Incredibly clever and simple upcycle/reuse seedling starter idea submitted to our blog via RawVeganista’s very inspiring Mothers Day blog entry:

What to do with those cardboard inner spools left over when the toilet rolls (or paper towels, for those who use them) have run out?

Personally, I’m inclined to save mine for projects. Occasionally I’ll use them for food projects, but usually I find more call for them in relation to gardening endeavours. I like using these since they’re small enough to fit onto sunny windowsills until seeds germinate.

Once seedlings have begun to sprout, the cylinders (made from unbleached cardboard) may be placed directly into the ground without need to disturb the tender seedling in any way. How easy and convenient is that?

Here’s the breakdown:
 1 paper towel cylinder = 2 2/3 bathroom paper roll cylinders

  •  1/2 bathroom roll cyclinder = 1 seed starter


  • The process is très simple, requiring only

  • Cardboard cylinders
  • Scissors
  • Organic potting soil (or gardening soil, if seedlings will be placed directly into the earth immediately after sprouting)
  • Sharpie or pen (useful for labelling cyclinders to distinguish seedlings)
  • Seeds (preferably heirloom, organic, Non-GMO varieties)
  • Water
  • Empty tray or jar lids (1 lid per cylinder “pot” to be used, or a large enough tray to accomodate desired number)
  • Instructions for assembly:

    1. Cut cylinders down to size (bathroom roll cyliners should be cut in half, but use your own best judgement with paper towel cylinders–I never use paper towels, so am unable to provide exact measurements at this time).
    2. Set cylinder sections into empty tray or jar lids.
    3. Fill ½-¾ of each cut cylinder with potting/gardening soil.
    4. Moisten soil with a bit of water.
    5. Press seed into potted soil.
    6. Fill remainder of cyclinder with soil.
    7. Add water to moisten.
    8. Place in a sunny spot until sprouted.
    9. After seedlings are big enough to repot, simply place the entire starter into the ground or planting container.

    Please be sure to visit The Raw Veganista website & blog for more creative inspiration from the kitchen & beyond.

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