Seed Starting, Part Deux

About a week ago I put together a very homemade rig to get a few veggie seeds started indoors. I was very proud of myself, as I was able to figure out a way to use mostly materials from around the house (you can find that full post here).

Here’s how it has gone:

  • A few months back, I saw some Pinterest posts on using toilet paper rolls for seed starting pots. Thought it was brilliant and I liked the idea of reusing stuff. Began collecting rolls.
  • Put together the rig seen here. Materials included tp rolls, aluminum pan, cardboard supports, and plastic wrap. I was quite proud of myself.
  • Within 8 hours, the cardboard supports began tipping over, due to the humidity inside the greenhouse.
  • Replaced cardboard supports with dowel rods. Wrestled with plastic wrap.
  • Collard greens sprouted!
  • Collard greens grew really tall really fast (within days). Realized light wasn’t close enough.
  • Took the whole assembly apart, cut down dowel rods, wrestled with plastic wrap once again to create cover.
  • Came back that night to find collard green sprouts had completely shriveled up and died. Soil was bone dry (even though I had been watering it twice a day!).
  • Took the contraption apart, replanted more collard greens, wrestled with plastic wrap once again. Nearly threw whole assembly through the window.
  • Husband swooped in to prevent hole in said window. He found some glass panes and a cardboard box and made me a new greenhouse in about 5 minutes. It was a much more elegant solution.
  • Woke up this morning to find all of the tp rolls were moldy. Apparently I went a little nuts watering things in the new greenhouse.
  • Gave up. I broke down and went to garden store. Spent $6 on a plastic planting tray with a cover.
  • Replanted collard greens again.

So I have a few tomato sprouts that are looking pretty decent, lots of red onion sprouts, and today I replanted collard greens and planted a few more tomatoes and onions.

The new set-up. Much easier.


My mom is a bit of a wizard when it comes to plants. She can make anything grow. I didn’t inherit that gene. The fact that I’ve been able to throw seeds in the ground the past couple of years and have things grow has been beyond exciting, because keeping plants alive isn’t one of my strong suits.

The experiment continues. I’ll let you know how it goes…

5 thoughts on “Seed Starting, Part Deux

  1. Laurel

    If you want to reuse things from around the house, plastic yogurt cups and similar are nice (just poke a few holes in the bottom). But now that you have the plastic tray already you can just reuse that forever 🙂

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      Yogurt containers would work awesomely, that’s a great idea. I bet I would have been way more successful with those than tp rolls. I may start saving some of the bigger yogurt containers for tomato transplants before I move them outdoors.

  2. Jessica C

    I feel your pain! I’m growing as a gardener as well. I was going to try the toilet paper roll thing too, now I’m glad I didn’t.

    I have been trying something else I found on Pinterest. Here’s a link to the pin: It’s basically taking a plastic bottle and creating a self watering cup. I usually over or under water seeds when I start them which results in death or mold. So far my tomato plants seem to be doing well with the exception of their distance from the light, and the soil has been staying moist. We don’t drink soda much, and I’m guessing you don’t either, but I saved up some sparkling water bottles that are working great!

    1. Elizabeth Post author

      Oooh, I like the self-watering part of that. Seems like a really good idea. Glad to hear it’s working out for you, let me know what the final success rate is!

  3. Pingback: Seedling Update: Yogurt Cup Planters | Eliz Rocks

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