Can you use a toilet paper roll to grow carrots? This is one of the questions we have come across from carrot lovers. Well, toilet rolls act like tubes used in growing elongated vegetables and help protect them.
The idea is to use a toilet roll to create an isolated condition to grow carrots in a specific manner. Toilet roll tubes are mostly used in competitive growing; some even use drain pipes, and in controlled situations like a greenhouse. The tube helps protect the tape root when the carrot seedlings start their growth stage.
How to Grow Carrots in Toilet Paper Tubes
Not everyone knows you can plant carrot seedlings, sweet peas, and parsnip seeds in toilet roll tubes. And yet, it’s the best way to grow the seedlings before transferring them to your garden. Its also a cheap option as you won’t need to buy pots.
If you are interested in doing so, here are the steps to follow:
Preparing the tubes
Like growing carrots in pots, preparation is crucial when using toilet rolls. Luckily, it’s not hard. Start by standing the rolls in something like a garden tray and then tie them together for support.
Make drainage holes on the tray before putting in the rolls. Although, you may have to use a solid tray if you are planting in your house.
Filling the potting soil
Carrots germinate best in specific soil. Fill the loo rolls with light and good-quality soil from your garden. Dense and heavy soil makes it hard for the seedlings to grow. The roots won’t find good penetration.
Also, do not use too much fertilizer or amendments. Simply add compost manure to the soil, and your plants will do just fine.
You can buy some potting mix if you don’t want to use garden soil.
Plant the seeds
Once the toilet rolls are ready, you can plant one or two seeds in every tube. Both seeds may germinate. Thin one of them out to give the other better conditions for growth; you always want to pick out the weakest seedlings.
Carrot seeds are quite small. Use a slightly damp toothpick to handle them. This could make planting them much easier.
Caring for your plants
Plants in pots require special care. Direct sowing the seeds may have caused several of them to fall in on the roll and germinate together. Hence, proper care after germination is highly recommended.
Ensure your pots stay in a warm, sunny spot. It could be wise to keep them near a window, a sunny room, or a greenhouse. Though seeds like warmth to sprout, carrots do best in relatively cool conditions – spring temperatures are ideal. If they remain too warm through their growth cycle, they can grow short and fat with a bitter taste.
Apart from providing full sunlight, ensure the soil is moist. Use a spray bottle or mister to water the soil. You may also make a small hole on every roll to give the soil proper aeration and keep it wet.
Even after the tap root emerges, the plant still gets nutrients from the seed, at least for the first few weeks. There is, therefore, no need to use too many fertilizers.
Once the carrot seedlings have true leaves, they can be moved into a bed, container, or a simple bucket. You do not need to remove the seedlings, bury the tip of the cardboard tube into the soil.
Growing Carrots in Toilet Roll Tubes – Conclusion
Growing carrots in toilet paper rolls are just like growing sweet corn or potatoes. The rolls will help you prepare the seedlings ahead of the planting season. Remember to take good care of the young plants during this time as you wait to transplant them.
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!