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Gardener shares 'creative' tip to save on common seed-starting materials: 'This is going to really help your plants'

"You learn something new every day."

"You learn something new every day."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A gardener shared an easy, affordable way to create recycled seedling pots using only two components — and one of them is water.

"I'm going to save you money with your gardening using cardboard," TikToker David Domoney (@DavidDomoney) begins in his video. "... This is going to really help your plants."

@daviddomoney How to make homemade seedling pots from unused cardboard boxes. #garden #gardeninghacks #gardentok #gardening #gardeningtips ♬ original sound - David Domoney

The scoop

First, David soaks his cardboard in water. As he does, he explains that many gardeners choose to grow seedlings in small pots before transferring those pots to their garden beds. 

"You can buy plastic ones, which is not really great for the planet," he explains. "Or you can buy more sustainable ones … and it's great because they slowly rot down, and you don't need to transplant them. You can plant the whole thing in the ground and the roots grow through it."

But the best part? You can make your own sustainable pots at home using recycled cardboard. As David demonstrates, after soaking the cardboard, you can mold it around a jam jar, a honey pot, or a regular drinking glass to create a small cylinder. 

"Leave it on the windowsill to dry," he explains, adding that you want to remove the cardboard when it's partially dry to avoid it from getting stuck. And any kind of cardboard works. He recommends everything from appliance packaging to paper towel rolls and more. 

"Anything that's cardboard is good for growing," he says. "... It's all about recycling: Using renewable materials, not using plastic. It's great for growing your plants and saving your money too."

How it's helping

Starting a garden with seedlings is one of the most tried-and-true methods for new and seasoned gardeners alike. And with seeds available for just a couple dollars — or for free, if you harvest them from store-bought produce — and these DIY pots, the startup costs are extremely low. But the real savings start to add up as your garden begins to grow. 

People who grow their own food regularly save hundreds to thousands of dollars annually. Not only is it more affordable, but the fruit, veggies, and herbs that you grow at home are actually better for you, too. Produce loses nutritional value in transit; additionally, industrially grown produce often contains traces of harmful chemical pesticides and herbicides.

The act of caring for a garden is also beneficial in itself. Studies have found that people who garden regularly are healthier and less stressed than people who don't.

What everyone's saying

Viewers were eager to try out David's hack and begin developing their green thumbs. 

"Very creative! Love it!" one person wrote.

Others who had tried similar methods chimed in with their ideas. "Egg trays [are] also good for plants," one person suggested. 

"[I] use toilet roll tubes," another said. 

"You learn something new every day," said one aspiring gardener. "Thank you, [it's a] fantastic idea."

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