Newspaper Planting Pots; My Version.




Intro: Newspaper Planting Pots; My Version.

In my search for biodegradable planting pots I came across these ingenius newspaperplanting pots. Like these instructables:

I really liked the concept: using old newspapers to make pots for growing seedlings.
I did not like the lack of stiffness.

That is why I added one more ingredient to the newspaper planting pot.....WATER....

...Oh, your hands might turn black by the ink. If you worry: remember this your hands will get dirty anyway, it`s the soil bb :)

Step 1: Materials Needed.

o Newspapers (torn in 6x60cm)
o A little plastic seeding pot (mine is 5cm in height, 5cm at the top and 3.5cm at the bottom)
o Water

The platic pot is handy as a 3D template. U might want to use another template. Take notion: the flexibility of the pot comes handy in step 5: Taking out the template.

Step 2: Wrap the Template

Wrap one piece of paper around the plastic pot. The paper should be wider than the pot, so u can fold it around the bottom. The best is wrapping it as tight as possible. But don`t despair if it is slightly loose. The water in the next step will stick it all together.

Step 3: Water the Pot.

Put the paper under a running tap and soak it. OR SOAK IT IN A BUCKET OF WATER (you will not spill that many water). Then sqeeze all the excess of air and water out of it Making a kind of papier machee without the starch.

Step 4: Repeat Step 2 and 3

For extra strength, I wrap around another piece of paper, soak it and squeeze it.

Step 5: Taking Out the Template

Be carefull when you pull the template out of our newborn newspaper planting pot. This time the flexibility of the template comes handy, because the wet newspaper is very fragile. When the template is stiff it might be harder to remove and u will end up with an nice papier mâché ball.....

Step 6: Set It to Dry Overnight

The paper is still very wet. I set it to dry overnight and plant my seeds the day after. Ok that might be a long time for the impatient gardener. But hey, u can make a bulk of these and store them for whenever u need them.



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    14 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Where you are using the water I use a cornstarch water and it firms up my paper pots nicely. Add a 4 tablespoons of cornstarch to 1 cup hot water in a large bowl and stir well you can heat the water more if needed to dissolve the cornstarch. Once dissolved add 2 Cups cool/lukewarm water. Use that water as your pot 'bath'. A little goes a long way.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Do you heat it up? I read somewhere they heat it up a little to make the whole mix more consistent. Also, you can mix flour and water. I prefer the cornstarch myself. When boiling potatoes, you can use that water too as cornstarch.


    8 years ago on Introduction

     could one use brown paper, like from grocery sacks or say that brown roll you can buy from Lowe's for construction sites (because I have one of those already)?

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Reason(s) to use old newspaper:
    1. It's basically free. If you don't read the paper, you probably know someone that can save theirs for you. Better to reuse it than to haul all that newspaper to the dump.

    2. You can control the thickness of the pot better. You want as thin a wall as possible for quicker breakdown once placed in soil. I find a double or triple wall good enough in most cases as seedlings usually sprout and are ready to transplant within a few weeks or less.

    3. With regard to thinner pot wall, plants can push roots through thinner pot wall easier.

    4. Wet newspaper most likely breaks down faster than grocery sack.

    Probably, but I think it does not absorb water really good, so it won`t stick that good. Give it a try! Or use a small piece of tape to hold the paper together, instead of H2O ofcourse.....


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Mix a little wallpaper adhesive into the water, use the basic stuff, dead cheap, without the fungicide, will still rot down as easily, but sticks together better.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I must be doing something wrong. I can never seem to get my pots to retain their shape  (while on the template and especially after removal). Any tips?

    1 reply

    difficult to say what this problem causes. Tips?:
    -Use newspaper, not glossy magazine paper (this wont stick that well because the water does not saturate the paper that well)
    -Do not be afraid to use some power while making the bottom of the pot. When the newspaper is wet and around the template a few times It still wants to unroll I guess. Fumble the bottom real good, this will keep the paper in place.
    - Use a plastic pot as template (this can bend in a little, so u can pull gently the template out. While holding the (wet) paper pot in its place.
    - Squeeze as much water out as you can. Especially from the sides then try to get some air between he plastic pot and the wet paper.

    Hope this works for u.....


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Seems like you might want to use a bucket or small container of water to wet your pots and then use the it to water your plants when you are finished.  That way no wasted water down the drain.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Funny you mention this. That is exactly what I did a week ago, while making 34 pots :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Very clever! Easy, cheap (free), fast, and eco-friendly.