Monday night I stayed up until 11 PM planting eight broccoli plants. Not that it’s especially difficult to sow broccoli seeds that it would take me until nearly midnight to do so … I was actually brushing my teeth, lamenting the fact that the three stores I checked had run out of the paper planting cups I wanted to use for starting my seeds.
“I could use egg cartons,” I thought, “but then I’d have to find a home for a dozen eggs in the refrigerator. I don’t have any paper cups. What can I use?”
Then I opened the closet door and stared into the closet. My eyes fell upon several rolls of toilet paper.
“Aha! I wonder if I can reuse old toilet paper tubes!”
Call me crazy, but I save my toilet paper tubes. I can’t give you a reason why, other than I think I planned on using them for starting fires, or recycling them, or finding some other use. I opened up a canister full of flattened tubes and took out a few.
Then I jumped on the internet and typed in, “plant seeds in toilet paper rolls”.
Google is an amazing thing. The first link that came up was a DIY tutorial* on fashioning planters out of toilet paper tubes! Well, the creative juices combined with a little gardening fever kicked in and my teeth brushing got put on hold. I went to task making several planters out of the tubes.
I ended up planting eight organic Calabrese Broccoli seeds, obtained from Seeds of Change. I sowed them about 1/2″ deep in Jiffy Seed Starting Mix, misted them well, then placed them outside on the wall of the herb garden. There they’ve sat for the past three days.
Then, as I was letting the dog out to go to bathroom before bed last night, I discovered that seven of the seeds had already sprouted. “That worked!” So far, anyway. Nonetheless, it was encouraging, so I planted eight more tonight in the same way. I’ll let then grow a couple of weeks before I transplant them. I still have to prepare the beds!
* This tutorial is very simple and easy to follow, but I would make one suggestion: use a small piece of duct tape to tape the top of the tube. After the tube gets wet, it has a tendency to unravel. A little tape will hold it in place – just not masking or clear tape.