Saturday, February 6, 2010

Toilet Paper and Newspaper

Tomorrow I will be planting my first bed - my compost bed using the compost crop mix from

Today I decided I would like to try an easy way to space the seeds, and prevent birds from getting them. The package states to broadcast the seeds.

I decided to try sandwiching the seeds between toilet paper sheets. I laid down a piece of toilet paper and moistened it with a spray bottle. I then arranged the seeds on the toilet paper piece, and covered with another piece of toilet paper. Finally, I sprayed the whole sandwich with plenty of water. My hope is that the sandwich will dry tonight and will be easy to place in my prepared bed tomorrow.

A problem with using toilet paper in this procedure is that it is designed to break apart in water, so it does not clog toilets and pipes. That is why I hope the sandwich dries out tonight. That way it might be easier to move in one piece. If it does break, I can still recover the seeds and plant them.

I considered using paper towels but decided I would need too many and that they are not cost or resource effective.

I made a similar seed sandwich using newspaper. Newspaper is more sturdy and may even be able to be moved while wet.

My concerns with both toilet paper and newspaper are:

1. I am using more outside resources than necessary.

2. I do not know what sort of effects these materials might have on the seedlings. The extra barrier might be a bit harder for the plants to break through. There might be chemicals in the papers that I do not want. The decomposition process for the papers might change the chemistry of the soil enough to have negative effects on the plants.

Tomorrow I will plant my seed sandwiches along with some broadcast seed. I do not anticipate much difference. I may even find that it would be less work not to use the toilet paper or newspaper, even if I decide to sow each seed by hand.

I will find out soon!

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