Posts tagged "toilet roll tube"

What food packaging & other household waste do you use for starting seeds?

It’s seed-starting time here in the northern hemisphere and my Twitter feed is full of exciting stories about what fruit & veg people are going to be growing this year. I’ve added half a dozen more fruit bushes to our garden this year but I’ve not sown any seeds yet — my seed box is sat on the side of my desk making sad puppy eyes at me as I type ;)

Gardeners & allotmenteers are just about always resourceful types when it comes to reusing and recycling stuff – I don’t think I’ve ever met a grower who doesn’t keep ice cream/margarine tubs etc for reuse – but I thought it would be worth having a bit of a sharing session about what you reuse for starting seeds, as plant pots or as water-catchers under plant pots, and if there is anything that you choose not to reuse for whatever reason.

At one point, a good few years ago now, I think about 90% of my seeds were started in plastic mushroom tubs — either directly in the tub or using them to catch water draining from plants pots. In the past, I also used shallow fresh pasta packaging as starter trays and multi-serving yoghurt/cream pots for the growing on stage. I know my dad keeps the clear plastic boxes used by supermarkets for muffins or pastries whenever he gets them because the lid gives the tray its own little propagator/greenhouse too – and similarly he cuts down 2ltr pop/soda bottles to make a pot with its own little cloche.

Moving away from plastic – since I do worry about putting plastic in direct sunlight/warm spots when it’s not designed to be used in that way, I’ve used newspaper and toilet roll tubes to make “plantable” pots – the former just require a little folding into shape and the latter can be cut in half to make twice the number or left whole as “root trainers” for growing carrots or parsnips.

(I also cut up plastic milk bottles & drinks cans to make plant markers for all these many, many seeds!)

So, what packaging (or other household waste) do you reuse for starting off your seedlings? What about for the growing on stage?

Reducing, reusing and recycling links round-up

It’s been a while since I did a round-up of some of my favourite reducing, reusing and recycling links so without further ado…

Have you spotted any great reducing, reusing or recycling how-tos recently?

How can I reuse or recycle toilet roll tubes?

toilet roll tubes
Oh, I know. How very Blue Peter. Except we don’t have very much need for a model of Tracy Island.

We don’t use kitchen rolls that much so mostly have the shorter toilet roll-size tubes lying around the place.

Short of just recycling them in our green bin, what are the alternatives?

Best Suggestions

  • Reduce: Look for toilet rolls with more sheets per rolls and if you’re really keen, swap to washable clothes for post-wee wipes :)
  • Reuse: Use them as pots for seedlings – put a little scrunched up newspaper in the bottom and fill with soil. The seedlings roots can grow through the wet cardboard when needed so you can just plant on the pot as is.
  • Recycle: Cardboard can be recycled through many local recycling schemes but can also be put on the compost heap/in wormeries – great for soaking up excess water. Alternately, fill them with scraps of paper, wood and/or pinecones and use them as firestarters.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas