Plant starter pots are used to start seeds or seedlings indoors until the outdoor temperatures rise in the spring. Although you can purchase small seed pots, or peat pots, at any garden and home improvement store, you can also make your own pots out of newspapers. The advantages to making your own newspaper pots are that they are cheaper than store-bought pots and the newspaper degrades more quickly once the pots are planted outdoors.
Lay three sheets of newspaper flat on a table, and stack them one on top of the other. Position the pages vertically as if you were reading the paper. Place a ruler at the top left edge of the newspaper, and measure over until you reach the desired height of the pot, marking it with a pencil. For most seeds, you can use 3-inch-tall pots, but for taller plants, such as beans, use a 6-inch-tall pot.
Cut down the length of the newspaper, from top to bottom, along the pencil line.
Lay one of the cut strips of newspaper sideways on the table, and place a cylinder-shaped object, such as a drinking glass, at one end of the strip. Position the bottom of the glass 2 to 3 inches away from the bottom of the strip so that the newspaper hangs over the bottom edge of the glass.
Roll the glass toward the other end of the strip, pulling the newspaper tightly as you roll.
Press the edges of the newspaper down firmly against the bottom of the glass as far as they will go. The edges should meet in the middle of the glass bottom and overlap each other so that there are no visible gaps.
Hold the newspaper onto the glass, and turn the glass right side up. Press the bottom of the glass firmly against the table to compress the folded section of the newspaper.
Grasp the newspaper in one hand and the top rim of the glass in the other. Slowly pull the glass out of the top of the newspaper pot. Fill the pot with compost and plant any desired seeds or plants.
If needed, you can secure the bottom edge of the newspaper pot with a small piece of tape. When you plant the pots into the soil, dig a hole that is at least 1/2 inch deeper than the pot so that all of the newspaper is covered. If any newspaper is exposed above the soil line, it will dry out and suck moisture out from the roots of the plant.
Tips and warnings
- If needed, you can secure the bottom edge of the newspaper pot with a small piece of tape.
- When you plant the pots into the soil, dig a hole that is at least 1/2 inch deeper than the pot so that all of the newspaper is covered. If any newspaper is exposed above the soil line, it will dry out and suck moisture out from the roots of the plant.