One of the great things about our Squares to Spare products is that all parts of the product are recyclable. They are also reusable! A great way of reusing the waste from your box of toilet paper is to build your garden.
5 ways to reuse Squares to Spare to build your garden
Whether you have a green thumb or are looking to grow your green thumb, here are five ways to use what’s left after using your Squares to Spare toilet paper to build your garden.
Cardboard boxes as sheet mulching
The first step when building your garden is to create the garden bed. You can choose to use a garden bed which won’t require as much effort, but if you want to start it from scratch, there’s a lot to do. You need to find the spot, weed the area, remove any grass, add sod and soil, and plants and fertiliser.
Sheet mulching is a great way to do many of these things without physical labour. Our cardboard boxes can be used as excellent sheet mulch. Sheet mulched garden beds are ready for planting. Pull back some mulch to direct sow or transplant seedlings.
Making sheet mulch with cardboard:
- Choose your spot: You may want to line the area with a string to know where the edge is.
- Mow the grass that may be there: The best option is to cut the grass as short as possible.
- Wet the area where you’re building the bed
- Lay single sheets of cardboard over the entire garden plot: This will work best if you ensure there are no gaps between the cardboard sheets.
- Spread a 4-inch layer of nutrient-rich compost over the cardboard layer to help the cardboard break down and feed the garden bed.
- Add a final layer of mulch about 2-3 inches deep, including wood chips, leaf mould, and other mulching material.
- Water thoroughly once the final layer is down.
Cardboard has a dual purpose when used to build a garden bed. It’s excellent for sheet mulching as it decomposes slowly and works as a weed barrier. This process is slow, but your garden bed will be ready to plant the following year if you do this process in autumn.
Cardboard boxes weed matting
The next step in building your garden bed is to lay down weed matting so that you won’t have weeds in your new garden. Cardboard is also helpful for this. It’s a natural weed matting that will break down and help feed the soil underneath. Rather than using herbicides or pulling out weeds, the cardboard will smother them and starve them of sunlight.
How to use cardboard as weed matting:
- Using cardboard without too much print and no plastic tape, lay it down in your garden bed.
- If you already have any plants or trees in the area you’re using, ensure you cut holes in the cardboard at least 3 inches wider than the tree's trunk. This is to allow oxygen and water to reach the roots.
- Wet the cardboard with a hose and cover the cardboard with a 3-inch layer of mulch.
If you choose to use a raised garden bed, you can still use cardboard as matting in the bed before adding soil. The cardboard should last about a season or two as a weed barrier before needing to be replaced. It also works with the soil, unlike fabric weed matting which is often made of plastic.
Use toilet paper rolls as seedling starters
The next thing you want to do in building your garden is growing some plants! This is where our empty toilet rolls come in handy. Empty toilet rolls are the perfect size for planting and growing seedlings from scratch, and as we’ve discussed, cardboard breaks down, which means you can just plant them in your garden.
Toilet rolls are the perfect size for small seedlings to be propagated. The cardboard breaks down so you can plant them directly into the garden when ready. There are two popular ways to use a toilet roll as a seedling planter.
Get crafty and cut slits into what will become the bottom of the toilet roll or seedling pot and fold it so that it creates a pot base. Line the toilet roll pots in a box that will work as containers as the seedlings start. Fill each toilet roll pot with potting mix, leaving maybe a centimetre at the top. Pop in your seeds and cover them with potting mix. You could even add a bit of compost or mulch to help feed the seeds. Give your new plant babies a big drink to help them on their way.
No need to make adjustments. You can use the empty toilet paper roll as it is. There may be issues with the rolls being top-heavy once seeds start sprouting. If you’re concerned about this, you can cut the rolls in half. Line the toilet rolls or half-toilet rolls up in a larger box to contain them as they germinate the seeds. Fill the toiler rolls with potting mix, leaving a centimetre of space at the top. Pop in your seeds as per the instructions. Top with more potting mix or compost or similar to cover the seeds. Give your seeds in their new pots a good drink to help them get the best start.
Whichever option you choose, you’ll soon have some seedlings you can then pop into your garden bed to let them grow freely. The cardboard from the toilet roll will break down to nothing in the soil mix.
Toilet paper rolls as pest control
Once your new seedlings grow and love their new life in your new garden bed, you may notice some little critters eating some of them. You can also use your toilet paper rolls to help with this.
You’ll likely find bugs like moths, cutworms and other nosy bugs crawling around or nibbling at your new plants. To help avoid this, you can use empty toilet rolls to protect your plants. Moths will lay eggs in the stems of certain plants, and cutworms are usually found having a snack on healthy seedlings.
- Cut your toilet paper roll in half.
- Wrap the base stem of your plant with it.
- Tape it shut.
For cutworms and similar pests, make cutworm collars:
- Cut your toilet roll into 3-inch sections.
- Push it into the soil around your seedling to protect your plant baby.
Paper and cardboard in composting
And finally, your new garden and new plants will love some delicious compost as food. And all parts of our product, the paper we wrap our rolls in, the empty toilet rolls and the cardboard boxes we deliver are all compostable!
To compost the paper, you should just strip it into smaller pieces and toss it in. Shred it or rip it up for the cardboard and then soak it in some water to help it move along the composting process. It will break down without being wet, but wetting helps speed up the process.
Now you know how to maximise the use of your box of Squares to Spare toilet paper. You can grab a box today and get gardening!