Sunday, January 18, 2009

What to use to start seedlings

This is the “Cheap Tip” of the day from our other blog, but it is a great garden tip, so I am reposting it here. Turn your used toilet paper rolls into starters for your seedlings. When they get large enough, you can put the whole thing in the ground, no need to shock your little babies as they make the transition. They stay put in the cardboard, which decomposes in the ground.

Last year, we did not start collecting these soon enough, so we had a shortage. We made some from newspaper, making tubes (slightly wider than the toilet paper tubes) and folding the bottoms in. Mostly they stayed together, but I should have bunched them together in a container of some kind, like this guy on the ever-helpful Baker Creek forum... Here's a picture from his post:

I like peat starts, but at this quantity, they are kind of pricey. And I like the small, plastic planters, but I never have enough and I wouldn't think of buying them new. I like reusing plastic containers with holes punched in the bottoms, but since I am limiting my plastics now, I don't have enough to use.

So, it looks like paper planters are going to be all up in my garden this year. I think it's a good thing.


  1. I've started my collection of TP rolls. This is such a nifty idea, can't wait to give it a try.

  2. Hurray! Remember to open up the bottom before you transplant them, so their little feet can get into the new soil.

  3. Last year, I found "peat pots" made from coir (coconut husk), they are sustainable and worked well. But these are waaay cheaper! :) I like to "winter sow" (put planted, covered seed containers outside in the snow to get their start as spring progresses), and I found the styrofoam mushroom containers work great for this purpose.