|A finished newspaper pot.|
There are many positive reasons for taking the time to make newspaper pots. They're easy to do. They're inexpensive. They help recycle waste. They're biodegradable. They can be made in just about any size. The construction source is limitless. There is no need for transplanting; you'll plant the entire pot. About the only negative I see is that your fingers will turn black from the ink.
I recently saw a hardwood newspaper pot maker in a gardening catalog for about $20, not including shipping. Making them freehand is easy and saves you a $20 purchase. Using a small can to shape the pots will accomplish the same thing as the hardwood model. I prefer to use a tomato paste can, but any small can, jar, or drinking glass will work. You can choose the appropriate size for you.
Begin by laying two sheets of newspaper flat. Use the black newsprint pages, not the slick, glossy color pages from newspaper inserts. If you use a folded section of newspaper, the two sheets are attached at the fold and easier to manage. Put your can on the sheets and cut a strip from one edge to the other that is 1/2 to one inch wider than the can. You can also measure this width and mark it using a ruler if you want it to be precise, but I use the printed sentences as a guide and just cut across.
|Cut using the can as a guide.|
Wrap the two strips around the can and secure them in place with a piece of tape. Masking tape will break down easier than plastic tape when you plant them later. Glue will work, but you have to hold the paper in place while you wait for the glue to dry.
|Rolling the paper.|
|Taping the seam.|
With the can still in place, fold over the ends of the newspaper to make a bottom and tape those edges together. Remove the can. Your basic pot is formed.
|Taping the end.|
|Folding the end.|
To finish the pot, fold about 1/2 inch of the top edge into the inside all the way around. This is the hardest part of the process. It isn't required, but adds reinforcement and helps hold the pot together.
|Fold the edges in.|
That's all there is to it. You've created a recycled, newspaper pot. Fill it with a good potting soil and it's ready for seeds. I prefer to use a number of pots together so they help support each other. The newspaper pot will contain the soil and growing plant, but it can sag if the paper and soil get too wet so having other pots nearby will help it retain the proper shape.
|Pots ready for potting soil.|
When it comes time to put the seedlings in the garden you can plant the entire pot with the plant. The newspaper will break down in the soil after planting.
These pots work best for small seedlings. If you want to start tomatoes, squash, melons or any other plant that will be big at planting time, I recommend using a stronger pot.
Give it a try. In about 30 minutes, I made 36 pots using about two cents worth of supplies. It should take about 75 cents worth of potting soil to fill them. For less than a dollar I have everything I need to get some of my seeds started indoors. That's a bargain.