Gardening Magazine

Recycled Rootrainers

By Tuckshopgardener @tuckshopgardenr
With my last seed order, I ordered what I thought were Root Trainers, reusable long thin plastic containers, hinged in the middle to release their deep rooted contents when the time comes to plant out.  These were to be  a special treat for my sweet pea seeds, which are usually left to find their way, planted 3 seeds to a 10cm plant pot.
But when my root trainers arrived, they weren't quite what I thought they were going to be:  my mistake entirely for not reading the catalog carefully enough.  They weren't the reusable plastic versions that I'd imagined, but instead were a kind of rough, semi-durable material, formed into cylinders.  They'll still do the job for which they were intended in a most splendid fashion - and the seeds will be delighted at the lack of root disturbance which their new homes will  guarantee as the whole thing can just be planted into the ground where it will gently biodegrade as the seedlings grow and prosper.
Which is all very fine, but these new purchases have set me off on a new collection with which to annoy my family.  (The younger members roll their eyes at my nests of old china teacups and pressed glass vases - blind to their own heaps of childhood jumble which creep from room to room until their progress is checked).  But at least my new collection is guaranteed to be short-lived.  For my new passion is  loo rolls.  Or more specifically  the cardboard tubes from the middle of toilet paper.  These will do exactly the same job for me as my specially purchased cylinders - their only drawback being that the cardboard does tend to get a bit squishy and rather alarmingly 'hairy' as they sit in the greenhouse whilst germinating their resident seeds.  My way to combat this is to use them for later plantings in March which will spend less time in the greenhouse and be moved relatively quickly into the ground.
I'll treat them the same way as my 'posh' planting cylinders - put them in a tray lined with green, felty, capillary matting to keep the open bottoms of the cylinders moist and to allow them to take up the water they need.
Recycled containers for sweet peas
And it will be interesting to see how many loo rolls we get through between now and March….

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