There are a host of ways to grow seedlings in containers that will not only hold seeds and baby plants in place, but actually nourish the young plant and can be stuck right in the ground, making transplanting easy (and which is also ideal for not disturbing tender roots). All sorts of natural materials can be used; check out pots made from coir, pots made from recycled paper, bamboo, and heck, you can even make your own from toilet paper (or paper towel) rolls or newspaper, according to these handy instructions. Another alternative involves the reuse of a biodegradable material: eggshells!
Durable But Biodegradable Biobased ‘Plastic’ Pots
If you need a good, long-lasting alternative to plastic pots then check out Ecoforms pots, which are made from rice hulls (which are a by-product of rice harvesting). They last about five years outdoors before they start to break down, and a lot longer inside, if not exposed to the elements. Unlike plastic, they will eventually degrade, and according to the company’s site, plants grow better in the Ecoforms pots than in plastic.
Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of Eco-Chick and author of The Eco-Chick Guide to Life (St. Martin’s Press). A green living expert, she contributes to The Huffington Post and Mother Nature Network (MNN.com)