tollete seeds

The Spruce / Olivia Inman.

Once you gather the materials, it is relatively easy to get going. Here are a few tips on how to use toilet paper rolls to house seedlings:

The Spruce / Olivia Inman.

The Spruce / Olivia Inman.

Fold the cut sections in toward the center of the roll. This will create the bottom of your pot.

How to Use Toilet Paper Rolls to Start Seeds.

The Spruce / Olivia Inman.

Make a series of 1 to 1 1/2-inch cuts around one end of the roll, approximately a half an inch apart.

Whether you are an avid gardener or just starting out, you may want to avoid using peat pots and pellets to grow your seedlings. There are concerns over the environmental impact that commercial harvesting has on peat bogs. The selling point of peat pots and pellets is the fact that you plant your seedlings in the pot and the pot decomposes in the soil over time. It’s an easy way to seed, but it does cost a little money upfront. You can get this convenience without resorting to peat pots by using a more environmentally-friendly method that recycles an everyday household item. Find out how to use toilet paper rolls to improve the seeding process.

The Spruce / Olivia Inman.

The Spruce / Olivia Inman.

You may want to acclimate the plants to the garden before putting the pods (or just the plants in the pods) into the ground. To do this, take your tray or seeding bin out to the garden for a few hours each day. This can ease the stress on plants that sometimes occurs during the transplantation process.

Depending on how many seeds you're starting, you will need a few toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. It's wise to begin saving the rolls prior to planting season so you have a good supply on hand.

Place the seed pots on a tray, plate, or bowl. If they seem to not be standing up well on their own, you can support them a bit by tying some twine around the whole group of pots. You can also reinforce the folds of the cardboard for more sturdiness.

Here are the things you need to create toilet paper or paper towel seed pods:

Fill the pots with soil, moisten the soil, and pot and plant your seeds. Maintain the planted seeds as you would any seeds sown indoors. Typically, you will have to wait a few weeks before you can remove the plants and embed them into the garden.

Plant the toilet paper seed pods in the garden, cardboard tube and all. If the cardboard is sticking up above the soil’s surface, simply tear off any excess. If you don’t, it will wick moisture away from the roots. You can also cut off the bottom and just plant the tube of dirt that was sitting in the toilet paper pod. The cardboard will biodegrade and hopefully, the plants will thrive.

PS When planting out your beans, I find that if you score the cardboard tube with a Stanley knife and gently open it on one side, my plants tend to grow more quickly.

The cardboard inner of a loo roll inspires fine creations with the likes of pipe cleaners, scissors and paintbrush. Who hasn’t tried their hand at a robot, doll or marble run, even in these days of the Playstation and Nintendo DS? But outdoors in the garden, these cardboard tubes also have their uses – this time as make-do containers in which to start off seeds.

This weekend at home, I’ll be dusting off the tubes I’ve been collecting, ready to sow my French beans in them. Although the weather is now warm enough to put them straight into the vegetable bed (tradition says the second week of May is safe from frost), starting them this way, raised up on the potting bench, they’ll escape the worst of the snails and slugs. These pests adore French beans and even when the seedlings are large enough to go in the ground – bigger, stronger and more able to withstand the nightly nibbles – the pests will take their toll. Snails and slugs adore French beans and can soon reduce healthy plants to a tattered rabble. It’s best then to sow twice as much as you need.

Besides the satisfying thought of making use of the entire loo roll (and assuming you’re not still in the habit of making robots and marble runs), tubes replace the need for root trainers. The latter are obelisk-like contraptions, hinged at one end so they can be opened, and seedling and soil removed with little fuss. Apart from being obscenely expensive for what they are, they’re also made of plastic, another reason why it’s nice to not have to buy them.

This is particularly so if you’re growing plants that make long roots, such as French beans and other legumes, so that early growth is not restricted. When it comes to planting out, you put the whole caboodle in the ground. Roots remain unmolested, cardboard rots, plant thrives in its new home, job done.

PPS Sow some more seeds in a couple of months, so you have a follow-on bean crop. Put it in the diary.

ONE “hopes to plant a seed of change in the G8! Together, we can stop malnutrition, not just for one child, but for 15 million. We can end poverty, not just for one person, but for 50 million. Together we can break the cycle.”

Have you ever heard of, a global advocacy and campaigning organisation that was co-founded by Bono? is dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable diseases particularly in Africa , by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures.

Add one seed to each starter pot.

Other ways you can help: -Send your friends and family to ONE’s Thrive campaign to sign the petition -Keep up to date with the campaign by following ONE on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube -Share updates on your seed planting/growing on your blog and link them here.

Now there are two ways to do the next part. There’s this version where this blogger cut 4 slits down the roll and made these nice, neat little boxes, with the flaps tucked perfectly under each other. I however chose to do this method, since it is easier for the kids to do. Basically, I had my son cut about 8-9 slits about halfway down the toilet paper roll.


And then water till they are moist. Put them where there is light or sun, check for dryness and continue to water…in 2-4 weeks they will be ready to plant in the garden. All you have to do is plop these right into the soil. No need to take them out of the rolls because they are biodegradable.

My son’s class has been studying about plants, so to continue with that curiosity and interest I purchased a variety of seeds for us to plant at home. In class, the kids planted their own green bean plant in a plastic cup, which the kids could take home and replant in their own garden. In honor of Earth day coming up on April 22, instead of using plastic cups, we up-cycled toilet paper rolls, which make great seed starter pots. As a bonus these are biodegradable….this means you can just plant these pots straight into the ground when it’s ready to be planted in your garden.

Want to get involved? 1. Sow one- Show your commitment to agriculture in the developing world by planting a seed at home.

Next you will want to add soil to your seed starter pots.

2. Send one- Sign ONE’s Thrive campaign petition! You will be adding your name, along with thousands of others, to stand together to help reach the goals of Thrive.

ONE shows how the small percentage of Government income that is invested in aid really DOES make a positive difference in terms of helping MILLIONS of people overseas.

First cut toilet paper rolls in half. (If you don’t want to cut it in half that is fine too).

We would love for you to participate with us in the Come Sow With Me Meme by sharing a seed planting activity (Sow one) and encouraging others to do something (Send one). Come back here and share your photograph and your post on the Linky. Let’s see how many we can do before the G8 at the beginning of May 2012.