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Tollete seeds

Toilet Paper Pots for Chile Peppers!

This is the ultimate idea for making your own FREE pots with recycled toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. Who doesn’t have these around? Instead of throwing them away, use them to start your vegetable seeds!

While some people fold the bottoms of their rolls, we use these paper “pots” with their open bottoms so that the roots can grow deeper, then I just plant right in the ground when ready.

Pictured below are some Hatch chile pepper seedlings from last year. We put 6 toilet paper roll “pots” in tupperware containers to hold them upright which also makes it easy to water, you just pour some water in and the rolls suck it right up.

Starting Chile Peppers from Seed:
Use well draining soil, p epper seeds need light, well-draining soil to germinate and then grow to a transplantable size. Seedling Mix and Sunshine Mix #4 works well or something similar with small particles and good drainage.

Paper Towel Method for Germination:
Some people find it easier to use the paper towel method to germinate peppers. This paper towel method helps keep the seeds moist and warm until they germinate, rather than trying to keep the soil evenly moist while you wait for germination. Be Patient: Germination should occur within 7-21 days but sprouting can take up to 40 days!

To do this, lay a paper towel on the counter and spray or mist to dampen, then place pepper seeds about 1-2″ apart in a grid on half of the paper towel. Fold over, then spray or drizzle more water to get the towel fully damp. Then, you can put the paper towel into a glass or plastic container with a lid or a ziplock bag to keep it moist. Place in a warm area (80-90˚) with moderate light (not full sun). Make sure the towel stays damp, and leave a little opening in the container or bag so a little air can get in. Learn more about Pepper Seed Germination »

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Once the seeds germinate, you can then gently place them into your paper roll pots.

Keep them warm!
The secret to germinating chile pepper seeds is to keep them warm! The soil temperature must remain between 80° F – 90° F for successful germination.

Don’t Overwater Chile Peppers!

Make sure not to overwater your pepper plants! Chile peppers don’t like soggy or wet feet, we’ve overwatered ours many a time in the past and they get yellow and sad looking. Simple cure: let the soil dry out a bit between waterings. Also, once they’ve sprouted, make sure to give them a breeze from a fan, or “pet” them by brushing them daily with your fingers to strengthen their stems and keep them from getting spindly.

Learn more about how to fix weak pepper seedlings »

Hardening Off Hatch Green Chile & Pepper Seedlings:
It’s very good practice to harden off your seedlings before planting them outside. We advise to bring them out for a few hours a day, gradually increasing the number of hours they have in the sun for a week or so, and finally leaving them out overnight for a night or two before planting outdoors. This will give them a chance to get used to the hot sun, wind, and outdoor temperatures so you don’t shock them when planting.

Make Your Own Seed Tape

Making your own seed tape can save you time, ensures your plants are spaced out correctly, and is a great “rainy day” project for kids.

OK, I’ll admit it. Up until now I haven’t appreciated the usefulness of seed tapes. Assuming the store carries them at all, the variety selection is extremely limited. When it comes to spacing the seeds and rows in my raised beds, I’m a gardening perfectionist–always trying to get nice, neat, perfectly spaced rows of seeds. Not only that, having to thin out perfectly good seedlings is always a painful experience. Since it is now time to plant fall carrots in our area, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try the seed tape thing out. The following project will yield 2-4 seed tapes, about an inch wide. You can certainly vary this, to make whatever spacing configuration you need.

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The list of things you’ll need:

1. Flour
2. Water
3. Scissors
4. Toilet paper (paper towels or white party streamers can also be used)
5. Ruler
6. Pencil
7. Small paintbrush
8. Seeds
9. Small bowl
10. Plate

Airtight bag or container

Skill Level:


1. In a small bowl or container, mix the flour and water until a thick paste forms. You’re aiming for the consistency of white craft glue or syrup. It should be thick enough to sit on the end of your brush or pencil without dripping.

2. Cut the toilet paper in half, at the length you need. The toilet paper is twice the width you need, so by cutting it in half down the middle, you’ll have 2 tapes already measured, or 4 tapes if the paper is two-ply.

3. Use a pencil and ruler to draw marks on the paper according to the seed packet’s spacing recommendations.

4. Place the seeds you’ll be using on a clean plate and spread them apart so they’re easier to pick up.

5. Using the small paintbrush, put small ‘dots’ or dollops of the paste along one side of the toilet paper strip, on the marks you made.

6. Use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to stick one or two seeds to each dot.

7. Fold the other half of the toilet paper over, on top of the seeds. This will seal the seeds inside your seed tape until they’re in the ground and ready to germinate. The paste will also keep the paper sealed.

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8. Allow the tape to dry, then write the plant and variety name on it.

At this point your seed tape is ready to go. If it’s not planting time when you’re finished, you’ll need to store it in an airtight container, preferably in a cool place. Roll the tape up into a coil, or simply wrap it around an empty toilet paper roll.

To plant the seed tape, prepare your growing area as usual and lay the tape down. Cover it with the appropriate depth of soil and water as usual. The toilet paper will gradually dissolve in time as the seedlings grow.