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Lately, I have been collecting toilet paper rolls.  Now I know that may sound a bit weird to some of you, but I needed them for my garden.

So how on earth can toilet paper rolls help you in the garden?

Well, they are an inexpensive, environmentally friendly tool in which to start seeds indoors.

From upper right – bush beans, marigolds, Kentucky beans, cucumbers, sugar snap peas and spinach.
 
I thought this would be a good project to do with the kids, so we gathered our seeds.
 
 
We cut each toilet paper roll in half (you can use paper towel rolls and cut them into thirds for this too.)
 
 
We used a planting mix that had slow-release fertilizer already included and also had water-holding granules. I advise wetting the soil before adding it to your toilet paper rolls.
 
 
Now that we had everything, we were ready to start. The kids used tablespoons to ‘spoon’ the planting mix into each tube.
 
 
Then we lightly pressed down the planting mix and added more.
 
 
Now it was time to plant.
 
 
Then we used a spray bottle filled with water to thoroughly water each planted seed.
 
Now we had to create a ‘mini-greenhouse’ effect by covering our toilet paper rolls with clear plastic wrap with some holes in the top.  Then we placed them on top of the refrigerator, where it was warm enough to help them germinate.

Every day, we checked the moisture of each toilet paper roll and added more water if necessary.  

 
Once the seedlings germinated, we removed the plastic wrap permanently and placed our seedlings by our bright, sunny kitchen window.
 
We are keeping the soil moist, but not soggy.
 
Soon, we will be able to plant our seedlings (with their toilet paper rolls) in the vegetable garden.  The cardboard from the toilet paper rolls will disintegrate into the soil.
 
Of course, you can always use the ready-made plastic seeding trays, but I must admit that I like this method better 🙂

**Are you new to vegetable gardening in the desert?  We are fortunate that we can grow a large variety of vegetables, as well as fruit.  I invite you to click the ‘Shop’ tab where you’ll find some great information on growing vegetables.

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I love school holidays….


I don’t have to get up early to get kids ready… 


I don’t have to worry about helping getting their homework done…


And the kids are happy!


Last Monday, while my wonderful husband was busy nailing wooden planks for our new vegetable garden fence, I spent the morning outside with my youngest daughter, Gracie in the garden.



First, we took down our regular bird feeder and hung dried sunflowers for the birds.

We grew sunflowers last summer and saved the flower heads for a winter treat for our birds.

 
Then we turned our attention to our older vegetable garden.

Gracie planted some new sunflower seeds while I planted cucumber and basil seeds.

I have been working on a new project.  I am growing vegetables and flowers together in pots.


All my pots are in the ‘in between’ stage.  This one has red and green leaf lettuce and dianthus.

I also just planted a small cucumber variety in front of the small trellises and there are also some newly germinated cosmos as well.


The nasturtiums are beginning to bloom.  They make great companion plants in the vegetable garden and help to repel damaging insects.



My sugar snap peas are also beginning to bloom.

We had a great time in the garden, enjoying our warmer then usual February weather.

How about you?

Have you gone out in your garden lately?