Gardening Homesteading Nature Study Our Backyard Book

Try These 6 Ingenious Seedling Planters!

Seedling planters tend to overrun our sunny window ledges and counters around this time of the year. And they come in all shapes and sizes. My teen gardener has experimented with quite a few ideas over the years, and I thought I’d share a few of our favorites.

seedling planters

DISCLOSURE: Do you enjoy tips and encouragement you find here on SoulyRested? Would you like to know how you can support my efforts? I may receive monetary compensation for any link to any products or services from this blog. While using these links won’t cost you anything, it will go a long way toward helping me pay the blogging bills. I sincerely appreciate your support; in fact, it’s a huge blessing to me! Thank you! ♥

In New England, a gardener must know how to lovingly court seeds on long, cold winter months if she wants to be engaged in a sweet relationship with the garden on fleeting summer weeks.

A Giveaway to Really Dig!

So we’ve started our garden. Indoors. In some ingenious seedling planters. And I’m so eager for spring, I wanna help YOU get your seedlings started too. So read on to learn how you can enter to win $49 worth of top-quality seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company!

A Disposition for Gardening

My daughters and I inherited our love of tending to the soil from my father. Dad was a good ole southern boy farmer.

In my mind’s eye, he spent every waking moment—of three out of four seasons—in his thin rectangle of a garden that ran along the far side of his postage-stamp, suburban back yard. He didn’t have much patience for my young, careless hands, but he let me work beside him enough that I knew the value of digging in dirt.

When I had a 1-acre piece of land to call “mine,” I immediately turned over large, square corners that were devoted to vegetables and fruits. By the time I had my own daughters with inept toddler hands, my dad’s patience had ripened. He welcomed their clumsy companionship into his haven of soil, seeds, and sprouting greenery.

Sewing More Than Seeds

Each new summer he thought they were just growing that year’s crop together. They’d snap crisp beans off the vines in the hot August sun. They’d quietly watch tender, golden squash mature until a late September afternoon. But Dad was sowing more than seeds; he was sowing a passion in my daughters for growing their own food.

His efforts are still blooming, well over a decade after he first taught them the value of soil packed under their fingernails and the promise of each new blossom discovered on tender stems.

While they soaked in knowledge of Japanese beetle control and plant pruning, my daughters talked to my dad and I about everything–from the insignificant to the monumental (although often they’re really one-in-the-same in the mind of a child). We tended soil and seeds and grew relationships.

As I worked beside my daughters, in Dad’s gardens and our own, I realized we needed to continue adding to Our Backyard Book with all the things we were learning in the garden in the summer. We had started Our Backyard Book as part of our nature study in our homeschool and often added to it all school year long, whenever we discovered a new tree or a new flower we wanted to know more about.

But on summer evenings in the garden we were finding new, unusual bugs. And we wanted to know if they were beneficial or harmful to our crops. The girls wondered about the differences between the variety of green beans we were growing compared to PapPap’s variety. They wondered why PapPap said we couldn’t plant certain crops beside each other and which ones were included in this strange phenomenon of cross pollination.

Robert Brault, an American author, says, “Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden?” I’d also argue, “Why try to just teach your kids about botany and entomology when you can experience these sciences together?”  Then enjoy documenting what you learn.

seedling planters

seedling planters

Our Backyard Book

And if your backyard isn’t big enough for a vegetable garden, or you’ve never had a garden and don’t know where to start, consider just growing a garden in large planters or a few choice flower pots. Enter and win in the giveaway below, and if you wind up with more seeds than you can use, share with friends.

seedling planters

Our Backyard Book

Pull together your own simple family notebook–we call it Our Backyard Book–and experience the miracles while you document them for yourselves.  

I’m in the midst of writing a comprehensive book that will give you all the ideas and resources and printables you could ever need to assemble this treasured notebook about your kids’ nature discoveries, about your backyard, about your garden, about not just garden plants but insects, mammals, trees, birds, and more. Right where you live. Follow along here for the latest updates, so you know when it hits the press!

For now, after you subscribe (just type your email in the box below or the one at the very end of this post), head right to my members-only resource library (I’ll send you the link and your own member password), and print your own Backyard Book identification page to get started.

So my young daughters added a new section to Our Backyard Book that summer long ago, for garden plants, and I designed new blank pages, and one more interest-driven learning experience began. One that’s still going strong today, even in my adult daughters. One I will be forever thankful for.

Scroll down to enter into the giveaway of $49-worth of amazing heirloom seeds! And read on for those 6 ingenious planter ideas you can use this spring to start your own seedlings. In the process, you may plant gardening passions in a child or grandchild while growing relationships on your own little plot of land, or with flower pots on your patio, or reusing citrus rinds in your bathroom…

Seedling Containers

{  Try These 6 Ingenious Planters  }

  1. Paint chalkboard paint  on any old terra cotta pot to create the perfect place to grow your seedlings. Plant, label, and tend to the miracle!
  2. Give disposable cups new life as ingenious seedling planters. You can buy a bag or–even better–reuse your cups from lunch-on-the-go or your morning coffee-to-go.
  3. Keep your old toilet paper rolls for perfect seedling staters. My daughter did this for her corn seeds a few summers ago and it worked well for her. When it’s time to plant, you can place the whole roll right in the ground.
  4. Stock up on plastic cups when you come across them on clearance. We got dozens of Valentine’s themed cups one end-of-February sale for 90% off. (Bonus, their sides emblazoned with hearts remind us of our love for gardening every January when we pull them out of the barn attic to start a new round of seedlings in them.)
  5. Save your grapefruit rind after your juicy breakfast treat is done, and it can house your spring seedlings for a few weeks until it’s time to put them, plant the rind, right into the ground. Citrus peels contain sulfur, magnesium, calcium and more nutrients that provide wonderful compost material for your garden.
  6. Reuse egg shells to start small herb seedings. Like the grapefruit, these provide great compost. Just plop the entire shell and tiny seedling right into your garden.

For the last two, you are a little limited. The grapefruit rind will get moldy if you plant in it too soon before transplanting and, of course, an egg shell is pretty small, so a seedling will quickly outgrow it. While all of these ideas are free (or close to it), and some seem thoroughly ingenious, I have to admit we are partial to the ones that don’t get transplanted in the ground with the seedlings. I know the cardboard, rinds, and shells are biodegradable, but I never feel that in one life cycle they’re truly disintegrated. They seem to hinder the seedling roots from growing in my garden. But I have a feeling it has to do with the shorter New England growing season, or something in my gardening style, because I know other gardeners who rave about these options. Please share in the comments if you’ve had great success with any of these seedling planter ideas!

seedling planters

seedling planters

Many different printable Backyard Book ID pages, as well as other resources, are available in my subscriber library. Share your email with me in the box below, and I’ll send you the link and your password immediately. –>

seedling planters

seedling planters

Dad was excited when my daughter’s first few seed packets arrived in the mail in December–little packets of joy, ready to be planted together. Because he was a southern boy recently relocated to our New England farm, transplanting from seeds was going to be a new experience for him this year. I was curious to find out which type of seedling planter he favored. To his benefit but our huge gaping loss, my father went to be with the Lord on New Year’s Eve, before any seeds were planted. But his passion for working the land and getting dirt under his nails lives on in the rich heritage he planted in myself and my daughters.

seedling planters

seedling planters

seedling planters

“You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth.” Psalm 104:14

A Baker Creek Seeds Giveaway

I’ve teamed up with several bloggers to bring you this giveaway from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. We’re all writing about gardening today, so I encourage you to visit each of their blogs for more gardening fun. We might as well feed that spring fever, right? I know we’re all ready for good weather so we can get our hands dirty once again.


Me, right here at SoulyRested

Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

Michelle at Mid-Life Blogger

Kacey at Rustic Ranch Wife

Angela at The Inquisitive Farmwife

Crystal at Homemade Happiness

Nadine at Making Her Mama

We’re giving away ten packets of heirloom seeds valued at $49, courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds! This giveaway will begin on Monday, Feb 20 at 1:00 am Central Time and end on Sunday, Feb 26 at 11:59 pm Central Time. Open to US and Canada residents age 18 and over. Please note that seed varieties will vary from the photo. Enter below by signing in with your email address and following the directions for each entry. We’ve given you a free entry to start. After completing an entry’s requirement, use your browser’s back button to return to this page and move on to the next entry. One winner will be randomly chosen by Giveaway Tools after the giveaway ends, and we’ll notify the winner with an email sent to the address they used to enter. Winner will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address. If winner fails to respond, another winner will be chosen. We’ll send the winner’s mailing address to Baker Creek Seeds and they will ship the prize package directly.

Some gardening products I love:

| | | | | |

Be sure to check out my Resource Page for even more great gardening, homeschooling, and homesteading products, books, and more!

I’d love to connect! To find me in some other neck of the woods, just click any (or every!) box below:


follow on Pinterest

follow on twitter-2

Copy of bloglovin

Please take a second to follow along here on SoulyRested to catch up on a few of my memorable mishaps, enjoy musings about my centuries-old farmhouse, or glean a little parenting/homeschooling insight from this momma who’s been failing at the effort for almost 2 decades. I hope my focus always helps you Keep it Simple while being Souly Rested on Christ.



15 Comment

  1. I wish we’d lived closer to my parents so my dad could share his love of gardening with his grandchildren. But he shared it with me and I shared it with my children, and told them the story of how I used to garden with their grandfather. I so enjoyed reading your post today, Michelle!

  2. I love these ideas. I love gardening but I’m not half as knowledgable as you sound. The chalk paint plant pots is a fab idea. Thanks for sharing.


    Haven’t entered the giveaway as I wasn’t sure of the logistics and customs being UK based myself.

    1. Thanks Cassie–we do love our chalk paint flower pots! But PHOOEY I didn’t think about the fact that all my friends across the Pond won’t be eligible to enter in this one! It’s only open to the US and Canada… bummer… Sorry about that. 🙁

  3. I love the idea of gardening, having a lovely plant and fruit filled garden. But apartment life just doesnt lend itself to it! some day 🙂 #KCACOLS

  4. I can’t wait to see your backyard book!! My oldest at home is 8 and we are just really digging into nature study!!! So glad your girls have developed a love for gardening and oh those precious memories of time spent with grandpa!! Priceless 💕

    1. And I love it that my British friends call them “loo rolls.” 🙂 Hope your son enjoys the new use for toilet paper rolls as much as he loves watching the seedlings sprout! It really is magical! Thanks for stopping by from all the way “across the pond.”

  5. Great tip on the chalkboard paint and pots. I’m going to do that. I save yogurt and sour cream containers for seed starting. Keeping the cover on while I transport them from the bench to the heat mats or grow lights is easy when I know I won’t make a mess if I drop one. The lid is a good tray under the container if I happen to over water a bit.

  6. Fab post and just in time in my house as we are starting to think about planting up our pots. I love this time of year when I can start thinking and planning for what we are going to do in the garden.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: