Garden Hack: A Citrus Peel Starter Pot For Seedlings

This is one of those desperation is the mother of invention moments.

I recently discovered that Mr. Foxypants had thrown out my seed-starting tray “to make room in the garage.”

Don’t get me started on the “WTF-buddy-throwing-away-tools?” screed.

I’m still mad about it.

You don’t want to hear it anyway.

Since I’ve pledged to once again “Buy Nothing New For One Calendar Year” and this year is also all about making everything by hand, buying a new seed-starting tray was out of the question.

So I had to improvise.

Luckily, all my jam-making is providing me with epic amounts of citrus peels. Just poke a hole in the bottom of the peel for drainage, fill with potting soil, then add two seeds and some water.


After thinning to one seedling per peel, I’m going to transplant the whole ding dang thing into the garden. The peels will compost directly into the soil to nourish the plants as they grow.

Since oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are springtime fruit in Southern California, I’m guaranteed an endless supply of seedling pots.

I don’t think I can ever go back to my plug tray.


  1. doug
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    u rock. take my love and use it.

  2. Michele
    Posted February 6, 2015 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    I have been saving toilet paper rolls all year. Last Saturday I cut them into thirds, stuffed them with wet potting mix organic, and set the little “soil cookies” in 4 used (clean) cookie clamshells like you get at Safeway for five dollars. I stuck one seed in each little soil cookie, closed the lid on the clamshell and set them under regular fluorescent lights. The spinach is heirloom, so it is not as uniform as the Ferry Morse, but the biggest spinach is now 3 inches high, 6 days later.

  3. Herbalisto
    Posted February 7, 2015 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I think eggshells are the best… ;)

  4. Posted February 8, 2015 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Michele!

    Fantastic! I like to use the starbuck’s plastic cold drinks mug with the rounded top as mini greenhouses, but I like your clamshell greenhouse idea so much! Very clever.

  5. Posted February 8, 2015 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Teresa–

    Some people have had mold issues if you read down the comments section. I live in LA which is pretty dry. My peels usually dry out before they mold, so I don’t get smelly peels or bugs. Some people have had better success popping the plants out of the peel before transplanting and others have just been able to transplant the peel with the seedling together like I do.

59 Trackbacks

  1. […] 6. Biodegradable seed starting pots! […]

  2. By Uses For Orange Peels on January 23, 2015 at 8:46 am

    […] Use the peel as seed starter pot . Check out My Roman Apartment post on the […]

  3. By 22 Unbelievably Clever Gardening Cheats - Plash on January 25, 2015 at 8:17 am

    […] Starts Seeds With A Lemon Peel – This is an excellent way to start seedlings off in a great environment. Here are ten more ways to start seeds. […]

  4. By 15 Insanely Clever #DIY #Gardening Tricks - Plash on January 28, 2015 at 7:00 am

    […] […]

  5. […] with the eggshells, this one requires just a bit of forethought… but an orange peel, or avocado rind, can work great for starting your seeds.  Our friends over at Crafting a Green […]

  6. By 22 Clever Gardening Tips | on February 23, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    […] Photo from My Roman Apartment […]

  7. […] […]

  8. By Happy World Environment Day! | BIRDS NEST FOUNDATION on February 26, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    […] easily plant the seedling still in the planter when your transfer to a larger pot or outside. From lemon peels to egg shells, there are plenty of […]

  9. […] ภาพจาก My Roman Apartment  […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>