With spring right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about starting this season's garden. Whether you plan on having a large vegetable garden, or just want to start a few herbs or houseplants, there is no need to purchase expensive seed starting equipment. You likely have everything you need already. Making your own seed starting pots from newspaper also helps to recycle, and uses less energy by not purchasing manufactured items. It also saves plants from transplant shock because you can plant the whole biodegradable pot into the soil.
Fold your newspaper in half, lengthwise, to produce one long strip. Repeat this process on additional pieces of newspaper, creating one strip for each pot you plan to make.
Take your can and begin rolling the newspaper around it. You want to have 2 to 3 inches of newspaper sticking out below the bottom of the can.
Fold the bottom pieces in toward the middle of the can. Start with the piece containing the seam and fold it over. Fold the remaining pieces, all the way around the circle, until you have created a flat bottom for your pot.
Push out the can carefully. You will now have a paper pot. Don't let go of it yet, as it is likely to come apart.
Fill the pot with soil. Once it is full, the weight of the soil will keep everything together. Add it to your tray.
Repeat the process on all of your pots, arranging them on the tray so that they touch each other. This will add stability and help them stay together. It will also help keep water distribution even, as all the pots will use capillary action to draw water to and from each other.
Tie your pots together. Once you have all your pots arranged on your tray, use a piece of string or twine to tie them together. Wrap the string one time around the outside of all the pots and tie it loosely. This will make transporting your tray easier and keep your new pots from falling off.
Plant your seeds in each pot, and water. Don't forget to water. Once your seeds grow, plant the whole pot. Roots will grow through it, and the newspaper will break down in the soil.
Make different sized pots by using different sized cans or lengths of newspaper, using the same process.
Avoid the temptation to hold your pots together with tape. This stops them from being biodegradable and can lead to tearing later as the pots get wet.
Tips and warnings
- Make different sized pots by using different sized cans or lengths of newspaper, using the same process.
- Avoid the temptation to hold your pots together with tape. This stops them from being biodegradable and can lead to tearing later as the pots get wet.