Reducing the use of plastic in your garden, as well as around the house, is a good step to take if you want to garden in a more sustainable way. Today, I thought I’d share some of my tips for sowing seeds without plastic.
It’s important to be pragmatic, and sometimes more durable plastic may be needed. Undercover cultivation areas such as tunnels and greenhouses are a notable example; However, wherever we can reduce our use of disposable plastic items, it is worth it. If you’re looking to cut down on plastic when sowing seeds for your garden, here are a few ideas.
Plastic-free seed trays
Nowadays, many people sow seeds in plastic trays. But for alternatives, we only have to look to the past. Traditionally, wooden seed trays were much more common and they may still be a viable solution today. Wooden seed boxes can be made with basic woodworking tools.
Biodegradable plant pots
Plastic plant pots can quickly proliferate in a garden. We should use the plastic pots we already have for as long as possible, but we should try to use biodegradable plant pots for seedlings.
Coconut pots and other biodegradable options are increasingly available. But before you buy new pots, think about what you could use that is already in the house. Tubs of toilet paper, egg cartons and other small cardboard boxes, newspapers, scrap paper, and even eggshells or fruit halves without the fruit can all be made into pots of seedlings for different plants.
Rather than using plastic caps or pots, one can also consider getting rid of the pot when sowing the seeds, with an earth blocker. An earth blocker is a device used to press small blocks of soil or potting soil. These are available for purchase, but again, it’s easy to make a floor blocker yourself.
Nursery beds and direct sowing
When sowing seeds, you may not always need to use seed boxes or starter pots. In certain places and times of the year, direct seeding can and should be considered when trying to get rid of plastic or reduce the use of plastic in your garden. Consider creating a nursery bed or seedbed, either in a designated area of the garden or in a covered grow area or under a cold frame. Young plants can germinate here and be moved to other areas once they are big enough to handle.
Other articles for sowing without plastic
Avoiding plastic pots and seed boxes isn’t the only thing to think about when aiming for plastic-free seedling. There are also other ways to reduce it when sowing seeds. First, you can avoid buying seeds in plastic bags by propagating your own plants at home and looking for seeds that are sold in paper rather than plastic.
Another thing to consider is the tools you choose. Choose garden tools with wooden handles rather than plastic ones. Bells, cold frames and propagators don’t have to be plastic. Using reclaimed glass glazing or other recycled items also works.
Another area where you can do without plastic is plant labels. Use natural or salvaged materials, such as twigs from the garden with a flat section created for tagging, or old pieces of wood or popsicle sticks.
Plastic is everywhere around us, and it’s not always easy to avoid it when you’re gardening. But when it comes to sowing seeds, avoiding single-use or disposable plastics can be easier than you think. We can find a range of alternative solutions to help us garden in a more sustainable and ecological way.