Califonia Bountiful

Gardening project: How to make newspaper pots

Feb./Mar. 2012 California Bountiful magazine

It's easy! Newspaper pots for starting seeds

If you're on the mailing list for gardening/seed catalogs, chances are one of them sells this gadget for making pots out of newspaper. The presses have been around for years and years, and finally I decided to give one a try one spring when starting seeds for my garden. I'll tell you now I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked, and how strong and durable the pots were. Best of all, you can plant the seedling pot and all, and the newspaper disintegrates much easier and more quickly than peat.

The pot maker is made out of wood, and it seems quite durable. There are no moving parts, nothing to break. The paper pot maker almost looks like a mortar and pestle, and it sort of works that way.

  • Tear strips of newspaper about 3 inches wide.
  • Wrap the strip of newspaper around the pot maker. Pull it nice and tight.
  • Tuck the ends against the pot maker like wrapping a package. Be as neat as you can—don't wad it; press it.
  • You can see it looks nice and tidy, just like a wrapped package.
  • Press it onto the base, and give it a couple of turns back and forth against it, like you're trying to get something really flat.
  • Take it off, and that's it.

Newspaper pots are amazingly strong, though you don't want to be handling them a lot. And it's fun to be able to read the news while watering your seedlings.

Pat Rubin

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