I’ve been busy lately, making newspaper starter pots in preparation for seed starting. While I’m sure there are many options for items that can be purchased to use as starter pots, I made my first newspaper pots several years ago and will likely never again use anything else. We don’t subscribe to a newspaper, but in our area a “freebie” containing local news and inserts is delivered each week and even if they stop doing that next week, I have enough newspaper stacked to last me several years. The newspaper pots hold up remarkably well to being filled with damp potting mix, and when it is time to plant, all I have to do is dig the hole and pop the seedling in, newspaper pot and all – no need to disturb delicate roots and stems. The roots of the plant easily penetrate the newspaper bottom of their pot, and over the course of the season, the newspaper is slowly broken down, adding organic material to my garden bed.
In a little under an hour the other evening, I made about 50 pots. I’ll need a total of around 200 but what I have so far will get me started on the first round of planting. Once I got into a rhythm, it only took a minute or so to make each pot.
Start with a single page of newspaper, a pair of scissors, a roll of masking tape and something to use as a template. I prefer a tomato paste can (the small one) but didn’t have one so in this case used a spice bottle.
Now I cut (or tear) the newspaper into quarters
I line up the newspaper against my template, making sure there is enough overlap to be able to fold over and create a bottom for the pot. In this case, I am going to start just below the lid of the spice bottle.
Now I simply wrap the strip of newspaper around the bottle and secure the side seam with a small piece of masking tape. (The paper should go around 2-3 times for stability and sturdiness.)
At the bottom, the newspaper is folded over, ensuring a solid bottom to the pot.
And secured with another small piece of masking tape.
Now I pull the bottle out of my newly formed pot and voila! Ready to be filled with potting mix.