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How to make newspaper pots for seed starting

07 September 2021

Cultivating with biodegradable products is not only environmental, but it is also super practical for several reasons. Firstly, it spares you time while replanting, as you place the entire paper pot into the new soil. Secondly, the paper protects the roots of your plants while replanting. Thirdly, it saves you money!

Creating your own newspaper pots is not hard at all. Simply follow this quick 6-step guide:

  1. Cut some newspaper into wide strips of about 9-10 cm  
  2. Roll the strips around a cylindrical object (for example a drinking glass or jar)
  3. Fold or scrunch the bottom of your pot inwards, towards the inside of the cylindrical object
  4. Remove the cylindrical object  
  5. Press down the paper that you folded or scrunched into the opening of the cylindrical object, and press it downwards (put the bottom of the pot towards a flat surface or against your hand for support)
  6. Fill it with soil and put one or two seeds into every pot you made.

When it is time to replant your plants, put your paper pot into the new soil of the pot where you wish to replant it. Cover the top of the paper pot with soil. The paper pot will quickly decompose in the soil.

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How to succeed with your newspaper plant pots

Doing your own paper pots is a fun activity for both adults and kids. Let the kids choose seeds to make it extra fun for them! Paper pots are also a very good technique to use when cultivating plants with long and sensitive roots. Since you place the paper directly into the soil while replanting, you do not touch the roots and in that way, risk hurting them. 

Making paper pots that are stable enough to use, can be difficult before you get a hang of the technique. You might need some practice in the beginning. Also, the soil tends to dry out quicker in paper pots, compared to plastic pots, so do not forget to water your plants properly and often. 

If you have a busy schedule, hydroponic plugs fill the same purpose as newspaper pots do, as they are also biodegradable. Pre-cultivating by filling plant pots, plug boxes, or propagation trays with soil, are other alternatives.