Seed starting kits are available for purchase, but why not make starting your summer vegetable garden a fun family activity?

Starting seeds indoors is less expensive than buying mature plants. Plus, you can grow as many varieties as you’d like. It also gives you maximum control over growing conditions and planting time.

Ice cream cones are great for starting seeds because they are biodegradable and you can easily transplant them into containers once the seedlings have sprouted.

Using these as seed starters is also a great opportunity to teach children about the science of gardening. Here’s how to do it.

  • Use flat-bottom wafer ice cream cones.
  • Fill the cones up with potting soil.
Placing a spoon full of soil into an ice cream cone for a seed starter

Poking a hole into soil in an ice cream for a seed starter
  • Use a pencil to poke a hole for your seeds. Plant the seeds in the recommended depth according to the packet.

  • Cover the seeds with more topsoil.
  • Place your ice cream cones in an aluminum baking pan.
Ice cream cones in a pan for a seed starter kit

After you plant your seeds in the ice cream cone, mist them regularly to keep the soil moist. Once the seeds germinate, place the pan in a south-facing window so the seedlings get 16 hours of light. The sunlight will dry the soil out, so be sure to regularly spray the seedlings with water. 

Once they’re grown enough to transplant, you can pick up the seedling in the ice cream cone and plant the whole thing in a larger container.

Plant the seedlings at the same depth they were in the ice cream cone. However, some plants, such as tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers, can be re-potted up to the leaves to encourage additional rooting along the buried stem. 

When you move your seedlings outdoors, place them in a shaded area for about a week so they can adjust to the outdoors. To protect your seedlings from colder night temperatures, use a soda bottle as a mini-greenhouse.

After a week, move them to a sunny spot and watch them grow!

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Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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