Shame on me if I don’t seize the opportunities that this temperate Southern California climate bestows. I know it’s probably painful for some of my frozen-over friends out there watching me start my seeds (outside!) right now, but–how much worse would I be if I wasn’t taking advantage of this??? It’s okay if you need to look away….I understand.
I am always looking for new ways to go about my seed-planting; in previous years I have started them in egg cartons, pots, commercial starting trays, straight in the ground (gasp!), and multiple other methods that have had varying degrees of success and failure. Lots and lots of failure, people. This year, the experimentation continues….with toilet paper rolls (in addition to a few traditional seed-starting trays leftover from last year). Ooooh yeah! I get real excited when I can re-use something (especially ‘trash’) that I already have. Especially because, allegedly, you can just pop these suckers into the ground whole, and they will biodegrade. So, like a hyper chipmunk, I have been scavenging and hoarding TP and paper towel rolls beyond the bounds of proper decorum. But that is only part of the experiment. The other? Starting my seeds in large plastic bins. I first saw this idea here, and knew immediately that I must have it for my very own! Not only do the bins help protect the fragile little babies, they make it easy to move all those itty-bitty pots around to your heart’s content. Too cold at night? Bring them inside. Not enough sun? Move them to a warm spot. BRILLIANT.
I may have gone a little bit overboard at Baker Creek Heirlooms when I ordered, and those crafty, wonderful people throw in freebies, too:
Because of this raging mass of seeds, it is extremely important to me to be able to mark them accurately, once they go into their ‘pots’. But the markers? They must be cute. See how I made these weather-resistant seed flags over here.
And so begins this year’s experimentation….(and let it be stated for the record that I’m not claiming that any of this is gonna work! Let’s find out, shall we?)
After purchasing several clear-ish Rubbermaid storage bins from the HD (Home Depot, that is), it was time to get crackin’.
The toilet paper roll prep was fairly simple. Typically, I see this done where you fold the bottom of the roll up to create a little pot, but I wanted to make my rolls go as far as possible, and it seems like that wastes a perfectly good half of a roll. So I cut mine in half (or in 5ths for the paper towel rolls) instead.
But how then, does one keep the soil inside the roll? With a tiny square of paper towel, that’s how (1/16th of a single piece of paper towel, to be exact). Cut (or rip, as I did) your small piece of paper towel and stuff it inside the TP roll so that it pretty neatly fills the inside of the ‘pot’.
With the bottom of the ‘pot’ sitting on a flat surface, fill it with seed-starting mix and tamp it gently down.
Now plant your seed of choice according to the seed-packet instructions, and line ’em up military-style inside your bins. Be sure to mark them as you go!
With a working combination of toilet paper rolls, seed trays, and storage bins…. I haven’t even come close to planting all the varieties I bought. ARG!! Back to Home Depot with me.
Tagged: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, diy, early seed starting, garden markers, paper towel rolls, pennant markers, plants, rubbermaid storage bins, seed markers, seed starting Farmhouse38, storage bin greenhouses, toilet paper roll seed starting, weather resistant seed flags