This Easy Pool Noodle Seed Starting Hack Is Definitely Worth Trying

Pool noodles, made from polyethylene foam, are seriously versatile, and it can be fun coming up with ideas and ingenious new ways to put them to good use. If you're a bit of a gardener, and a bit of a DIY hacker, this easy pool noodle gardening hack might be right up your street. Rearing and planting seedlings can be a fiddly business, but with a collection of mini planters and some pieces of pool noodle you can offer your seedlings a supportive and nurturing environment for the best start — and hopefully, plenty of them will survive and go on to grow into big, healthy, and mature plants in your garden.

To make these clever pool noodle seedling starters you will need a serrated knife, your seedlings, and a pool noodle. Mini seed starter planters are optional. It's important to remember that pool noodles are designed to be buoyant, which means the material the foam is made out of won't actually absorb any water. This is useful here as it means the foam won't lose its shape, but it also means you'll need a small amount of substrate to help retain moisture for your seedlings. The main idea is to use pieces of the pool noodle to support and protect your delicate seedlings as they grow until they are ready to be planted, and there are two ways you can do this.

How to make a pool noodle seedling starter

The first method requires you to use individual mini planter pots or a whole tray. Using a knife, carve the pool noodle into small pieces so you can fit a few into each planter to fill them up sufficiently. You'll be able to cut through the foam more easily with a serrated blade. Add a layer of substrate, or even better, some sphagnum moss into the bottom of your mini planters to help retain moisture when you water your seedlings, then stuff the mini planters full of the foam material and pop a single sprouted seed into each pot or space. The foam should do a great job of gently keeping the seedling in place to support it as it grows without causing any damage.

The second method is even easier and involves crafting mini planters simply by cutting the pool noodle up into 2-inch slices. The hole in the middle of the noodle provides a space for you to add some substrate to plant your seed. If the hole in your pool noodle is fairly small just cut a slit in the side to allow space for the foam to expand. You can then stuff the hole with a bit of soil. This will prevent your seeds from falling out through the bottom of the hole in the center of the pool noodle and absorb enough water to keep your seedling hydrated.