a question though.
    I’m hoping you can answer it for me since you seem to be pretty knowledgeable about gardening.
    Are there any herbicides that will kill grass and/or weeds, but will not kill flowering or succulent plants or herbs?
    If you had some insight I would greatly appreciate it.

    • There are herbicides that kill broadleaf plants (dandelions and the like) while sparing grass and there are herbicides that kill everything, but I don’t know of any that magically kill “weeds” while sparing “herbs, etc.” unfortunately herbicides don’t know the difference between a dandelion and some basil. That’s why weeding the garden is such a chore, you have get down and pick out the ones you don’t want. If you keep on top of it and don’t let the weeds go to seed then each year gets a little easier.
      My brother used to use RoundUp and a little paintbrush to paint the leaves of the plants he wanted to kill while sparing the rest. That’s always seemed like more work than just pulling them.

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