Start Burying Toilet Paper Cardboard Tubes In Your Garden And Watch It Thrive

As a home gardener, we are constantly on the prowl for ways to add nutrients to the soil, whether it's by applying fertilizer, composting, or mulching. Our plants need a host of vitamins and minerals to grow healthy, and there is an inexhaustible list of ways to provide them, particularly by using household waste. If you're a composting gal or guy, you've likely been salvaging your garbage to decompose and nourish your soil. However, you don't have to stop there — you can also revitalize your home garden with a toilet paper cardboard tube. Upcycling these biodegradable tubes by burying them can elevate the bioactivity of earthworms in the soil, enhance water retention, and provide aeration.

Toilet tubes are made of cardboard, which is a garden favorite because your soil's best friend, the earthworm, loves it. When you place pieces of cardboard in soil, earthworms tend to burrow around and beneath them because they make the perfect shelter. Toilet tubes tend to hold water pretty well, and earthworms need a moist environment to live in. The tubes also create space in the soil, which aerates it — a necessity for worms and your plant roots alike. Burying toilet tubes can also help with weed prevention and suppression. The benefits are endless, so start saving those used tubes for a healthier, thriving garden.

Bury the toilet tubes directly or through composting

You've done the grocery shopping, you've used up the tubes and saved them — now what? The good news is that you don't have to do too much. Burying toilet tubes isn't rocket science. Just stick them several inches into the ground, cover them up with dirt, and nature will take care of the rest. As you irrigate your yard regularly, the cardboard will soak up the moisture and become a habitat for relieved worms. Just make sure that the toilet tubes you're burying are free of stickers and any type of plastic or artificial covering.

After burying the toilet paper tubes, you can expect a yard with more nutrients and richer soil for a quality yield. The best part is that you don't have to go back into the soil and fish out the toilet tubes — the worms and soil microbes will make sure they are processed back into earth.

If you have a DIY compost you've been working on, you can also stick the toilet paper tubes in there. This will aerate the pile and give it some structure before tossing it into the soil for the microbes to feast on. No matter how you decide to bury the tubes, the effect is worth it, and you'll never want to toss out your used toilet tubes again.

Get creative with DIY toilet tube seed starter planters

If you're up for a DIY garden project, you can also use your toilet paper tubes as seed starters. YouTube gardener Adam Leone outlines the process — you'll need a pair of scissors, a marker, a ruler, a glass of water, and all your toilet paper tubes.

Start by flattening the toilet tube until the two vertical creases are visible. Then, rule and mark a horizontal line about an inch from the base on both sides of the tube so that it circles around. Now, fold the toilet tube vertically again so that you have a middle crease as well. Your opened tube should now be cubic. Cut lines along each of the four smaller vertical creases, starting from below the marked line. Stop cutting when you hit the marked line until you have four flaps at the base. Fold these flaps over one another to form the base of the planter.

You can't use tape as a sealant because it's made of plastic, so dip the base of the tube into the glass of water. Place all of your seed starters on a tray and set a book over them to get the bases flat. Leave them overnight so that they harden and set. Once dry, you can fill them up with soil and your seeds and plant them into the ground when the seedlings emerge. This will also protect your new plants from pests and keep them safe. 

Take a look at our list of TikTok seed-starting hacks for some other great ways to help your garden for cheap.