At Home Activity: Toilet Paper Roll Seed Starter

Has the lock down left you with too much toilet paper and time on your hands?

Is your family bored and restless?

We’ve got a trick for you!

At Pinecrest Gardens, we’re always looking for ways to learn about plants AND make art. For this, toilet paper rolls are my favorite trash to treasure item. While old toilet paper rolls have many uses in their afterlife, my all-time favorite is as a seed starter pot. You’ve probably seen this method before, and filed it away for a rainy day. Today’s the day! Now that you have all of that toilet paper and time on your hands, its’ time to put it to good use.

Today we’ll show you how make a seed starter from a toilet paper roll at home. 
But first, here’s a few reasons why we love toilet paper roll seed starters!

-          Re-purposing what otherwise would be garbage
-          Reducing waste
-          Creative play
-          Learning about plants and how they grow
-          They’re compostable and already in your house
-          Teaching kids about seed dispersal and creative growing containers
-          Science, engineering and art combined!
-          Quick activity, one roll takes about 15 mins to complete; depending on your creativity.

-          Old toilet paper rolls, paper removed
-          Scissors
-          Coloring utensils
-          Potting soil
-          Seeds (Don’t have seeds on hand? What about a pepper, or tomato from your kitchen!)

First make sure you have all of your paper removed from your roll.
It should look like this:
Step 1:

Step 2:
Then, flatten your TP roll lengthwise one way, and then the other. The creases in your roll should turn your roll from a circle to a square shape:

Step 3:
After your square has been made, cut on each crease about ½ inch, so that you’re left with 4 flaps:

Step 4:
Fold your flaps in, one corner on top of the other, like you would fold a box. The spiral will seal the bottom of the tube when you press the flaps together. There may be a small hole at the center, which is good for drainage!

Step 5:
Now, take some time to decorate your tube! 
Draw the plant you’re planting in it, write your name or a message to the earth. Be creative.

Step 6:
After you’ve decorated your pot, fill with soil and a seed. 
Lightly cover your seed and put in a sunny place or on a windowsill.

Read the seed package to know what to expect. After your seed has grown its first set of true leaves, plant the whole TP tube in a larger pot, or in the ground. The cardboard will biodegrade over time, and roots will emerge from the bottom. Don’t forget to water!

Activity Notes:

You can also cut the TP roll in half (hamburger style) to make more pots. This works well if you’re planting smaller seeds, like lettuce for example.

 Plants with large root systems, like carrots or radishes don’t do so well with these pots, because their roots need a lot of space to expand.

 Make sure you fill up your pot to the top with soil! Give your seed enough space to grow.

Paper towel rolls work well too!


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