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Experienced gardener shares why he never throws away paper napkins: ‘What a great solution to my … problem’

“That’s brilliant!”

"That's brilliant!"

Photo Credit: TikTok

It seems like every time you grab some fast food or takeout, you always have a small stack of leftover napkins waiting at the bottom of the bag. 

While some of us may keep these around as a stash of emergency napkins in the car or in our kitchens, the TikTokers behind Planted in the Garden (@plantedinthegarden) shared a seed-starting technique using napkins that will come in handy for any gardener. 

The scoop

First, soak the napkins evenly with water, sprinkle seeds on top of the napkins (leaving room for them to sprout), and use two takeout container lids to keep the napkins covered.

Then, keep spraying the napkins daily with water to ensure that the seedlings will sprout within a few days. 

Finally, gently transfer the sprouted seedlings to a pot of soil. The seedlings can only survive up to two weeks on the napkin, so the TikToker recommends planting the seedlings in soil or hydroponics within the first week of sprouting for proper growth. Make sure to give them a good amount of light as well.

“If you’re trying this seed-starting technique, it’s important to know that without a lid, the napkin can dry fast, so keep the lid on until the seeds start to sprout,” they wrote in the TikTok’s caption, advising that it’s also fine to over-water the seeds a little as it will prevent the napkin from drying out.

@plantedinthegarden Seriously, we do love to save whatever we get from a restaurant. Ketchup packets, napkins, containers, chopsticks, fork and spoons, we save them. Eventually, we find a use for them😅 If you’re trying this seed starting technique. It’s important to know that without a lid, the napkin can dry fast so keep the lid on until the seeds starts to sprout and it’s okay to over water a little bit to prevent it from drying. The seedlings will survive up to 2 weeks with only napkin and water, so it’s a good idea to transplant them in soil or hydroponics within the first week of sprouting. Give them a good amount of lighting just when they start to sprout to prevent lanky growth. Keep going, keep growing!💚 #gardening101 #gardentok #gardeningtips #learning #fypシ ♬ original sound – Planted in the Garden

How it’s helping

This tip helps not only gardeners and plant enthusiasts struggling to get their seeds sprouting, but it also makes the beginning stages of growing plants easier for those who may believe they lack a green thumb.

The technique can even save you money as packets of seeds are often affordable and offer you more bang for your buck than the price of a store-bought plant. 

Gardening can easily benefit you and the planet in many ways, from spending less on store-bought produce by growing your own food to improving your mental well-being and physical health by introducing more mindful movement, a healthier diet, and a community of other gardeners into your life. 

Additionally, the hack sets an excellent example of the reduce, reuse, and recycle mindset that anyone can use to contribute to a cleaner, greener Earth. According to The World Counts, paper products account for 26% of all landfill waste. 

By finding a clever use for leftover napkins, you save them from going into the trash and reducing the amount of waste that would otherwise pollute the planet. 

They can even be used for composting, which can nourish your garden and make your blooms even brighter.

What everyone’s saying

Commenters loved learning about this gardening game-changer and expressed their excitement about trying it themselves.

“That’s brilliant!” one TikToker wrote.  

Another commenter was familiar with the napkin method, calling it their “favorite way to start seeds.”

“What a great solution to my seed-starting problem. Thank you!” a third TikTok user mentioned.

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