Planting seeds in what?

Frustrated at constantly having to buy peat pots which cause the darn plants to go root bound, I ended up peeling off the entire thing to keep the roots intact. The pots ended up in the compost. What a waste. Now I find out peat isn’t sustainable? Time for a new plan…

The peat pots last gardening season.

Enter toilet paper rolls.

I learned this idea from Mom Photographer, who I believe learned it from her mother. And since, I’ve shared it with my mother. 🙂
It’s working out beautifully so far. We’ll see how it does when they go in the ground. I’m going to cut some of them completely away, and leave some to decompose. We’ll see which do better. The best part is that it’s impossible for them to get root bound, on the bottom anyway.

Have you tried this?


19 responses to “Planting seeds in what?

  1. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’ve been saving toilet paper rolls thinking this might be a good thing to try. I’ll be interested to see how they work out for you!

  2. Try and break up the pot in your hands so the pot will continue to help the plant as designed. I may have even taken the bottom off of the peat pot to allow the roots to gain access to the dirt through the bottom. Will save the effort of recycling the peat pots in the compost.

  3. Wait, what?! Peat’s not sustainable? Crap, now I’ve got a whole day of Googling ahead of me….

    • All right, read enough. Guess I’m done with peat now. I can’t believe I never considered where peat came from before. I kinda assumed it was like compost, grown somewhere by a peat growing company. I literally thought it was just dried moss (commercially grown for consumer purpose), not raped from bogs. Such a sad, but important, education I’ve received today.

  4. I’ve been doing this for a while and it works great! I also get free plastic pots and trays from the garden centre as they don’t reuse them.

  5. listen to all these conscience(s) stirring in the wind…good job!
    may i alert the gardeners to the fact that paper products require a large amount of oxygen and nitrogen to compost after transplanting = this robs the seedlings of essential energy…unless you mix very rich compost in surrounding soil.
    so i use items which i find anywhere people gather for picnics or casually discard from car gives me a sense of earth keeping:

    a) wax cups with bottoms cut out at transplanting time..then pull out when plant is strong .
    b) plastic cups, same as above, which protects the roots from cutworm damage in early stages…pull up after plant is fully established.

  6. Oh what a great idea!

  7. Fantastic – well done for bringing awareness to such an important topic; stopping the use of peat is something I feel passionately about. I made a video a while back of me and Little MIss Green (she’ll not be happy with me as she is much older now LOL!) making toilet roll plant pots – you can see it here; just shows how simple it is to do 😉

  8. Get rid of the containers. Use soil blocking; individual blocks of blended soil pressed and shaped for seeding.

  9. Thanks so much for posting this. In my nursery business, I’ve been using toilet paper rolls – also paper towel rolls cut to size – for years!

  10. this reminds me of my early primary school days, we have done this before back home. I love it. ….good idea.

  11. @ Sharon–we planted them today. I left half in the toilet paper containers and the other half I took out. Will see which ones grow stronger or if it makes a difference…

    @ Learning and yeaning—reminds me of your lovely Christmas ornaments made out of okra. I hear quite a few folks use the newspaper. 🙂

    @ Pete—you know, we tried taking the bottoms off and still didn’t have much luck so decided to just completely strip them down. But I really like the toilet paper rolls. I’ll never run out of those! That way I won’t have to make anymore of those last minute Lowe’s runs the ya’ll are known to do. Ours is in the next town over! Thanks for reading and making a comment. Looking forward to hearing all about your garden, once it warms up enough!!

    @Lesley—I had no idea. I thought the exact same thing as you! I only learned while writing the gardening posts!

    @Bridget—good for you for rescuing the plastic pots from the nursery as well. Even when they crack a bit, I still find I’m able to use them just fine. They hold up. Our local nursery takes them back….but I wonder how long they reuse them. I’ll have to ask next time I’m in!

    @ MomPhotographer—I told my husband about the cut worms. We planted some with the toilet paper roll still on and some without. I wanted to see if there’d be a difference.

    @Alison—thanks, woman. I got this from Mom Photographer—mom genius. And then I saw it again on PinInterest. I learned something new!
    Every year another door opens on gardening insight.

    @Nadine—thank you for rescuing the plastic and wax cups from the landfill and putting them to good use! Good info about the compost. We used compost anyway, but I didn’t know this. And I appreciate the encouragement!

    @Mrs. Green—great video! You made it look so simple. And little miss green got a thanks in the credits for being so green and so cute. She was adorable!!

    @Ed–I also sent this question via your blog. These soil blocks—to replace the peat? To go in the toilet paper rolls?

    @Victoria—thank you for creatively loving the earth! The poems on your home page are just lovely. I especaially liked the one where the guy got distracted by the wind and the butterflies and nature in general. 🙂

    @Nors—good to hear it’s being used all over this green earth! Cheers!

  12. Jenn, when I plant those in the ground I put the paper roll (cut in half) over the top and pushes it hard so it goes to the ground around the plant. it creates small “fence” around the plant… so it looks something like that:

    it’s just for a few first week until the plant gets strong.

  13. Pingback: Seed Starting – Find What Works Best For You! |

  14. This was great to read. I am a beginner, beginner gardenner and I thought peat pots were the way to go. Actually i just posted that Big Lots has a ppretty good deal on them. Well, I also watch the videos from and he also said to cutaway the peat pots, so next season I will give the toilet paper rolls a try.

  15. Pingback: Peat pots « ARMB Garden Experience

  16. @ Bad Dad—I had no idea either. We just discovered the other options from sniffing around on other gardening blogs. I swear, you learn so much on the internet! ha! This is our 3rd season and we’ve just had such a time with those darn peat pots. But they did seem the way to go, I mean they’re so neat and clean and cute and little. Who knew? Whatever you plant in this year, you’re going to do great! Learning is part of the fun of gardening. Looking forward to seeing what you plant! 🙂

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