This year, it’s happening: I’m starting my first real garden. Sure, I’ve done tomatoes and herbs in containers before, grown from expensive starts, but this year, I’m starting from seed, building raised beds, and going big. In my seed-starting class yesterday, the most popular tip the instructor shared was not about technical planting skills, but how to construct your own plantable pots from old newspaper. The first gadget she whipped out was the Pot Maker, a wooden contraption that allows for quick and simple pot construction, with no tape or staples required. You can get a similar result using a straight-sided drinking glass and a touch of masking tape: wrap newspaper strips around the glass, fold the newspaper around the base, and affix the tape. Cooler still, she showed us how to fold origami seedling cups that require no special tools other than nimble fingers.
When your newspaper pots are finished, just fill with pre-moistened soil, place the pots into sturdy trays for drainage, and plant with your veggie or flower seeds. Once plants are large enough to go in the ground, give the newspaper a couple of snips to loosen the roots, and plant the whole thing — pot and all!
A note that our instructor advised us to use the paper pots for warmer-season starts such as cucumbers, peppers, and zucchini, since those plants are more tolerant of the paper pots’ tendency to dry out faster than traditional plastic pots (as reported on Homegrown Evolution). — Megan B.
Photo via Homegrown Evolution