How To Make Newspaper Seedling Pots

gardening tips

 

Last week I posted a seed sowing schedule that I use to help organize and keep me on track with sowing my kitchen garden seeds and suggested that you use it to help organize your kitchen garden too.  I hope you found it beneficial. I had also mentioned taking inventory of your peat pots, you will need them to sow your seeds indoors if you want to get a jump on the growing season.  Check out my other backyard vegetable gardening tips.  You will become a frugal vegetable gardener too.

To help cut down on the expense, I make newspaper seedling pots to sow my seeds indoors if I miss the boat on finding peat pots on clearance at the Dollar Store or Big Lots. I thought I would show you how to make the pots to cut down on your expense too.  If you have children that can handle making the pots, let them spend the afternoon making them for you.   

What you will need:

  • Newspaper (single sheets folded in half)
  • Pint jar 
  • Duct or scotch tape

In the above picture, I’m using 1 single sheet of newspaper folded in half.  You will want to fold the paper across not length wise. Next,  I used a pint size canning jar, leaving about a 1/4 inch of the mouth of the jar out of the newspaper as shown below. Roll the jar until all of the newspaper is used. Make sure the newspaper is rolled evenly.  Tape the ends of the newspaper together.  I actually used scotch tape, but duct tape will work too.    

 

Turn the jar upside down. The opening of the jar should be face down.  Fold the bottom of the newspaper as if you’re wrapping Christmas gift.  Tape the folds down. 

 

 

Remove the jar from the newspaper, and you have a newspaper pot.  These are great for starting herbs, tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, melons etc. Fill the pot with seed starter mix (I use Miracle Gro) and you’re ready to plant your seeds according to the package. Don’t use potting soil to start your seeds indoors.  The soil is to heavy for the plant to emerge through.

Once the seed has germinated and has grown 2 – 3 inches tall, I transplant them into plastic cups to give them more room to grow.  You can leave them in these newspaper pots if you’re leery of transplanting.  If you leave them in, I recommend removing the newspaper before you place them in your garden or containers. I’ll discuss transplanting seedlings in a later post.  

When you start your seeds you will want to water from the bottom up so you won’t displace your seeds.  I also recommend planting 2 or 3 seeds in your pot.  You have better odds of germination using 2 or 3 seeds.  Once the plant(s) has grown 2 – 3 inches, you can leave the strongest seedling and discard the other plants.  

Just pinch off those you don’t want and discard them.  If you’re feel brave transplant all of them.  Sometimes plants will suffer transplant shock when you pull them apart at the root so don’t be disappointed if all don’t survive. 

I use a tray to hold and water my seedlings.  You can purchase the trays at your local dollar store.  They usually come with cells of 72, but I remove the cells and just use the trays to hold my water and seedling pots.  

I don’t like the cells because they are so small and you will definitely have to transplant if you use them.  I prefer to let the plant have room to form a nice root ball in a newspaper or peat pot, and if I’m short on time I don’t have to worry about transplanting. Efficient and cost effective is my goal.  

 

I germinate my seeds on heat pads under grow lights.  You can start them on top of your refrigerator if you don’t have heat pads or in your laundry room on a shelf. Seedlings really don’t need light to germinate, they need warmth and moisture. Once they germinate, you will need to place them under a grow light immediately. The light should be no more than 2 inches above your seedlings or they will get leggy. You must raise the light as they get taller.

 

This is a picture of my tomato and pepper plants that I started last season in peat pots and the watering tray that you will need. See how the pots are soaking up the water from the bottom. Fill the tray half way with water and allow your pots to absorb it. If you need to add more water add a little at a time. You don’t want your pots sitting for days in a water filled tray I cover my peat pots with Saran Wrap to help keep in the moisture when I’m germinating the seed. Rubber bands are used to keep the Saran Wrap nice and tight. This step is not necessary, but I find it helps with germination.  I remove the Saran Wrap immediately once the seeds have germinated.  Unfortunately, I can’t use this method with the newspaper pots.
 
You will need to check your pots several times a day. You can have no germination in the morning and sometime during the day they may germinate. As soon as I see green stating to come through, I remove the Saran Wrap. Tomatoes have a tendency to jump up, so you may want to remember that if you have them covered with the Saran Wrap. I also use plant markers so I will know what I’ve planted.  Stay tuned I will show you how to make your own markers to cut down on expense.
Now start making those newspaper pots or your peat pots so you will be ready to sow your seeds and remain on schedule with your kitchen garden. If you have small pots that your purchased flowers in last year, you can use those too.  You will need to clean them in a bleach solution before using.
 
If you have questions about this post or other gardening questions feel free to send an email to The Mail Box using rhonda@mother2motherblog.com and I will respond.  I may share your questions with other readers, but I won’t use your name or email address.  They may have the same question or find the information useful too.
You May Also Like:  Kitchen Garden Sowing Schedule

Signature

Comments

  1. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Monday. I look forward to you sharing again!

  2. This is a great post and if I was planning to do any real gardening this summer I would put Amara to work making pots! Actually, I have 2 giant plumeria seed pods that are slowly ripening. This just might work for starting them.

  3. Thanks for the info on this! I just bought a pack of "cat grass" seed to plant with the grandkids. I didn't look for peat pots, but even if they are out yet it's too cold to run back to the store! I'll just make a few of these and follow your growing tips! Thanks!