Free biodegradable plant pots sound good but is it too much effort? I don’t think so and I will show you how to make them and I will convince you of their merits. If you have concerns about you local newspapers and their ‘green credentials’ then consider reading this article by permaculture news. If you are still concerned contact your local newspaper to ask about their dyes and bleaching agents.
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It is that time of year when we all need lots of pots for seedlings or plug plants. However we do not want to keep using all that plastic. It is not biodegradable. It is in the news daily at the moment about plastics in our water, food, etc. As a result I am trying newspaper pots. I have bought a kit to make them but you do not need to. I bought ‘The Gifted Gardener’ Paper Pot Maker. There are several out there and I will just link to a couple here from Amazon for you to look at.
The first thing you need is some old newspaper which you cut into strips. The instructions suggest 12 cm by 26 cm. I find 13 cm pots work better as they have a bit more paper on the base. I also tend to make them about 28c m long as that is the length I get if I cut my free newspaper in half! It also gives a little more overlap on the side. All you do , is wrap the newspaper around the wooden form, push the extra paper underneath and insert it into the base. Give it a little twist but be careful not to tear the paper.
All you then have to do is remove the form from the base, take the pot out of the form and you have a plant pot ready to use. Some people glue the edges but I do not. They stay together well and as I stand them in seed trays they do not tend to fall apart. It also means that the roots suffer no damage when I plant them out into the garden as I can plant the plants in the newspaper pots (as they are biodegradable).
If you do not want to buy a kit all you really need is a cylinder of the right diameter and something to push it into to form the base of the pot. As you can see the base in the kit is shaped but you could just use a mug shape.
Here are a few biodegradable pots I have made all planted up. There are 24 newspaper pots in a standard seed tray. I know that the seed tray is plastic but I will use it for many years. However the thin plastic inserts I am replacing with newspaper pots break really easily. I am sure many more paper pots will appear in future posts as I report on my gardening exploits.
If you love growing your own plants from seed or want to give it a try take a look at my articles:
Please comment below and let me know about your seed and environmental successes.