02 March 2014

31 Days of MOO No. 2 - Newspaper Seed Pots

It's time to start seeds for your winter garden and that means getting the seeds out and planting those tiny food sources. Seed starting doesn't have to mean rushing out and buying peat pots or spending time scrubbing and sterilizing saved plastic pots however.

MOO your starter pots, it's easy to do and costs you nothing - you're recycling the newspapers, turning them into something useful that will eventually nourish the soil and give back to you and the earth. You'll be getting the cost of that newspaper back many, many times when you use it like this.

You will need:

Newspapers (don't use shiny, colour printed pages)
A straight sided drinking glass
Soil or potting mix or seed starter

Step 1.
Open the newspaper out flat. Fold it in three along the long edge.

I cut through the entire paper, it saves time and is less fiddly than trying to do a page at a time.

Step 2.
Take two strips of paper (this makes a sturdier pot).

Place your glass on the newspaper and leave about 3cm hanging off the end.

Roll the glass along the newspaper until it’s loosely wrapped all the way around. (Loose being key for easy removal of the glass later.)

Step 3.
Using your fingers, fold the excess paper towards bottom of glass, pressing down and creasing firmly. It doesn't have to be perfect, just fold and crease all the way around. If there is a small hole in the centre don't worry, it will just help with drainage.

Turn the glass over and press down firmly, just to really crease the edges against the bottom of the glass.

Step 4.
Don't worry if it looks flimsy or unstable, once you fill it with seed starter, soil or potting mix it will be just fine, this is what makes the pot steady. Once the pots are filled and watered they are surprisingly sturdy and hold their shape very well.

Recycled newspaper pots can be transplanted straight into the garden. The newspaper will decompose naturally in the soil. If you'd rather not plant the pot so to speak, carefully unwrap the seedling. As you're not tipping it out of a plastic pot you won't disturb the young roots and plant stress will be minimal. Then just toss the newspaper into the compost bin or use it as bedding in your worm farm.


  • Use spice jars or small tins (180g size, think tomato paste, passionfruit pulp etc.) for smaller pots, and larger tins for larger pots. If you use larger tins (500g coffee tins for example) use at least six layers of newspaper so they are strong enough to hold the soil.
  • Once you get a routine going you can make dozens of these little pots in no time at all, it's a great activity to do while watching TV, or to keep the kids busy on a "boring" day. 
  • Grouping the pots together in a tray or a recycled blanket bag mini greenhouse will give them extra stability and create a micro environment they'll thrive in. 
  • Mist them daily (watering is too heavy for seedlings) so they don't dry out and watch your seeds sprout and grow.

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1 comment:

  1. What a great idea, I'm going to try this, thanks,xxxx


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