Starting Seeds for Summer Gardens

Marie Ellsworth, HFFL clerk 


  • Old socks (yes) – they must be at least part cotton – 100% polyester won’t work 
  • 1 liter soda bottles 
  • Perlite (buy in the garden department) 
  • Peat moss (although I used ordinary garden soil – so far, it’s working) 
  • Water 


  • Cut the socks in strips about 1” wide  – the strips need to be 6-8” long
  • Take caps off bottles and cut the bottles in half around the middle
  • Stuff a sock strip through the opening of each bottle – let it hang out about 3”
  • Put some water in the bottom half of each bottle
  • Put the bottle tops upside down into the bottoms, so the sock dangles into the water
  • In a separate container, mix the perlite and peat moss about half & half
  • Fill the tops with soil – to about 1” of the rim 
  • Put some sees on top of the soil (read the packet to see how closely they should be planted) 
  • Sprinkle a little peat moss over the seeds. 
  • Put in a sunny window 
figure illustrating how to create the starter container
Photograph of a finished container