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Easy Recycled Containers for Starting Deep-Rooted Seedlings

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A cost-effective and rewarding way to kickstart your garden is to start your seeds indoors. This can also be a chance to reuse and repurpose household items.


One clever technique is to sow seeds in empty toilet-paper tubes. Paper-towel tubes work well too, especially for plants that develop a long taproot. And Horticulture's "Notes from the Garden" columnist, Greg Coppa, reports he has used empty Pringles potato-chip cans with excellent results (be sure to punch drainage holes). 


Using paper rolls to start your seeds is not only great because it is free to do, but also the cardboard is biodegradable, which means you can directly place the tube in the soil when it is time to transplant. This is a convenient option for plants that do not typically like being transplanted, such as nasturtium. 

To prep your cardboard tubes for sowing, cut slits in one end of the tube to create flaps that you can fold over and secure with tape, making the bottom of the container. Then fill it with your desired seed-starting soil and proceed as you would with any seed pot. If you plant the entire tube at transplanting time, be sure to open up the bottom end. If you've Greg's Pringles-can idea, recycle that instead of planting it.