Newspaper seedling pots are an easy, and zero waste, way to start off your seeds. You can reuse old newspapers that you have or ask your neighbors for their old papers. They don’t take long to make and you can make as many as you want.
The Benefits of Newspaper Seedling Pots
• Zero waste
• Saves money
• No tools or glue needed
• Quick and easy to make
• Plantable pots
• The whole pot is compostable
• Sturdy enough to last
A common question surrounding homemade newspaper seedling pots is are they safe? The answer is yes they are. Modern newspapers are made using soy-based inks which are both biodegradable and non-toxic. This means they won’t harm you, your seedlings or the environment.
The Jar or Can Method
What you need:
• An old jar or can
The size of the jar or can you use will depend on how big you want your pots to be, however, a 6-ounce can is the recommended perfect size for seedlings. If you don’t have a jar or can available then any cylinder object will do. Some people like to use bottles or shot glasses. You’re just using the object as a mold.
Step 1: Fold one sheet of newspaper, almost in half, lengthways. Leave a strip of about 3 cm at the top. Fold that strip down, similar to an envelope.
Step 2: Put your jar or can at the bottom of the newspaper. Ensure the jar or can is slightly over the bottom of the newspaper so you can easily remove it when you’re finished.
Step 3: Roll the jar or can up inside the newspaper. Make sure it’s a tight fit. After rolling, tuck the newspaper into the top hole of the jar or can.
Step 4: Flip the jar or can upside down and press down onto it to create a secure bottom seal for your pot. Make sure there aren’t any holes for the compost to fall out. Carefully remove the jar or can. That’s it! Repeat the process for as many pots as you need.
Top tips for success
Before you add your compost, put your homemade newspaper pots into a tray as the newspaper can get quite soggy. By putting them in a tray first it makes them easier to move around, if needed.
You can leave the pots in a tray filled with damp compost which ensures the newspaper stays moist. This allows the roots to grow out through the sides.
For outdoor potting you can plant your seedlings and the newspaper pot straight into the ground as the newspaper will fully break down after a couple of weeks. Alternatively, you can unwrap the newspaper from the compost and seedlings prior to planting if you wish.
Don’t over water your seedlings in their newspaper pots as the newspaper could start to form mold. Aim to leave them in the pot for no longer than three to four weeks.
Don't worry if the pots seem flimsy or unraveling, once they are filled with moist compost and moistened they hold shape nicely.
For more gardening tips and guides on growing your plants in recycled containers, check out our other gardening blogs on "How to Plan and Start a Simple Herb and Veggie Garden For Your Home" or " How to Plant Your Garden in Recycled Containers."
Happy spring planting and leave us a comment on what seedlings you plan to plant in your recycled newspaper pots below. We would love to hear what herbs and veggies you like to plant.