Flats of flowers and veggies can be quite expensive. They make gardening a little easier, but starting seeds is not a difficult task. It saves a considerable amount of money, especially when you do not have to buy peat pots. It is also gratifying to grow your own plants from seed. Harvest time is especially rewarding. Do it the easy way with toilet paper rolls. It is a great way to reuse biodegradable cardboard tubes that would otherwise end up in the trash.
To make two seed starter pots using a toilet paper roll you will need a cardboard tube, two pieces of masking tape, a utility knife and about 1/3 of a cup of rich organic soil. You will also need two or three seeds of your choice for each pot, a sharpened pencil, about two tablespoons of water, plastic wrap, two rubber bands and a muffin tin for holding the planters. A small spoon will also be helpful.
Procedure for Making and Filling the Pots
Begin by cutting the toilet paper roll in half with the utility knife. Fold over the edges of one end to create a pleated bottom. Keep it in place with a piece of masking tape. Follow the same procedure with both rolls.
Next, use a small spoon to fill the rolls with soil. Moisten the soil in each tube with about one tablespoon of water. Use the tip of a sharpened pencil to make two or three holes of the appropriate depth. Consult the seed packet for the recommended depth.
Lightly cover the seeds with soil, and cover the filled toilet paper rolls with plastic wrap. Use rubber bands to keep it in place. Make two or three tiny holes in the plastic wrap with the tip of the pencil.
Set Up an Indoor Nursery
Place the filled toilet paper rolls in a muffin tin, and put it in a warm place. Sunlight will not matter until the seeds sprout. Until then, consider the top of the fridge a seed nursery. The plastic wrap will help to retain valuable moisture while creating the perfect conditions.
After the seeds start to sprout, move the muffin tray to a sunny spot, and remove the plastic wrap. If necessary, water the seedlings. After they are a couple of inches tall, move the muffin tin outdoors for about 30 minutes each day. Gentle breezes will strengthen the stems.
Planting the Cardboard Pots
To plant the seed starter pots, simply remove the tape and place the rolls in the ground. The cardboard will continually breakdown as the plants are watered and as the roots grow and expand. If all of the seedlings survive, separate them when they are large enough to safely move. In time you will be enjoying gorgeous flowers and/or fresh and delicious veggies.
Sources: Green Living Practices