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Make your own newspaper pots

By Grow Your Own magazine
08th February 2024

Save money and get your seedlings off to a good start with this wonderful upcycling method

The sowing season is starting up in anticipation for spring and what better way to prepare for this busy period than to make your own biodegradable newspaper pots? This project is a quick and simple creation that will provide you with extra opportunities to cultivate your crops this season, without the need to buy lots of plastic pots.

As these handmade containers can only contain a small amount of compost your seedlings will need to be moved fairly soon after they have sprouted. For this reason it’s best to get started from April onwards so that the weather will not be too cold when it comes to placing your young seedlings outside. You can however, get started with making these now if you have a spare few minutes. That way, you’ll have plenty ready when it comes to sowing. If your pots are struggling to stand up, you can stand them in a crate or sturdy box where they can lean against the sides.

One of the main benefits of using these handy little pots to germinate your seedlings is that the newspaper is biodegradable. This means that they can be planted into the ground when your young crops are ready to go outside. Using this technique will avoid disturbing the roots which can potentially stunt the growth of your edibles. In time, the paper will rot down in the soil, allowing your crops to continue developing into the surrounding earth. They are extremely quick and easy to whip up, so as long has you have some newspaper to hand, you will never be short of sowing containers again!

Glass tumbler


Step 1: Take a couple of sheets of paper and cut them into strips. The width of these strips will be the height of the pots you make, so make sure you bear this in mind and adjust this according to the crops you’re going to grow in them. It’s important to remember this as some edibles require a longer root run than others.

Step 2: Roll the newspaper with the glass in order to form a cylindrical shape. Do this gently in order to avoid creasing the paper which would make this process more difficult. It’s best to choose a tumbler that has straight sides in order to stop the paper from forming a cone.

Step 3:Choose one end of the rolled up newspaper to be the bottom of the pot, and then push and fold that end towards the middle. Continue to do this until the whole side is covered over with paper. Push down firmly to make sure that the material keeps this shape.

Step 4: When you’re ready to start sowing, fill your newly-made pots with compost and sow the seeds of the crop that you wish to cultivate in them. Remember to follow the packet instructions and water the soil well to encourage germination. Keep the pots upright to avoid damaging young seedlings.

Step 5: Seedlings should appear within 21 days. Just remember to keep the soil moist and place your pots in an indoor or under cover space where temperatures are warmer. Doing this will help your young crops to grow big and strong.

Step 6: When the risk of frost has passed you can plant your seedlings out on the plot in their final positions. Dig holes that are deep enough to accommodate the homemade containers, place them in this gap and cover the soil around them. Leave your crops in their newspaper pots when planting as this material will decompose in the soil.

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