How To Grow Vegetables In Plastic Shopping Bags

by heather

You know when you’re surfing online and you stumble onto an idea that’s so novel, so fantastic, that you can’t help but gape and smile at the sheer genius of the idea?

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

Well, that just happened to me this morning. I was surfing around, trying to decide what I was going to write about for today’s post, and then there it was…how to use your old plastic shopping bags as seed starter kits.


And now that spring is whispering to us that’s she’s almost here, I thought it would make a perfect post. Especially since I’m about one weekend away from starting my own seeds for this year’s garden. Yay!

Now, I must give credit where credit is due. I found this ingenious idea on, a wonderful blog on gardening that’s full of crafy, eco-friendly ideas like this one. If you have any interest in finding creative ways to reuse things in your garden, then head over here. It’s a really fantastic blog.

Now, the wonderful thing about using plastic shopping bags to start seeds is that you’re solving several problems at once.

  • You’re finding a new use for your plastic bags.
  • Using plastic bags means that you don’t have to buy those black plastic seed trays, which means you’re reducing your consumption.
  • The plastic bags work as a natural greenhouse, trapping sunlight and moisture which gives your seeds what they need to start growing.

It really is a fantastic way to start this year’s garden.

How To Start Seeds In Plastic Shopping Bags

So, here’s all you have to do to start this year’s garden crop in your old plastic shopping bags:

  • Assemble your collection of seeds, and decide how many plastic shopping bags you’re going to need.
  • Pour some fresh potting soil into the plastic shopping bag, and then plant your seeds. Water and fertilize as you normally would.
  • Hang in a dry, sunny spot.
  • When your plants are big enough and it’s warm enough outside, move them outdoors and replant.

And that’s it!

Many thanks to for this awesome suggestion. I’m definitely going to use this idea for this year’s garden.

Additional Resources

If you’d like some more inspiration for crafty ways to reuse things for your garden, then I highly recommend

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

you head over to This site is much like It’s full of really creative instructions on how to turn your ordinary junk into really cool, functional pieces that you’ll actually use.

One project that directly relates to this post is “How To Turn Your Old CD Packaging Into A Planter Pot“.

Another is, “How To Turn A Coffee Bag Into A Hanging Planter“.

This site is full of really fun, frugal, and eco-friendly projects, and you’ll be amazed at the sheer genius of some of them. I know I was.

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Beth @ Smart Family Tips March 12, 2009 at 9:21 am

What a great idea! I’ve planted a few seeds already, but have more to go. I think I’ll try this with the next round.

Ally J March 12, 2009 at 10:38 am

I love this idea. I just did a post about our town potentially banning plastic and paper bags. But this suggestion is a great way to put those plastic bags to good use!

heather March 12, 2009 at 10:45 am


I would love it if my town did that! I’ve thought about spearheading an effort to ban bags. Could you keep me updated if your town makes this step? I’d love to hear about it.


Laminted Garden Guides March 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Starting seeds in plastic bags! This is truly an excellent idea! It’s so simple, yet very effective.

susrith April 1, 2009 at 4:00 pm

No offence but,, how “green”is this?… is better not to bring these bags home right….

heather April 1, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Hi Susrith,

Thanks for writing in!

It’s definitely better to skip plastic bags all together, but the fact is that most people have tons of plastic bags lying around their house. If they don’t, then they have friends or family that do.

Using plastic bags is much better than buying plastic seeding trays. It gives new life to something that would just be tossed or recycled, reduces consumption, and saves money.

susrith May 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm

i too agree that too many people use these bags…and i myself use milkcans for vegetable garden…..though i buy organic milk.. i ask my friends to give their cans to me…but hurts to see that very few people realise a lot of things..cheers

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