Making Toilet Paper Plant Pots


Posted by Aimee | Posted in Experiments, Garden Planning, Guides | Posted on 19-05-2009

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It is by no means a new idea to use toilet paper rolls to start seedlings in, but it is definitely an idea worth sharing. The toilet paper rolls are a byproduct of household life and if folded flat store quite neatly in a quart sized storage baggie pinned up inside the bathroom cabinet. Then when you are ready to plant your seedlings you get those toilet paper rolls out and follow the simple steps below. This first picture follows steps one through four, left to right.

Steps 1-4 starting at the left

Steps 1-4 starting at the left

  1. Start with a empty toilet paper roll, having a few bits of toilet paper clinging to the roll won’t hurt it in the slightest, the only reason to remove those bits is if they annoy you.
  2. Fold the toilet paper roll flat; just squash it with your hand onto the counter. Then center the newly made crease and fold it flat again. Doing this will make the roll into a square form.
  3. Now open your roll up, it should be nice and square at this point. At the bottom of one side cut a half inch slit at each corner. Then fold those slits outward and crease them.
  4. Now starting with whichever flap you chose fold each flap in going clockwise, when you get to the last flap tuck the end under the first flap. Just like when you close up a cardboard box.
  5. Now, I find it is easier to put them all into a tray packed tightly and fill them with dirt all at once. Now that they are filled with dirt and ready to go just plant your seeds in and water like normal.
  6. When it is time to transfer to a bigger pot or outside into the ground your pot can be planted with the plant. I would just advise opening the bottom up with a gentle tug an inch or so above the plants new resting place so roots can get through even easier. (Though some roots may have already grown through the sides of the pot by now) Also make sure that the top of the cardboard is completely covered with dirt. Just to make sure the cardboard cannot wick away any moisture.
Filled and ready to go

Filled and ready to go

The cardboard will finish degrading in the soil. Well done on recycling! Every little bit done by each of us to reuse and recycle helps. Don’t let anyone tell you one person’s contribution or lack thereof makes no difference because it does make a difference. I also wanted to note that the idea to cut the bottoms and make flaps to fold in for a solid base came from a member: Joeysplanting of Myfolia. These can be made without this step and shoving them together tightly into a tray certainly helps with this but I have made mine with the bottoms ever since I saw the idea and I just love it so my thanks go out to them.

Another tip, to keep track of what is planted in each pot use non-toxic markers to mark right on the rolls what you planted in them. I also like to add the date to keep track of also.