Peat pots are a great way to start seeds, but you don’t have to go to the store to find biodegradable pots. Instead, cut cardboard tubes from paper towels and toilet paper to start your seedlings. Using scissors, cut the tubes into short pieces. Each toilet paper roll makes two pots (illustration A) and each paper towel tube makes four.
After cutting them, set the cylinders into a tray, as you can see in illustration B. If you set them so they touch, they’ll support each other as you water the seedlings. They also dry out more slowly when they’re set close together.
Then fill each pot with seed-starting mix, gently pack it down and sow the seeds. Later, as you plant the seedlings in the garden, break down the side of the roll so all of the cardboard will be buried underground. Just as with peat pots, if the edges stick up above the surface, they’ll wick moisture away from the roots.
Serious about seed starting? Check out the Sprout House and Location Station at right!