Newspaper pots are an easy and economical way to start your seedlings. Plus, the pots can be planted right along with the seedlings when it's time to transfer them to the ground, so the plants won't be shocked by the transplantation. To make newspaper seed pots, you'll need newspapers, scissors, an empty soda can or drinking glass, and tape. Here's how to make your own newspaper seed pot:
1. Cut the newspaper. Do not use shiny or thick pages, such as the ads that come in newspaper. Avoid pages with color text or photos, because the color dyes may be harmful to your soil or plants. Regular newsprint is harmless. Cut the newspaper intro sections, each approximately 8 inches wide and 10 inches long. Fold each piece in half, so that they measure 4 inches by 10 inches. This will give your newspaper pots extra stability.
2. Form the seed pot shape. Wrap the newspaper strip around the can or glass, leaving 2 inches hanging below the bottom of the can or glass. The newspaper will not cover the sides of the can completely, but the two ends of the newspaper should touch. Now, fold the newspaper over the bottom of the can. Crease it to form the base of your pot. This may be enough to hold the pot together. If not, tape it together.
3. Fill the pots. Place the newspaper pots in a shallow tray, close enough so that the sides of each pot will support adjacent pots. Then fill each pot with potting soil, and then plant your seeds about halfway down in the pot, covered by at least an inch of soil.
4. Allow the seeds time to sprout. Keep them moist, but do not over-water; otherwise, the paper could mold. It is okay if the water soaks through the bottom of the pot. Keep the seed tray indoors, and watch the seedlings carefully as they grow.
5. Plant the pot in the ground. Wait until your seedlings have begun to sprout. Usually, they will be ready to plant when each seedling has grown have two sets of leaves. When it's time to transfer them to the ground, do not remove them from the pot as you would with seedlings grown in a tray or regular pot. Just plant the whole newspaper seed pot in the ground. Once they are planted, the newspaper pots will break down quickly in the soil.
This is a great project to do with children, such as in a classroom. Kids will love watching their seedlings grow. Newspaper seed pots are a great way to recycle old newspapers while starting your garden. They are ideal for plants that do not transplant well, and are much less expensive than seedling pots, especially if you plan to start many seeds at once.