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Newspaper Seedling Pots

By John D. McCann

I found an interesting product that allows you to recycle old newspaper into starter pots for seedlings or for young transplants. It is called the "PotMaker®" and is really easy to use.

The Pot Maker Box

As many of you know, in the early spring, you want to get your seedlings started and it takes a lot of small pots to do so. The little plastic pots that many use are not environmentally friendly. By using old newspaper, you have a very inexpensive means in which to make your seedling pots, and you help eliminate the need for the environmentally harmful plastic pots. What could be better for the self-reliant lifestyle?

I purchased mine from Lehman's (www.Lehman' for $14.95 and it is really a handy item for making pots to start your seeds. What I also like about the pots made with old newspaper, is there's no need to take the seedlings out of the pot in order to plant them. You can simply place the entire pot in the ground and it decomposes.

Maker Together & Apart

A view of the "PotMaker®" together and the press and form individually.

As I stated, this PotMaker is very easy to use. You simply cut old newspaper into strips 3.5" wide by 10" or longer. You then roll the individual pieces of newspaper around the Press and fold under the end of the Press. You then Place the Press into the bottom Form, and press down.

Cut Newspaper Strips

Strips of newspaper are cut 3.5" wide x 10" or longer.

Rolling Newspaper Strips

You then roll the newspaper strips around the press.

Forming the Bottom

Fold over the bottom and press into the bottom form.

Once you have pressed the pot into the form, you carefully remove the press by twisting slightly, working it up and out. You now have a finished seedling pot ready for use. Fill the pot with some potting soil and sow your seeds directly, or use it for transplanting seedlings.

Finnishng & Filling the Pots

Twist the Press up and out and fill the new pot with soil.

We place all of our newspaper pots in plastic trays and keep a light over them approximately 2" from the top of the plant, when they appear. As the seedlings grow, you need to keep raising the light to maintain the 2" height. The light should be kept on approx. 14 to 16 hours per day. We have ours on an automatic timer so it comes on and goes off by itself (that way we don't forget to turn it on, or off).

Seedlings Under a Light

Seedlings under a light fixture

Seedlings Growing

The seedlings begin to appear in about a week and will continue to grow.

The seedlings come up at different intervals, depending on the plant. The lettuce appeared in about a week. Make sure you keep the seedlings watered, but not over-watered.

I really like this PotMaker and it provides you with just one more way to recycle. Try it out!

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