Hit by a Pitch

Our Garden: March 2012

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Remember last month when I was all excited about making toilet-paper-roll seed pots? Well, I did this. And I am no longer excited about it, not even a little bit. In fact, I recommend that you never make toilet-paper-roll seed pots.


Toilet-paper-roll seed pots are a great idea in theory — they’re free and environmentally friendly! However, they’re also a pain and don’t actually work very well.

Here’s why:

  • Even after you cut and fold one edge of each roll, they’re still too tall to be practical — they’d be too tall for our covered tray, too wobbly, and would require too much seed starting mix. We had to trim all of them to make them a better height. You probably could cut the rolls in half before assembling, but then they might be too short.
  • They’re wobbly as hell even after filled and wet.
  • Let’s talk about them being wet. They have all the drawbacks of being wet but none of the benefits. Normally when starting seeds, it’s nice to have some type of contraption such that you can put water in a tray and whatever you put your seeds in can suck up the water. These don’t suck up any water. Or, well, they do, but only the cardboard part soaks up water. Absolutely none of the water makes it to the seed starting mix. Then, when you water the mix after you put it in the pots, most of the water just drains out and sits there uselessly in the tray, where it makes the cardboard wet but leave the seed starting mix untouched. The cardboard, now that it soaked up a ton of water, gets super-duper soggy and floppy. I knew this would happen, but I figured it would at least share some of the water with the seeds. Nope.

I persevered and planted our “early” seeds (Does it even count as early any more? I’m such a gardening procrastinator.) (lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, rhubarb, onion) in these things even though I hate them. I’ll try to forgive these pots for annoying me if they at least function well enough for us to end up with nice little plants.

For our next round of seeds, I plan to reuse old plant containers we have in the garage — this is also a free and environmentally friendly option, and probably won’t annoy me (although you never know!).

I hope your early (ish) gardening is going better than mine is!

P.S. The composting is going very well! We’ve filled up our first bin and are giving it a good roll around the yard every weekend while we wait for it to do its thing and fill up bin #2.

Written by Tracy

March 30th, 2012 at 2:50 pm