• Alison Murray

Things to do in your garden during lockdown, day 4: turn toilet roll tubes into pots

Updated: Apr 1

Just to ring the changes I thought I would vlog. Take a look to discover how to make mini pots out of your loo roll tubes. Apparently it takes 400 years for a plastic plant pot to break down and the black ones are not recyclable. So good news - there is no need to buy any more plastic modules, toilet roll innards work just fine.



In summary: to turn the rolls into pots:

  1. Make a 2cm cut at one end. Squash the role and make another cut opposite and squish the roll again so the cuts meet and cut the on the opposite curves.

  2. Fold in the four flaps so one side is underneath the adjacent flap and the other above it. The last one will be tricky to slip in under neath, but you will soon get the knack of it.

  3. Push down the end so that the roll stand up. on its edges. Fill your loo roll with peat free compost. I haven't yet found a peat free seed growing compost, but I find Sylvagrow works really well. It is also endorsed by the RHS which can only be a good thing. You can sieve it if you have fine seeds. Today I am planting runners and French beans which are plenty big enough to push through bigger clumps.

  4. Pack your newly made plant pots into a tray half filled with water. I'm using a recycled mushroom tray here. When the water has soaked up and the top of the compost is wet your'e ready to plant.

Todays top tip

The loo rolls sit in the tray far closer together than your traditional modules. This reduces the chance of air flow between the seedlings and increases the odds of disease - the most likely being Botrytis cinerea. This is a fungal infection that appears at the soil surface and causes grey fuzz around the base of the plant and then kerplunk it's game over! To avoid this always water all your plants from the bottom and be very careful not to over water. Botrytis is highly infectious so, if one seedling gets it bin the whole tray and start again.


A few months ago I moved to Who gives a crap toilet roll as it is completely recycled and doesn't involve plastic. The tubes are much sturdier than average, so it will be interesting to see how well they break down.


I could sow my beans direct later in the year, however, wood pigeons tend to use my veg patch as a take away, so starting them off under glass means they unappealing to our feather friends when they go in the ground.

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