Seed starting in silicone A cheap, reusable, Earth-friendly alternative

It’s January in the South, which means time to start seeds. I’m already behind on starting many of my cold season spring seedlings, but I’m less overwhelmed than last year after a successful experiment using silicone molds to start my fall seeds.

After all the work was done last spring–the peat pots purchased, soaked, and seeded, the saved black plastic cell packs carefully sterilized after last season, the broken ones sadly discarded with a sigh and an apology to the planet–I had my yearly bout of frustration and fist waving. THERE MUST BE A BETTER WAY!

And no, it can’t be a better way that requires me making them by hand out of newspaper.

I have replaced a lot of the plastic in my kitchen with silicone over the years, so I wondered if anyone made silicone seed starting containers–that would be genius! No, no one does. I wondered whether I could buy some of the DIY kit and make my own using the traditional black plastic cell packs as molds? That seemed like a lot of work. After ruminating for a while it occurred to me that I could just buy silicone molds at the thrift store and punch holes in the bottom.

How could anyone have discarded this fabulous gem? Their loss!

I tested it this fall with my onion and shallot starts, with tremendous success. The silicone is warmer and and softer than the black plastic cell packs. Write the variety right on it with a Sharpie–it comes off with alcohol or repeated washing. They take up no space, are easy to handle when transplanting, and best of all can be sterilized in the dishwasher.

This fancier 2″ ice cube tray was harder to cut holes in and can’t be cut apart into individual cells. In this case, the cheaper options are perfect.

Ready for seeds and labeling

Happy planting <3

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