Newspaper Seedling Pots

We are currently preparing our autumn vegetable garden (the fresh start you get with each season is a lot of fun, and especially nice if the previous season wasn’t so crash hot in terms of growing).  In the interests of recycling, keeping costs low and avoiding trips into town to buy stuff, we are using newspaper seedling pots.

Newspaper seedling pots are quick and easy to make, cheap and a great way of recycling old newspapers.

Newspaper seedling pots are quick and easy to make, cheap and a great way of recycling old newspapers.

Newspaper seedling pots are not only great for the above reasons, they are quick and easy to make and they can be planted as is (because they break down quickly) so there is no root disturbance.  Everyone wins!

There are a few different methods out there for making newspaper pots, including origami that doesn’t require any sticky tape. We wanted something really quick (and non-fiddly) in order to pump out a lot of pots and a method that reinforces the bottom a bit since that’s where the water is going to go and we don’t want it rotting out prematurely.

So here’s how we do it:

  1. Take a full sheet of tabloid sized newspaper.
  2. Rip it in half vertically (along the centre crease).
  3. Rip it in half horizontally.
  4. Fold the resulting 1/4 sheet of newspaper lengthways.
  5. Wrap it around a jar, open ends up.
  6. Tape it so you have a cylinder.
  7. Fold the bottom in over the jar and tape it shut.
Take a full sheet of tabloid sized newspaper, rip it in half vertically, then rip it in half horizontally to end up with a quarter.  Fold the quarter lengthways

Take a full sheet of tabloid sized newspaper, rip it in half vertically, then rip it in half horizontally to end up with a quarter. Fold the quarter lengthways

Wrap the folded quarter of newspaper around a jar (open ends up), tape it in place, then fold the bottom in and tape that in place.

Wrap the folded quarter of newspaper around a jar (open ends up), tape it in place, then fold the bottom in and tape that in place.

Easy!  This method makes a medium sized seedling pot, obviously you can adjust the size by using a different sized jar.

Then it’s just a matter of filling your newspaper pot with seed raising mix, chucking in some seeds and keeping it all moist.  We put the seedling pots in a plastic tray and squish them up against one another just in case the tape gives out.

When the seedlings are ready to be planted, lift the pots carefully holding the newspaper together, take off the couple of bits of tape and plant the whole thing as is (this means you can avoid root disturbance and your seedlings get off to a better start in the ground).

Newspaper seedling pot 1

Sitting the pots in a plastic tray and squishing them up against one another ensures they stay in place even if the sticky tape loses its stickiness with the moisture.