Never Throw Away Toilet Paper Rolls | 5 Uses in Gardening

Title: Never Throw Away Toilet Paper Rolls: 5 Uses in Gardening

Toilet paper rolls are often considered a nuisance after they’ve served their primary purpose, but they can find new life in your garden. Repurposing these cardboard tubes is an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to enhance your gardening experience. Here are five creative ways to use toilet paper rolls in your garden.

1. Seed Starting Containers

Toilet paper rolls make fantastic biodegradable seed-starting containers. Instead of purchasing plastic pots or trays, save your empty cardboard rolls. Here’s how to use them:

Materials Needed:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Potting soil
  • Seeds


  1. Cut each toilet paper roll into two or three sections, creating smaller biodegradable pots.
  2. Fill each section with potting soil and plant your seeds.
  3. Water the seeds and keep the rolls in a tray to maintain moisture.
  4. Once the seedlings are ready to be transplanted, plant the entire roll in the ground. The cardboard will naturally decompose, providing a smooth transition for the young plants.

Using toilet paper rolls for seed starting not only recycles waste but also minimizes transplant shock, as you’re not disturbing the delicate roots when moving seedlings to the garden.

2. Organic Mulch

Toilet paper rolls can serve as organic mulch around your plants. Mulching offers several benefits, including moisture retention, weed suppression, and temperature regulation for your garden. Here’s how to use toilet paper rolls as organic mulch:

Materials Needed:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Scissors
  • Mulch material (e.g., straw, leaves, wood chips)
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  1. Cut the toilet paper rolls into smaller rings or strips.
  2. Place the cut rolls around the base of your plants, creating a mulch barrier.
  3. Cover the rolls with your preferred mulching material.
  4. This organic mulch helps to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil quality as it breaks down over time.

3. Compostable Plant Pots

Toilet paper rolls can serve as biodegradable plant pots for direct planting in your garden. This method is an eco-friendly way to add plants and nutrients directly to your garden bed. Here’s how to use them:

Materials Needed:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Potting soil
  • Small starter plants or seeds


  1. Cut the toilet paper rolls into small sections, just as you would for seed starting.
  2. Fill each section with potting soil and either plant small starter plants or sow seeds.
  3. Bury the entire roll, with the plant or seedling, directly into your garden bed.
  4. The cardboard will decompose, adding organic matter to your soil while providing a protective environment for your new plants.

This method is particularly useful for plants that don’t transplant well or have delicate roots, like peas and beans.

4. Vermicomposting Tubes

Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is an excellent way to enrich your garden’s soil naturally. Toilet paper rolls can be used to create vermicomposting tubes, which help house the worms and provide them with a stable environment for breaking down organic matter. Here’s how to make vermicomposting tubes:

Materials Needed:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Worms (red wigglers)
  • Food scraps


  1. Cut the toilet paper rolls in half.
  2. Place a few worms inside each cardboard tube.
  3. Add your kitchen scraps, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, to the tube.
  4. Bury the tubes vertically in your garden bed, leaving a portion above the ground.
  5. The worms will consume the food scraps and produce nutrient-rich worm castings, which will benefit your garden soil.
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5. Pest Control

Toilet paper rolls can serve as a natural and non-toxic pest control method for certain garden pests, such as cutworms. Cutworms are known to attack young seedlings by chewing through their stems at soil level. Here’s how to use toilet paper rolls to protect your plants from cutworms:

Materials Needed:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Scissors
  • Seedlings


  1. Cut the toilet paper rolls into sections, creating rings.
  2. Place a ring around the base of each seedling, ensuring it extends slightly above the soil level.
  3. The cardboard rings act as a physical barrier, preventing cutworms from reaching the stems of your young plants.

These cardboard collars can be particularly useful when transplanting delicate seedlings vulnerable to cutworm damage.

In conclusion, toilet paper rolls offer a simple yet versatile solution for various gardening needs. By repurposing these cardboard tubes, you not only reduce waste but also enhance your garden’s sustainability and productivity. Whether you’re starting seeds, mulching, creating biodegradable pots, supporting vermicomposting, or protecting plants from pests, toilet paper rolls are a valuable resource in your gardening toolkit. Give them a try and discover how they can benefit both your garden and the environment.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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