Instructables

EASY Eco-friendly Garden Pots for free! Recycled, green, newspaper seed planting pots for spring!

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Picture of EASY Eco-friendly Garden Pots for free! Recycled, green, newspaper seed planting pots for spring!
This easy instructable will show you how to turn that boring old paper filled with bad news and ads for crap you can't afford into seedling pots for your spring garden. Not only will you get to re-use your newspaper, but you won't have to buy any expensive plastic or peat pots from the store. Get ready spring, we're coming!

The only items you will need to construct the pots are:
*a straight edged (not tapered) glass/cup 
* some newspaper
* rubber bands (optional)

Cost to assemble pots: free
optional cost for rubber bands and additional cost for planting materials.

 
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Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need
As stated before, all you NEED is a newspaper and a cup, but for all intents and purposes I am showing everything I would use from start to finish to construct and then plant inside these pots.

1) Newspaper. I have chosen our local paper. (Once a week, but never weakly)
2) A NON-TAPERED glass. I have included several options in the photos, but I will use the ever classic Flinstones glass I have had since the 30th anniversary of 1960 (YEAH, MATH!)
3) A rubber band (for each pot) the approximate size (not larger than) the glass. (Optional, but beneficial)
4) Potting soil of your choice
5) Seedling/planting tray
6) Seeds

Step 2: Preparing the paper

Picture of Preparing the paper
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As this is a "smaller" paper and not full sized, I use 2 sheets (you can use only one, but the pots are not as sturdy. I also tried using 3, and they do not want to stay together.) The important thing to remember is to use plain newspaper, and nothing glossy. Most inks are soy based, though I do generally try to use only the black and white print- some color is not bad. Just make sure to avoid things like shiny/slick ads and magazines.

* Lay the 2 sheets on top of each other
* Fold in half lengthwise (make sharp creases and try to line them up the best you case as folding gets a little squirrely if folded uneven.)
* Fold in half again
conniesmom9 months ago

What a terrific idea, I think this will be a great way to start my zinnias this year, last year planting the seeds one by one I over planted and got a fungus because they were so close together. This way I'll have more control of placement and should have an incredible evenly spaced garden of giant and Zona Zinnias!! Thanks for this inexpensive and eco-friendly idea! Can't wait to get my hands dirty!!

It is such a great idea I can't wait to try it out myself.
great idea to recycle newspaper in a fun and useful way…
Renee!10 months ago

Looks cool! I'll have to try it this spring :)

neo7166510 months ago

A toilet paper cardboard tube works well for a mold. Fold the bottom over then use a broom handle to tamp the bottom flat, slide the tube out. I've been starting plants from seeds like this for years and have never had one fall apart unless it was over watered. I don't use anything to hold it together either (rubber band).

Allie_Cat10 months ago
I have one question; wouldn't the newspaper pots get soggy from watering the seeds and eventually fall apart?
chopping block farm (author)  Allie_Cat10 months ago

We have been using these (in conjunction with soil cubes) for years. We had that problem in the beginning and contributed it to 2 factors: 1) Over-watering. As these are technically enclosed pots, think of watering them like plastic pots. You wouldn't water those until water poured out the bottom, just enough to dampen the soil. When we watered "better" we no longer had this problem. The rubber band also supports the pot. 2) Using only one piece of newspaper. Using two gives more support.

These are not meant to be permanent homes, just for seed starting until they can be placed in the ground. As a nearly free alternative to plastic or costly peat pots (when we start literally multiple hundreds of plants at a time) they seem to do exactly what they were intended to do, then make nice additions to the compost bin.

If you have had issues with pots falling apart- I would suggest trying to adjust watering, try two sheets of paper and give the rubber band a shot :)

Mentro Allie_Cat10 months ago

they do and sometimes quick, i prefer soil block because of this