It makes me very happy when I’m able to recycle items instead of sending them into a landfill, and paper products are among the easiest to introduce into the garden because they’re biodegradable. Paper can be added to compost piles – a very secure way of disposing of documents with personal data, by the way – or used as a mulch, among other things. In today’s case, I’m showing you how I reuse the inner cardboard rolls from toilet paper and paper napkin rolls.
I start off by cutting the rolls to a decent height. I like them to be high enough for a plant to germinate and grow a little. Then, I use a piece of paper – usually newspaper, since that’s always available and will disintegrate fairly quickly – that I stuff from the top to the bottom of the roll so that it forms a layer at the inner base that will cradle the potting mix.
Next, I fill the prepared rolls with potting mix, and sow the seeds. These are placed in a tray that can hold about half a centimetre of water. This allows the water to seep upwards, and if you keep the mix moist, and add a bit of water daily, will create good conditions for most seeds to germinate. I don’t recommend leaving them in too much water, because the rolls will fall apart faster, and it may make the potting mix too soggy!
Sit back and wait for the seeds to germinate. When they do and are old enough to be planted out, all you have to do is dig a hole and place the entire plant together with the roll in it, and fill it up. It will be the easiest plant transplant you’ve ever done! The roll will disintegrate in time, and the plant will be happy because its roots were not disturbed in the process.
The best thing is, you’ll have done something to save the earth by recycling something and reintroducing it to the ecosystem. Everybody wins!