Starting your won seeds indoors over the winter is a great way to save money, get stronger plants, earlier blooms, and a longer growing season. But what if you don't have a seed starting kit like my Hot House?
There are lots of ways to start seeds using recycled household materials, and one of my favorites is using old cardboard paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Its a great way to recycle, and you don't have to transplant your sprouts from plastic pots in the spring, because you can just bury the whole tube in the ground!
This is another fun project I like to do with my daughter. All you have to do is cut your toilet paper rolls in half (or cut your paper towel rolls into fourths) and fill them with a seed starting medium. You can use potting soil or compost, vermiculite or a formulated mixture of elements for starting seeds. I like to use coco fiber. Its a sustainable renewable resource, and it has the perfect texture for germinating seeds. It comes in dry compressed bricks making it less expensive to transport. Just let one of the compressed coco fiber bricks soak in water until it is absorbed and fluff up the coco fibers and use.
Then plant your seeds at the proper depth, three times the size of the seed, water them, and put them in a warm, well lit space until they sprout! Plant them outside toilet paper roll and all. The cardboard will compost, and the plant will already be off to a great start!
In the video my daughter and I start heirloom cotton seeds that will grow in different colors like green and brown. Cotton has a long growing season. I live in New England so I'm just growing it as a novelty. I have to start it indoors during the winter if I want to have a chance for the cotton bolls to form.