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.
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.