Newspaper seedling pots are useful, inexpensive little containers that can be easily made by cutting strips of newspaper and rolling them around a can, glass, or a fancy-dancy pot maker to make biodegradable starters for your seedlings.
Make sure the paper you choose uses a non-toxic soy-based ink, especially when growing veggie starts. The vast majority of newspapers these days use soy-based ink that is completely safe to use in the home garden, so it’s likely that any old newspaper you have lying around will be perfect for this project.
Newspaper is biodegradable so you can plant your seedling out in the garden right in the newspaper pot and it will break down naturally from the bacteria and other organisms in the soil.
A few weeks ago I launched a collection of seeds to grow superfoods in your garden. The kit comes with a paper pot-maker, so I made this video to demonstrate how to make newspaper pots and a mini greenhouse with materials from your recycling bin. Check out the Superfoods Garden Kit here.
- Can, glass, or wooden pot-maker (you can find one of these in my Superfoods Garden Kit)
- Sterile seed-starting soil mix
- Seeds of your choosing
Cut a sheet of newspaper into long strips. You want to keep them the length of the entire sheet of newspaper and cut them to an inch or two taller than the height that you want your finished seedling pots to be.
Roll the folded newspaper strip around your pot maker, glass, or can, leaving an extra 1”-2” of newspaper hanging past the bottom of the cylinder as you roll around it.
Once you have rolled the newspaper around your pot-maker, can, or glass a few times, carefully fold the excess newspaper down against the base of the object you rolled around. Go around the base of the glass, can, or pot-maker and fold the newspaper down against the base four times, creasing as you go, so that you create a bottom for your seedling pot.
Remove the cylindrical object from the center of your newspaper pot, then fold the top edges of the pot down about ½” all around the pot.
Add soil and seeds. Follow care instructions for your individual seeds.
Once your seedlings are ready to move out to the garden, plant the whole newspaper seedling pot in the soil. It will break down and allow the roots to expand out and grow past the pot.