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How-to Start a K-cup Starter Garden

A couple of years ago now, the girl and I talked you all through creating a toilet paper tube starter garden.  Now, I’m going to share another little crafty way of reusing some household waste to start your seeds this Spring.

I don’t know about you, but I LURVE my Keurig.  Seriously, freaking, LOVE my Keurig.  We use the reusable filter a great deal of the time, but it can be hard to resist some of those specialty drinks that only come in those wasteful little k-cups.  So this blog post should come as good news!  You can reuse them!  So go ahead and indulge from time to time – and then save your k-cups to make seed starters in the Spring.  😀

How-to Start a DIY K-cup Starter Garden

 

Step 1:  Gather your tools

  • scissors
  • k-cups
  • soil
  • seeds
  • spoon
  • bakery take-away containers

Step 2:  Strip down your kid(s)

Seriously!  Strip them down and put them in an empty bathtub.  They will get dirty, and a contained mess means an easier clean-up, and an easier clean-up means happy parenting.

Step 3:  Start cutting!

Using the scissors, cut a star shape into the top of each of your used k-cups.  Like so:

cutting up the top of a k-cup

Step 4:  Peel away the tops

Now, this really is optional, but it’s a great way for the little one(s) to be involved.  As you finish cutting the top of each k-cup, pass them to the nekkid kid in the tub.  Let them pull off the little metal bits (make sure to tell them NOT to use their teeth).  If they miss some, no biggie.

Step 5:  Dig a hole in the coffee grounds

Be careful with this one, use the back of the spoon or one of those EXTRA small spoons for stirring tea.  Dig out a hole down the center of the coffee grounds.  The grounds do not go all the way to the bottom of the k-cup, there is a hanging coffee filter in there so try not to puncture it or knock it down.  If you do, it’s not the end of the world…  it’s just not as nice for transplanting your seedlings later.

digging a hole in the coffee grounds

Step 6:  add soil

Hand the k-cup back to the kid(s) and let them fill the hole with soil.  Are we starting to appreciate the bathtub and the contained mess?  I thought so.  😉

Step 7:  contain your containers

Just like in the guide for the toilet paper tube starters, we’re going to use some more would-be garbage to hold our little starter garden.  Those crunchy, transparent containers you get whenever you get swayed in at the bakery by the yummy all ready made goodies are perfect little greenhouses!  So pop them in!

Step 8:  add seeds

Another great step to let the kids help out with.  Just add your seeds.  This go-round we’re doing a variety of lettuces so I just let the girl sprinkle them on.  They didn’t even need to be covered over with more dirt.

lettucy goodness - in seed form

Step 9:  water

Ummm..  yeah…  just water them.  😉

Step 10:  bathe kid(s)

Now let the water wash everything in the tub away, and enjoy the thrill of watching your new seeds sprout over the coming days.

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10 Steps to a Toilet Paper Tube Starter Garden

Today we’re going to do things a little different.  Instead of just sharing a photo with you, I’ve got ten.  And the wee girlie and I, will share our steps to making your own starter garden.  No need to have a greenhouse, when you have reusable items laying around the house.

Step One:

Gather all your materials!  Lily-Ann says you’ll need “toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls, toilet paper rolls.  And things to put in the toilet paper rolls: DIRT!”  But you’ll also need clear containers, scissors, and seeds.

Gather Your Materials

Step Two:

Cut the tubes!”  Roughly in half is perfect.

Cut the Tubes

Step Three:

Show off your tubes!  Okay.  LOL  You caught us.  It’s not really a step…  but the wee girlie wanted to show off the tubes she helped cut.  LOL

Show Off Your Halved Tubes

Step Four:

Lily-Ann, we can’t keep calling these steps if you’re just wanting to share pictures of what you’ve done.  Folks are going to stop reading.  We need to tell them what to do so they can plant seeds inside too.  “Okay momma.  Uno mas?”  Okay, Kid Kid, one more.

Lily's Pile of Halved Toilet Tubes

Step Five:

Snip, snip, snip the tubes.

That’s right, cut (or snip) several slits into the side of each tube half.  Cut about half way up the side, and put between four and six slits in each one.

Snip Each Halved Tube Several Times

Step Six:

Now like this…”  Lily-Ann demonstrates in the air how to fold the tubes.  “See?

A Half Tube With the Cut End Folded In

Step Seven:

I don’t remember…  You tell me Mother?”  hehehe…  Next you put the soil – “DIRT!” – yes, dirt, into each tube.  Do this AS you are folding tubes.  You need the moisture and weight of the dirt to hold the folded bottoms together.  They will just keep popping open otherwise.  Trust me, we tried folding a bunch first.  LOL  It didn’t work.

The Wee Girlie Scoops Dirt Into a Folded Tube

Step Eight:

We’re almost done.  “Now Seeds!!!”  That’s right.  Open a package of seeds, and pick out a seed.

Lily-Ann's Chosen Seeds - Sweet Peas!

Step Nine:

Put it right in the middle with dirt all around.”  Got that?  Pop a seed into the middle of each toilet paper tube starter.  Just leave it sitting out on the top.  As you’ll see from our picture, it doesn’t have to be RIGHT in the middle.  A toddlers estimation of “middle” is perfect.  🙂  And honestly?  I’m sure if one or two get stuck right on the edge of the roll they’d sprout just fine.

A Seed in Each Starter Tube

Step Ten:

Cover the seeds (if required) with a thin layer of soil, then close the containers and “Go play upstairs!

Okay, so the process is a little long to hold the rapt attention of a two and a half year old for it’s entirety.  But I thought she did pretty good.  She helped every step of the way – including uploading my photos AND writing this post.  Her exclamation of Go Play was the end though, with it, she lept off the chair and ran off to entertain herself elsewhere.

All Done!

Hope this gives you the courage to try a little repurposing of your own.  🙂  It’s super easy to take household garbage and give it a new life.  Even in a project as easy as this one.  Toilet paper rolls would have made it into our compost (where the plants would have gotten them eventually anyway) and the flimsy bakery plastic that one occasionally brings home on a whim would have ended up in a landfill.  So hold onto them next time and you’ll have a mini-greenhouse for your toilet paper tube starters.  Your own little counter top garden.

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