It’s true -- some of my household’s newspaper never makes it to the curb for collection.
This Spring, our newspapers are serving double-duty when we reuse them as biodegradable plant pots.
To make the pots, you can use wooden paper pot makers. Or... you can simply make pots with the help of another reused item. Spice jars are the ideal size for forming pots for your your initial seed starts. So are tomato paste cans.
I begin my pot making with a page of newspaper.
I crease the page lengthwise, and tear it in half.
I fold each page-half lengthwise again to form a strip.
Then, I tear each strip in half.
Depending on the size of your pot “form”, and the desired height of your pots, you may need to adjust your fold. I like to have a folded edge as the top of my pots, as the fold makes the pot opening sturdier. The bottom of the pot can be a single layer; it will be strong enough. For these pots, I adjusted the fold to cover approximately one-third of my paper piece.
Roll the paper around your form to create your pot. Leave enough paper at one end of your form to make the pot bottom.
Tuck in the paper edge at the end to close off your pot and make the bottom.
Press your finished pot down against your working surface to flatten the bottom even more.
Slip the pot off of your form... and admire your work!
If your pot bottom unfolds a little, causing your pot to tip over, don’t worry.
In previous years, I have used tape to hold the bottom together. With these tiny pots, I have found that tape is unneeded. When the pot is filled with soil, it stands well on its own. As moisture from the soil soaks into the paper, the bottom will hold together even better.
This year, I’m pre-starting my seeds in napkins before putting them into soil. I put one to two seedlings into each pot.
In my fennel and chard department, there is even more reuse going on. This rusty muffin tin is long past its baking days. However, it’s the perfect holder for paper pots formed around pint-sized canning jars.
Happy reusing and gardening!
-- Susanne Wiggins