Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Newspaper Starter Pots

A sweet reader named Katie asked about our starter pots the SAME day Jamey set aside time to make them.  So, this post is for Katie and anyone else who may wish to make their own biodegradable, FREE starter pots (to use for starting seeds/plants indoors).

 Here are last year's paper pots ready for seeds and or transplants from seed trays.

The folded piece of paper in the third photo (below) is about 20 inches by 5 inches.  There is water on the small plate.  The can is a standard 15.5 ounce size.  A larger can will, of course, make a larger paper pot.


I think Jamey does a pretty good job showing you how in these photos alone, but if you have any questions, leave a comment and we'll be sure to post an answer.  Happy potting- spring is coming!

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35 comments:

  1. It's nice to see that they're very easy to make even if you don't buy one of those fancy wooden things to make them. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. How cool! I have this handy gadget: http://www.planetnatural.com/site/pot-maker.html that I won in a class put on by the MO DOC. (so you know I didn't buy it- I would've been doing the origami thing without it) The soup can method seems much better (free)! thanks for sharing with us. Is he rolling them in water?

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  3. Michelle, I mentioned this above...there is a little bit of water on the plate. It's hard to see in the photo, but it's there.

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  4. What a wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing!
    ~Janna
    http://thegridirongirlsguidetothegoodlife.blogspot.com/

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  5. I did this last year and loved it. Works so much better than the peat cups I was buying. But is it already that time? My goodness, I'd better get to calculating!

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  6. Hooray, I know what I'm doing after I get home from work tonight! Thanks for posting.
    Katie

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  7. Thanks for sharing! I've always used masking tape but this is so much easier. I had a "duh!" moment when I saw the water.

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  8. That is toooo cool! Okay. I need to do that. I have always used those little plastic ones that you buy the young plants in at garden stores to start my seeds - they work well, but I only have just so many, and those little things are small. I think I'll make a few of these in the next couple of days and plant a few more things . . . hmmmm . . . what to plant?? :-)

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  9. Love this. Now will you keep going? Walk us through this as if we were idiots? Seriously...I need it. You have your pots, you buy potting soil? You put where? Under lights in the basement? You buy what kind of seeds? For how long? You plant them when?
    Keep going, please. You will feed my family this way! :)

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  10. Sarah, I'm starting a "Vegetable Gardening 101" page that will hopefully be up in a week or two. It will walk folks through, step by step, starting a garden.

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  11. ThyHand,
    Where you said there was water on the plate, I thought you were talking about the picture immediately underneath and they were in a clear tray or something. Sorry for being so dense.

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  12. How do you determine which plants to start from seed? I always just buy the small plants at the store for tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, but have always wanted to start them myself. Also, what do you do with your surplus rhubarb? Can you freeze it? I just planted some last year.

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  13. Heather,
    Great question. We've just kind of figured out over time which vegetables are easy to start from seed and which ones have tended to not do well from seed (for us). This way, we bypass the headache and just buy plants of certain vegetables.

    Also, if you only want one zucchini plant, it may be cheaper and easier to buy a plant versus a whole packet of seeds. If you want 12 tomato plants of one variety, it's probably better to buy a seed pack.

    All that said, I would go ahead and try a few things from seed. What's the worst that can happen? If they don't make it, you can always go out and buy a replacement plant and you'll learn which vegetables are easy for you to start and which ones aren't:-).

    Here is a link where I explain what we do with rhubarb...http://thyhandhathprovided.blogspot.com/2009/06/gift-of-rhubarb.html

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  14. I've also heard that you can use toilet paper rolls...looking forward to your veggie garden posts!!

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  15. Thank you for answering my questions. I'm so excited for gardening season!

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  16. How do you water the plants in the newspaper pots? Do you just sit them in water and let the plants absorb or water very carefully? I am so excited to start planting. My seeds are on their way and the pots will be made tonight.

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  17. Victoria, we place the paper pots in large planting trays (see very top photo). We water them from above. Water does seep out and pool in the bottom of the trays, but it reabsorbs. The pots are fragile if you try to move them while they are wet. It's helpful to let them dry out a bit before making a move:-).

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  18. I used your wonderful tutorial to make some of the newspaper pots this weekend. They turned out great! Thanks again for sharing your ideas.

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  19. I love your blog, I just recently stumbled upon it from Clover Lane. My husband and I tried your technique today... it worked beautifully. Thanks so much for the tips!

    I have it documented here:
    http://dannyandginapalmer.blogspot.com/2010/03/baby-garden.html

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  20. This is terrific! Thank You so much for sharing this. The kids and I did this the other day and had a blast. What a great way to use up some of my extra newspaper and get ready for spring!
    I linked to your info. on my website, it is so helpful I wanted to share.. hope that is ok.

    www.thornbottomfarm.blogspot.com

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  21. WOnderful!! thanks I was about to start my seeds! I start most all my seeds because the are heirloom- will these pots last the all the watering etc.. for tomatoes for example that will not go out until may and be bigger by the time they are transplanted? thanks for the info!

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  22. Kalani, These hold up great for us. We find that if you place them right up against each other (for support) they stay together very well. As always, don't over water and you should be fine:-).

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  23. well, what a stroke of genius!!

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  24. I just discovered your blog today and have enjoyed reading through lots of your entries. I wish we were neighbors (same age kids, same philosophies); but I did bookmark your page, so that will have to do!

    For these pots, do you think used printer paper or magazine paper would work and be safe to use (inks, coatings, etc)?

    Thanks!

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  25. Marty,
    Welcome! We've mainly only used newspapers. I think any paper with a glossier finish might not decompose as quickly (we want this to happen- we plant the whole pot when we transfer the seedlings to the garden). I'd avoid using anything with inks that might be suspect- just to be safe. I hope my response has been helpful- happy browsing, neighbor!:-)

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  26. Hello there! I just made them today and wanted to let you know that they're awesome! Thanks a bunch!! (:(:(:

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  27. This is a marvelous idea! Cant wait to do this too. I have pinned it so I can get back to it easy enough! You (and your family) have some of the most wonderful ideas. Your's is the one blog I make sure I check daily and I am enjoying reading backwards to your old posts as well.

    Julie

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  28. did not read the comments. was wondering how long a newspaper pot lasts? thank you!

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    Replies
    1. I cannot give you an exact length of time, but we have used them to start plants indoors and they held up well until transfer time into the garden. I wish I could be more specific for you. For us they outlasted our purpose for them:-).

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    2. awesome jane. thank you!! we made them and transfered a purple yarrow yesterday. it has begun! GOOD LUCK EVERYONE> gardening is direct action

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  29. First let me say thank you so much for this very well made tutorial!

    I was wondering what kind of plastic baskets you put your pots in on the hand pulled milk cart above? I currently have my pots in my wife's full sheet cake pans and they fit well but she will not be very happy if she notices that her pans are missing.

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    1. I must say, I wouldn't be too happy either if I found my cake pans being used as such!;-) The trays above are just cheap, plastic flats that we probably picked up when we bought plants or flowers at a greenhouse or home center. I hope you're able to find some soon!:-)

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  30. My husband has been creating pots for years now. Our problem was where to put the flats after they were filled with the pots and keep them warm. He finally took a board 22"x66" (This size sits on our counter perfectly) He then took 2" slats and nailed them to the board at 2" intervals. He then raided the Christmas storage for the rope lights and wove them them among the slats. The flats sit just above the lights and there is enough heat to keep the soil warm. There is no fire hazard and does not get hot. This size holds 6 flats.
    He planted last weekend and we have tiny shoots of Cherry Peppers, Tomatoes, and onions. Watering is easy. Just use a spray bottle. Snow is forcast for tomorrow but I feel we have a start on our garden.

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    Replies
    1. What an awesome system! Thanks for sharing:-).

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  31. I used this idea and it worked so nicely!! Thanks :)

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