The Paper Towel Roll Hack That Makes Starting Seeds For Your Garden Even Easier

Are you thinking about starting a home garden? It's easier than you may think and, of course, fresh produce is beneficial for your health. Not only does having readily available homegrown fruits and vegetables improve your diet, but some have more nutrients than if they were store-bought. This occurs because, at home, you let the produce ripen on the plant instead of picking it early. Growing food at home also allows you to control the environment. You get to choose if the soil is organic, whether or not to use chemical fertilizers, and what pesticides you may use.

What plants you add to your garden depends on what you like to eat, however, tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce are easy to care for. Before you get set up, consider whether you want to start your own seeds or transplant seedlings from the nursery. You may find that starting seeds indoors is a fun project, and when you're ready to begin you'll need small containers to grow them in until they're large enough to move to your garden. Although, instead of spending your money on fancy seed starter trays, you can recycle your paper towel rolls.

Keep your paper towel rolls

When you finish a roll of paper towels, you may feel compelled to recycle or throw away the cardboard, but don't do that just yet. If you or anyone you know has a home garden, they can find a use for it. This isn't only true for paper towel rolls; you should save toilet paper rolls and to-go coffee cups too. Buying commercial seed starter trays can get expensive when you have a large garden. Meanwhile, reusing these cardboard rolls is free.

They're also already the perfect shape for growing seedlings. Cut to the right size, they have just enough space to hold the soil until the seedling is strong enough and ready to be transplanted. A significant plus is that they're also biodegradable. This means you won't have to worry about damaging your plant's roots when pulling them out of the paper towel roll and placing them in the garden soil. Instead, you can dig a hole large enough to plant the entire thing in the ground, and the cardboard will decompose over time.

How to start seeds in paper towel rolls

Starting your seeds in a paper towel roll won't take much longer than if you used a store-bought set of trays. Epic Gardening shared a post on TikTok explaining that the first step in this hack is flattening the cardboard roll to make cutting it easier. Then take a pair of scissors and snip it into rings. The width of each ring will depend on the depth you need to plant your seeds. You can find this information in the instructions on the seed's packaging.

Next, you'll need a flat tray to keep everything organized and prevent excess water from leaking. You can use an old produce container, sheet pan, or plastic plate as long as it has side walls. Then fill the rings with soil and water them deeply. Now's the time to plant your seeds. As a final step, sprinkle more dirt on top and give the seeds some extra water. Make sure they have enough sun and are in a consistently warm environment. If they don't get enough direct sunlight, the soil will never dry out and they could grow mold.