02 May 2011

The no-cost seed starting kit

We got more snow yesterday and sunshine too.  That's springtime in the Rockies I suppose.  I have six tomato plants in the ground and they seem to be doing great, all tucked into their cozy beds, covered with ugly green wall 'o water things.  Sure doesn't look great, but we have had 3 hard frosts during the weekend, and they still look happy and are growing.  Even the plants that were dropped on their heads are looking so much better.

Even though I don't have good sunny windows to start seedlings in, I started some anyway.  I prefer to have actual plants to put into the garden, rather than seeds.  It's easier for me to keep track of what I need to take care of.  So, I gathered my cheap-girl seed starting supplies: empty toilet paper rolls and newspaper.  I can't remember where I read about this, but I know I'm not the first person to come up with it.  Crumple a bit of newspaper and stuff it into the cardboard tube.  Then smash it down with the end of a wooden spoon, or whatever works.  Fill with dirt and plant.  Write what you planted on the side of course.

Now, these little pots are a bit tipsy.  I put a rubber band around a bunch of them, which seemed like a smart move until they became damp.  Then the rubber band kind of squished the tubes a bit.  To keep them all together, I cram them all into empty mushroom containers.  They are all contained and easy to water from the bottom.  Since I'm using garbage, these starter pots didn't cost me a thing!
I planted cucumber and summer squash, thinking that I had at least a week until I had sprouts.  Nope!  They came up in just 5 days, so I've been playing the take them outside, bring them back in game during our cold weekend.  One of the t.p. rolls kind of unraveled this morning, so that lucky squash got to go to his home, under another wall 'o water, of course.  Hope it makes it through the night, it's supposed to get cold again.

Now I think I'll go transplant my free strawberry plant with some pansies.


  1. Hi Girl!

    Never heard about toilet paper rolls, sounds like a plan!

    BTW I think the baby has a pretty bad sinus infection, if it's making her breath bad. I had one once, like that and it was pretty bad. Call a nurse, maybe......

  2. Sounds like you've got everything going very well. I've done the tp rolls, but I have so many small clay pots, I opted to start my seeds in them this year.

    Frost also forecast for us this evening. I don't have anything planted yet, so I'm not concerned. :)

  3. Nancy, I have a few of those fibrous pots that are supposed to break down when you bury them. I found them when I was cleaning up the garden last year. I should probably use those too.

    Sharon, I'm going to see how she does tonight before I call anyone. She's been pretty happy all day.

  4. I love this idea...I had saved some rolls for seed starting, too. BUt...never started anything from seed! (Next year? I hope..) I wonder if you could stand the rolls in a box...maybe a shoe box? Or maybe a plastic shoe box? It will hold them all upright...and hold water in? Hmm...good to know for when I DO try it!

  5. I found that if you rubber band only two together, they don't get squished and they are a lot less tipsy. A plastic shoe box would probably work great.