Homemade Seed-Starting Pots

The inner tubes of paper towel or toilet rolls make instant compostable pots, and they’re particularly good for seeds that like a long root run.

Photo by Sarah Cuttle


  • Cardboard tubes from paper towel or toilet rolls
  • Multipurpose potting mix
  • Seeds of choice


  1. If you’re using a paper towel tube, first cut it in half horizontally so you end up with two tubes. If you’re using a toilet roll, there’s no need to do this.
  2. You then need to fold one end of the tube upward to stop compost from falling out. To do this, simply make four tears about half an inch long around the outside of one end, and fold the flaps up and inward to make the bottom of the pot.
  3. You can now fill the pot with soil. Sow seeds directly into the tubes as normal, and then plant the whole thing out when the plant has matured. Don’t forget to label them!


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