It's time for starting a garden that rocks! Use our seven steps to start seedlings in toilet paper rolls for a free, easy way to start your garden and put those tubes to good use.
- Compile Your Gear: Toilet paper rolls and a bag of potting soil also will be needed for starting a garden. You also will want scissors and duct tape for prepping your seedlings.
- Cut Your "Pots": Slice the toilet paper rolls in half (so you have two shorter tubes). You can also use paper towel rolls and cut it into multiple pieces instead of just two. Or use coffee sleeves and don't cut at all. Then slice four notches into the end of each of the pieces (about an inch deep). Fold the newly-created tabs into the center to make a bottom for your pot.
- Plant Your Spring Seedlings: Fill your tube pots with soil and pack lightly. Moisten the soil and plant at least two seeds per tube. Place your tube pots in a bin until they're big enough to transplant. Plant a variety of garden seeds in your tubes and mark your tubes with fruit and vegetable names. Moisten the soil again and cover with clear plastic. Keep the plants out of direct sunlight. Check your seedlings daily. Once you see sprouts in each space, you can remove the plastic and add your lighting.
- Give Them Light: You don't need expensive grow lights. Simple shop lights will do since your seedlings won't be grown indoors long-term. Your plants will need about 12 hours of light each day. Hang shop lights just above (no more than three inches) your seedling bins. Provide light daily for six weeks. Water daily.
- Let Your Seedlings Grow: The plants will grow strong and straight since the light source is directly above. After about six weeks, your seedlings will be strong enough to plant outside.
- Acclimate Your Seedlings: Take the entire seedling bin to your garden and let the plants acclimate to the weather outside. Take the bin for longer periods each day as the weather warms. Once it's warm enough full-time, you're ready to transplant.
- Transplant: When the seedlings are acclimated and spring has truly sprung, replant your hardy seedlings outdoors. Follow spacing guidelines for each plant and and unfold the bottom of the tube. Place the entire tube in the ground and voila! Your spring garden is off to a great start.
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