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How to Create Seed-Starting Pots from Newspapers

Why buy when you can make it yourself? Get creative and have the satisfaction of making something for dirt cheap with stuff you were going to recycle anyway.


  • Step 1: Lay out newspaper Spread out the newspaper and lay it flat. Then fold it horizontally, and then vertically. Cut or tear the result into 5-inch strips, which will comprise the pots.
  • TIP: Avoid using the shiny, colored newspaper pages, which are toxic.
  • Step 2: Roll strips Roll the strips around a tall spray paint can or salad dressing jar with a concave bottom, allowing 2 inches of paper to overlap the bottom of the can or jar as you roll it up.
  • Step 3: Fold, tamp Fold the hanging edge of the paper inward, two or three times, packing it to form the bottom for the pot. Tamp the form on a stable surface several times to set the bottom.
  • Step 4: Place wrappers on tray Place the wrapped container on the solid plastic tray. To reduce its chances of opening and falling apart, leave the bottom of the tray damp.
  • TIP: Poke holes in the bottom of the tray to allow water to drain.
  • Step 5: Pull out can or jar Pull out the can or jar, leaving the shaped paper. Fill your new pot with soil.
  • Step 6: Plant seeds Plant seeds into the pot according to package directions. When you transplant the young shoots, you can plant the newspaper pot, which will break down over time.
  • FACT: At the end of 2009, four companies controlled 50 percent of the world's seed stock.

You Will Need

  • Newspaper
  • Spray can or salad dressing jar
  • Water
  • Solid plastic food tray
  • Seeds

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