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.

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by Sarah Cuttle
This sustainable DIY can be planted right into the ground when your seedlings are ready for the garden.


  • 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!

book cover with garden on bottom and wooden table with cut plants on top

Plant More Trees

Gardening on a Shoestring will ease the tension on any gardener’s pocketbook, while inspiring them with fun, creative projects for upcycling, gardening ideas, tips, and alternative designs that will make gardening a pleasure … and an economical one, to boot!
By combining classic gardening skills with ultra-creative ideas, author Alex Mitchell teaches readers 100 ways to up-cycle their gardens by creating ingenious green-thumb DIY projects and grow lush gardens. From reusing common objects (such as tin cans, old potato sacks, and colanders) to revisiting basic garden techniques (growing from seed, for example), a garden’s overall cost can drop dramatically. Thanks to photography, illustrations, and plenty of additional tips, this book has plenty of fodder for readers to create a better garden.
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