Grow a Budget Garden and Recycle at the Same Time

Gardening is becoming very popular in these crazy times since people are spending more time at home, and the food supply chain seems a little shakier than during normal times. Gardening is like any hobby, you can spend a lot of money on top-of-the-line products and tools, or you can find ways to start your garden on a budget.

Toilet Paper Roll Seed Starters to Start a Budget Garden

You can buy seed starter systems or can make your own using simple materials like toilet paper or paper towel rolls and a plasticware casserole dish with lid.

Step 1: Cut Toilet Paper Rolls

I saved up 17 toilet paper rolls over the winter to do a seed started system for herbs. I wanted to plant sage and thyme. Once I had enough rolls, I did the following:

  1. Cut each roll in half
  2. Then on one end cut about 1/3 of the way up. The rotate to the other side and do the same cut. Repeat 2 more times in the middle of the first two cuts so there is four evenly spaced cuts on one side of roll

Step 2: Fold Ends of Tube

Once the four cuts have been made, fold the flaps in a box fold with one end overlapping the other. Crease the folds on the bottom to make it sit better once the soil and seeds are inside.

Folded toilet paper tube to start seeds in a budget garden
Box fold on the end of the toilet paper tube

Step 3: Layer Folded Rolls in Casserole Dish

As you make your seed pots, set them in a casserole size plastic dish until you have filled up the space on the bottom.

Step 4: Fill with Potting Soil and Plant Seeds

Fill each pot with seed starter soil and then plant seeds according to the directions on the seed packet. I planted half of my seed starter pots with sage and the other half with thyme. Pour water the bottom of the dish (about 1/4″ full of water) and move the dish around, so all of the seed pots get slightly immersed in the water. Then cover with the top to keep the water from evaporating and a humid environment.

Closed lid of casserole size dish with planted seeds in a budget garden.

Once the seeds sprout, take the lid off and place under a grow light or sunny window.

Step 5: Plant in Pots when Ready for Your Budget Garden

When the plants get big enough, put the toiler paper tube seed pot in a larger container or garden (according to the directions on the seed packets). Loosen the box fold a little and plant the whole pot in the soil.

Small sprouts in sage and thyme in budget friendly garden toilet paper seed starters
Sprouted sage and thyme