How to make toilet roll seed pots

In 2007, an article in The Telegraph suggested that us Brits were leading the way in toilet paper use.

The figures indicated that British toilet paper consumption of 110 rolls per capita was 25 times that of the Ukraine, Europe’s lowest.

I recently became aware of the number of toilet rolls we as a household get through a month. It’s a fair amount.

Using toilet roll is clearly aΒ necessity but instead of throwing the inner cardboard tubes of the toilet roll away, I decided to recycle them and save a bit of money on the gardening front too.

Toilet roll tube pots

Spring is just around the corner. Many of us are desperate to start sowing the seeds of the crops we are planning to grow and enjoy on the allotment and in our kitchen gardens throughout the year.

Making your own seed pots from old toilet roll tubes is very easy and costs nothing but the money spent on the toilet paper you use. Last year I used these to sow and germinate some sweet peas.

Step 1

Collect all the cardboard toilet and kitchen roll tubes that you use.

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I keep mine in carrier bag and safely store them out of the way in the plastic greenhouse in the garden. I grab a few as and when I need them for sowing seeds.

Step 2

Take a toilet roll tube (kitchen roll tubes can be cut into two) and squash it flat creating creased edges.

Step 3

Turn the flattened tube 90 degrees (onto one of the creased edges) and squash it down again creasing two more edges. When you open the tube up again, you will have created a squared tube.

Step 4

At one end of the tube, take a scissors and cut an inch into each creased edge. This will leave you with four flaps at the end of the tube.

Step 5

Moving in a clockwise direction, fold each of the flaps down in turn. Try and keep the crease of each flap as straight as possible as this end will form the base of the pot and straight creases help it stand up straight.

That’s it! Stand back and admire your free, homemade toilet roll seed pot.

Fill the seed pots with some good seed compost and sow your seeds.

The pots hold up really well. They can take watering without falling apart and when the plant is ready they can be removed easily and composted or even planted – pot and all – as the cardboard tube will rot away in the ground.

I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a comment below or connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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18 thoughts on “How to make toilet roll seed pots

  1. I use the pots for peas, beans sweetcorn but the useful tip here is to flatten them at the start to make them square. This makes them a lot easier to fold the bottoms in and also to stack them closer together. Thanks for that.

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  2. We have grown peas and broad beans in loo rolls but we didn’t close the bottoms off. The roots come straight out if the bottom and into the soil straight away when you plant them out. We were wondering how well the roots come out of the pots with folded over bottoms when you plant them out

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    1. Hi both. Thanks for comment. I actually don’t know and will be glad to find out. When I created these I didn’t have any specific plants in mind. I just wanted to use them as a substitute for pots. I’ve had a few people say they use these for peas and beans like you and simply fill with compost and sit in a tray.

      I would think the bottoms can be opened up again on my toilet tube pots if needed but this year is really a trial for everything I do with the allotment so I’m really glad for your input and will see how these pots turn out for me throughout the year.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi, I have only used them with the bottoms open because I mainly use them for seeds that develop a long tap root and therefore need a longer tube. I thought the closed bottoms would still be useful for shorter rooted seedlings. I think I will still try flattening the tubes to square them off though, whether I close the bottom or not. It was a good tip πŸ‘πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment debb. I’ve had such a good response to these. I only really squared them as it made it easier to create bottom flaps but many people have commented on the usefulness of squaring them up.

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  3. Reblogged this on CropLuck and commented:
    Since we’re on the subject of seed libraries this weekend I thought I’d share this post from sharpenyourspades as it’s rather timely in regards to what to do once your check out some new seeds from the library. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks cropLuck! Just read your post and thought how wonderful that service is. I hear about seed swaps here a fair amount, but the idea of going to the library and ‘checking’ out seeds and then after the harvest ‘checking’ them back in is absolutely brilliant. A brilliant public service and participant engaged seed saving process.

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  4. If you leave them as they are, with the bottoms open’ squeezing them altogether in a seed tray and filling with compost, then each plant has a long root run and can be planted direct into the garden when the time comes.

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  5. Hi Richard, I didn’t have much luck with loo rolls before, finding they quickly unravelled once they got wet. Your post has inspired me to try again!
    I love your folding-first technique… but most of all I love the communal looroll-loving joy that is expressed in the comments πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Judy, lovely to hear from you. Yes I know what you mean. They have a peak periods of time I found before they deteriorate. I found the folding helps give that extra support for longer and is just a bit easier with their bottoms closed up. They can go straight into the ground and will rot away. Ha ha yes, lots of toilet roll tube love out there. It just struck me as such a shame that we have to use them and they get thrown away 😊

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  6. Brilliant! I sat through December watching my other half make Christmas stars from each and every toilet roll insert that appeared. This is a much better use and I’m putting this blog under his nose right now!

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