Get your tools ready, get your materials set, get those seeds started!

It’s the beginning of the year and time to begin thinking about planting the garden. Okay- some of us are already thinking about planting….what, where, when, cover crop if any, harvest dates….and it thrills me. If you are any bit like me, you know the store bought seed trays are a 50/50 success rate.

This past year I had an idea. A wacky idea. It became a successful wacky idea. I’m telling you this now because you’ll need time to gather the materials or you’ll end up asking your neighbors or co-workers a somewhat awkward question. To me, it isn’t awkward, I seem to have that gene deletion. 😉 But don’t let me stop you….toilet paper tubes. Yep! Amazing right? Those cardboard tubes only YOU know how to remove from the apparatus connected to the wall. It’s a myth one must have a PhD to operate the spring-loaded cylinder. Anyways, those are going to be the most amazing tool used in your garden this year, and every year after.

Me being the recycling warden in my home, I saved the aluminum tray we got from a pre-made entrée purchased at Costco. I repurpose almost everything. So I placed a bunch of the tubes upright in the aluminum tray and filled them with a mixture of mulch and organic seed starting soil and put my seeds in them. I set them on the partly shaded shelf in the greenhouse and waited for the magic to happen. The seeds sprouted faster and were stronger plants. The cardboard also acts as a monitoring system…when it dries out, you need to water the seedlings. When your seeds are established and you’re ready to plant them, simply pull the seedling out or rip the cardboard and toss into your mulch bin, and place the seedling in your garden. Who knew toilet paper tubes would benefit us… end-to-end?? LOL!!! I started seeds in the summer and in the winter in the greenhouse with the tubes with great success.


Here are the photos I took using both the seed tray and the tp tubes. I planted all at the same time. The progression shows the results. I was shocked to see the good ‘ol butt wipe tubes are useful in a fertile way. Ahhahahahahhahahhahahaa!!

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.44.52 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.44.57 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.45.03 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.45.08 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.45.14 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.45.19 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 11.45.27 AM

Have fun planting. Get those seeds started so you’ll be ready when the last frost is past.

Tara, your homegrown friend


Leave a Reply