By Alan on Jan 28 in Blog tagged Dennis Adamson, garden, make your own, Master Gardener, seed, starter pots | Comments Off
Planning On Planting?
Making Your Own Paper Seed Starting Pots
By Master Gardener – Dennis Adamson
Paper Pots Update
I have been working on my paper pots so I will have a stockpile when I want to plant my garden seeds. At first I was tearing the pages out of the newspapers, folding them and then rolling them freehand on the small cup. I had set a goal of doing 10 a day. This meant that I was getting the supplies out and then having to put them away each day to keep my wife happy since I was doing it in the comfort of our family room.
I decided that there had to be better and easier ways to do it. The first thing that I decided to do was to tear the pages out and save them up. When I had several days saved up I folded them. I used an extra remote control to press the folds crisply and stacked these all together. A pencil or other items could be used to do the same thing.
On Saturday I got the cup and tape back out and started making the pots. I brought the piano bench over by the couch and set the folder paper down, put the cup on it and rolled it while it was firmly on the bench. This allowed me to keep the paper going right along the edge of the cup and at the same time rolling it more tightly and neatly. I also put a small piece of tape on the bottom to hold it in place more firmly until after I have put the soil in it. I will then remove this piece of tape.
Doing these additional tips I was able to keep the process more orderly and faster. I was also able to do it while watching TV. I guess that makes me a multitasker.
When you look at the folded newspaper picture you will note that there are 2 stacks. I still find it easier to use a single page folded twice. I am going to do a few that are 1/2 pages that are folded only once. This makes a thinner paper pot, which I suspect will allow the roots to grow through these easier. They are more flimsy though. I will experiment with a few of each by planting them in my cold frame, once the weather is warmer, and then digging them back out to exam the root growth through both. I will let you know how this turns out.
The seed and gardening catalogs are coming to my home every day now. I am already thinking about starting some of my seeds soon. One catalog had some peat pots that were an excellent price. Being the penny pincher that I am, I decided to see if I could find a cheaper price online.
This led me to the discovery of paper pots made out of used newspaper. There were paper pot makers on sale for $15-20. The tight Scotsman that I am (Actually only 3/4 Scot, 1/8 English & 1/8 Danish) made me look for ways to make one. This led me to one made from PVC pieces. Those of you who have seen my articles in the past know that I have made raised bed platforms, arbors, low tunnel hoops and the framework for my seed starting grow lights from PVC. This could be made for about $3 plus the gas to and from the store. I found one site that used Origami folding to make them.
This was way too complicated for my taste. Then low and behold I came across an Internet site showing how to make they using a drinking glass. Not only did I have these already, but I could also make paper pots of different sizes if I wanted to.
The best glasses to use have straight sides. Larger ones and even slightly tapered drinking glass can work and make larger paper pot.
I will take you step by step through the process.
First: obtain used newspaper. If you don’t get a newspaper ask a neighbor, friend or family member to save them for you. Don’t use the glossy inserts.
Second: use one page of newspaper. There are those that use a whole sheet and others ½ or even less of a page. I have experimented and found that 1 page works best for me. Fold the page in half two times.
Third: pick the glass that you want to use. Roll the folded newspaper around the glass leaving enough of the one edge above the glass to fold into the mouth of the glass to form the bottom of the paper pot. Fold the upper edge tightly over the lip of the glass.
Fourth: slide the glass out of the paper roll, turn it around and press it in to roll to completely form the bottom of the paper pot. You can tape the side of the roll to keep the pot together better when you put the soil in it. If you are not going to take the paper pot off when planting, use a biodegradable tape. Medical anti-allergic paper tape, found in most pharmacy sections or some masking, transparent or carton sealing tapes can also be found in biodegradable forms.
If you have a slightly tapered glass don’t wrap the paper as tightly so that it can be removed. If you desire larger paper pots use a larger drinking glass. Most standard ones have about a 3 1/4’’ diameter mouth. I then use a full sheet of newspaper and only fold it once. This allows adequate depth and still gives you enough overlap to form the bottom of the pot. I was about to make a 3 1/2’’ wide by 4’’ deep pot using this technique.
Master Gardener for The Family,