Monday, February 16, 2009

PP in TPT or Planting Peas in Toilet Paper Tubes

I am planting Snap Peas for early spring harvest. Normally I would want to plant these directly outside, but I decided against that for this experiment. I will be planting them into my tomato planters and a good hard freeze is not only possible, but expected before winter gives it up. I thought -why take the chance. So I am starting these seeds indoors, then moving them to the cold-frame outside for hardening-off. Afterward, maybe sometime in early March, I will transplant them into the tomato planters if the weather seems amenable to the notion.

I am using TP/PT tubes. Paper Towel tubes, cut into three and Toilet Paper tubes used without alteration. The soil-filling process was a little messy, more than I would have liked, but it was easy enough to clean up the soil-less potting mix. You can see in the photo that I am also using yogurt-containers, old vegetable start pots and other recycleables -all of which have bottoms with holes.

I was most interested in the paper tubes because they have no bottoms. I wanted to see how well the soil stayed in the tube, even after multiple waterings. The soil was ever-so-slightly damp and it stayed in the tube with a little compaction. Here I am holding the tube, soil facing the force of gravity, yet the soil stayed in place.

A closeup of the bottom of the paper tube. I even used a large (about 3-inch diameter) paper tube from a role of drawing paper and the soil stayed put same as this.

In these two shots you can see the tubes placed in a plastic food container. I added water to the top of the soil and also into the plastic container. The water was quickly taken up and the soil stayed put.

You may have seen Johnny's, or even Martha Stewart hawking a device for making potting soil cubes for seed starting. Its a great tool for someone with tons of seeding to do, but for those of us in the city, with our small spaces -all we need is toilet paper or paper towel tubes.


  1. eHow has directions for this also:

  2. That's great -E-how. The only difference for me is that I am too lazy to fold in the bottom, so my experiment was to see if I could do without that step!

  3. Yeah, I don't fold the bottom either and don't see a need to do it. Waste of time if you ask me.


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