Gardening in the Valley of Heart's Delight
It's Only a Paper Pot
Plants in paper pots My favorite container for seedlings are these paper pots, made from newspapers. The roots can grow right through the newspaper, so when the time comes to plant them, I just pop the whole thing into the ground. And unlike peat pots which claim to decompose but do not, in my experience, these truly disappear without a trace. They absorb water evenly, and are cheap & easy to make.
You can make them whatever size and shape you want. I like a taller, narrower shape which is both space efficient and allows deeper root formation. It's a bit hard to tell with this picture's perspective, but the pot shown is about 4 - 5 inches high and about 3 inches across. Look at that happy tomato seedling! Tomato in paper pot
Making a paper pot To make them, all you need are some old newspapers (I try to avoid colored inks, just in case), a jar of your chosen size (jelly jars often work well), and some tape. Cut the newspaper into half pages horizontally (so each piece is the top or bottom half of page). Fold a piece in half horizontally and wrap it around your jar, with the folded edge forming the top of the pot and the edges extending over the bottom of the jar. Use a dab of tape to hold the side down, then fold the bottom edges together, kind of like gift wrapping a package except round, and secure that with another dab of tape. Voila! You can even write the seedling names right on the newspaper using an indelible pen.
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Copyright 1997 by Karen Schaffer
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