The calendar says spring is here, and you know what that means – cleaning and planting. Or, if you are still waiting on the last frost of the season, preparing to plant. Let’s combine the two and see what we can come up with.
A lot of people have a big stack of newspapers just piling up in the corner waiting for that “some day use” to occur. If you are like us, you use newspapers for a number of things, including ripping into strips to add to your compost pile. If you don’t have any newspapers, just ask your neighbor, or visit your recycling center. You are bound to find more than you ever wanted.
Newspapers make great starter pots for seeds. Now, you can get a fancy tool that is not only attractive and helpful, or you can use some simple items in your cupboard like a glass, food can, or a pill bottle. Our tool? An old Tylenol pill bottle works the best for us.
Thanks to my vintage (but still viable), 1978 edition of Park’s Success with Seeds, I know that for successful seed germination, my container needs to be the right depth (2.75 – 3.5″) so that the planting medium is 2.5 – 3″ deep. Too little plant medium and your plants won’t have optimum root development and growth. The planting medium will also dry out too quickly. If your pot is too big and you use too little planting medium you risk losing your seeds in the mix. Additionally, limited air circulation and light will surely will be the final kiss of death to the little seedlings.
So, we marked off the correct measurements on our pill bottle so that our newspaper pots were big enough (3.5″) to accommodate the appropriate amount of planting medium (2.5 – 3″). We started rolling the newspaper pot at the top marking, keeping the pot even and properly measured. The videos don’t really discuss this tidbit of planting success, so we hope you’ll find it helpful.
Some of the videos show the newspaper pot makers using tape and glue, but we used neither. The bottoms of our pots are a little bulky, but think this might help keep them intact. We shall see.
There are a lot of videos on YouTube that demonstrate how to make a newspaper planting pot. We picked a few that we particularly liked to help guide you on your way to the garden of your dreams. Got one you’d like to share?
Newspaper pots are free and biodegradable. It’s a little messy, but you might just like the opportunity to give yourself permission to get a little dirty. We won’t tell.
Another thing we like about using newspaper is how easy it is to write on the pots to keep track of your plantings. No need for additional plant markers!
What are we planting you ask? A lot! That is another post entirely. We are really excited to get started on the seeds sent to us by WinterSown.org thanks to an offer we spotted at Urban Sustainable Living Magazine.
This is our first try with the newspaper pots, so we are excited to see exactly what sprouts up. Share your newspaper pot stories and photos with us, we’d love to hear your experiences.
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