Save Money by Making Your Own “Peat Pots”
Millions of toilet paper rolls end up in landfills every day. If you garden, you're tossing away money. Recycling cardboard toilet paper rolls into homemade peat pots for your garden is easy and economical.
You will need a plastic plant tray, or another shallow, flat container. Big box store garden centers will let you have trays for free. Look under the benches, or consolidate plants in another tray and ask for the empty ones.
Toilet paper rolls make great homemade peat pots for seedlings or small cuttings for the garden. First, cut your toilet paper rolls in half. Then cut one end in four places, and fold the flaps inward to make a bottom. Cutting them in four places makes a square bottom, so you can fit more into a tray. You can put a small piece of masking tape on the bottom, but it isn't necessary, because as soon as they are wet, they will stand up.
Place the toilet paper rolls into the tray and add potting mix, then plant your seed or stick your cutting. You will need to water until your homemade peat pots are wet, so they will not suck water from the soil. If you have one, a larger tray or shallow pan to soak the toilet paper rolls is preferable to overhead watering.
For larger cuttings, and seedlings of plants that need more root space, only cut the toilet paper rolls with four cuts at the bottom. These taller homemade peat pots are great for rooting tomato suckers and woody cuttings for your garden, as they encourage the roots to grow downward instead of outward.
Recycling Other Cardboard Rolls
An alternative to toilet paper rolls is recycling cardboard rolls left over from wrapping paper, aluminum foil, and plastic wraps. These sturdier cardboard rolls can be cut to any size you need. The taller homemade peat pots are actually better for rooting woody cuttings for your garden, because they don't break down as quickly.
Once your seedlings or cuttings are ready to transplant, you simply place your homemade peat pots into your garden soil or container, and they will break down just like real peat pots, becoming part of the soil.
Another way of recycling cardboard rolls for your garden is to flatten them and cut small pieces to cover holes in the bottom of pots. The water will get through, but the soil will not.
To keep weeds out of your pots, try recycling cardboard rolls by unrolling them and placing them on top of the soil, under a layer of mulch or rocks, much as you would use cardboard boxes in your garden.
If none of these tips for recycling cardboard rolls in your garden interests you, simply cut them up and put them into your compost pile. Whatever you do with them, don't just toss them out!
I'm sure that you can find a myriad of other ways of recycling toilet paper and other cardboard rolls. Using your imagination for recycling common everyday items that were once thrown away can go a long way toward saving our planet.
Source: Author is a horticulturist, environmentalist, and frugalista who has been practicing frugal gardening since 1973 and writing about it since 2008.
This post is part of the series: Recycling and Reusing Household Trash for Your Garden
- Recycling Plastic Bottles into Mini Greenhouses and Planting Pots
- Recycling Toilet Paper Rolls into Homemade Peat Pots for Your Garden
- Recycling Plastic Yogurt Cups and Plastic Bathroom Cups as Self-Watering Pots
- Recycling Mini Blinds to Make Weatherproof Labels for Your Plants
- Recycling Paper and Cardboard for Weed Control in Your Garden