The Adventure of Making Newspaper Pots for Starting Garden Seeds

Who Knew Silly LIttle Pots Were So Much Fun?

I found a hub on making newspaper pots and decided to try it. This hub is about my results. But first let me give a big THANK YOU to Mistyhorizen2003 for this great idea!

Being a "garden freak", not necessarily a successful one but one none-the-less, I took to these silly little pots like a duck in water.

Like a Duck in Water!

Rare Photograph of an endangered Harlan Duck. QUACK!
Rare Photograph of an endangered Harlan Duck. QUACK! | Source

Getting Up to Speed...

Seed pots, not to be confused with pot seeds, are small pots used to get your flower or veggie seeds started indoors while you wait for the last frost, if you have that problem. Once you are ready to plant outdoors you simply plant the entire pot into the dirt. The pot will rot away or can be dug up and thrown away.

The best part of these little pots, aside from being virtually free, is over the winter you can make a million of these while watching TV and have all your flower and veggie starters ready to go as soon as the last frost has occurred.

Now I know some of you will be looking at my gorgeous and obvious hard-workin, strong, man-handling, cowboy Man Hands... and daydreaming, but please... refrain from any comments along those lines. Lets keep it family rated. :)

Author's Note: There is not a lot of writing in this hub, not like some of my other hubs which are the equivalent of a small novel. I apologize for that. This hub rely's largely on visual communication. If you consider a picture to be worth a thousand words, this hub is loaded with things to say!

- Best Wishes
- Harlan

I largely followed the instructions, but I had I smaller can, which made my newspaper too thick. To solve my problem I dipped my pots in water, then folded the bottom over the can. I used the can to press out the water into a paper towel, then set the pots aside to dry.

Supplies I Used...

Photo taken by Author
Photo taken by Author

Is Your Newspaper Safe?

You may wish to check with your local newspaper publisher to see if they use a non-toxic, bio-degradeable ink. Most newspapers do anymore. If your local rag does not, chew them out and tell them how offensive it is they fill the local landfill with toxic ink everyday. The ink kills the rats and the mice at the landfill when they nest in newpaper, then the gulls that eat the rats and mice. Eventually, it leaks into the water down below and poisons the water somewhere.

Fold a Single Sheet of Newspaper Into 1/3rds

Tear or cut a single page of newspaper and fold it long-ways into 1/3rd its size.
Tear or cut a single page of newspaper and fold it long-ways into 1/3rd its size.

Crease the Edges of Your Finished Strip

Lady Narrator: "Wow Harlan, I really like those hard workin cowboy hands you have..."
Lady Narrator: "Wow Harlan, I really like those hard workin cowboy hands you have..."

Wrap Your Paper Around the Can Lid

Harlan: " I thought we agreed we wouldn't talk about my hands...?"
Harlan: " I thought we agreed we wouldn't talk about my hands...?"

Look carefully at the above photograph. The paper is about an inch and one-half taller than the lid of the can, it is important you do this.

Wrap the Paper Strip Around the Lid Neatly.

Lady Narrator: "They just look so rough, you must work so hard on the farm."
Lady Narrator: "They just look so rough, you must work so hard on the farm."

Time to Make Corrections

If your first attempt is not as neat as you would like, its ok. Once you have it around the lid, you can take it off and adjust it to your liking.

Tape the End So it Stays Together

Harlan: "Once you remove your strip from the can and arrange it neatly, it should look about like this." Narrator: "What? I am too busy looking at your hands."
Harlan: "Once you remove your strip from the can and arrange it neatly, it should look about like this." Narrator: "What? I am too busy looking at your hands."
Harlan: "Stop with the hands will you? Please? Just Stop!"
Harlan: "Stop with the hands will you? Please? Just Stop!"

Take a piece of masking tape and tape the end of the strip. Fold the tape over and into the inside of the paper cylinder as shown.

Slide the Tape End First Onto the Can

Leave about an inch and a half of the paper sleeve off of the can.
Leave about an inch and a half of the paper sleeve off of the can.

Wet The End and Fold

Be sure to soak the paper for at least a minute. You want all the layers completely wet.
Be sure to soak the paper for at least a minute. You want all the layers completely wet.
Once the layers are wet and pliable, fold them over as if they had 4 sides, like on a square.
Once the layers are wet and pliable, fold them over as if they had 4 sides, like on a square.
Fold the edges gently, remember wet paper tears easily.
Fold the edges gently, remember wet paper tears easily.
Your last fold should look like this.
Your last fold should look like this.

Press and Dry Your New Seed Pot!

Here I have folded a paper towel twice, creating 4 layers. Press the wet end into the paper towel firmly, creasing the folds on the bottom of the pot. Feel free to twist the lid of the can down and into the folds, back and forth a few turns
Here I have folded a paper towel twice, creating 4 layers. Press the wet end into the paper towel firmly, creasing the folds on the bottom of the pot. Feel free to twist the lid of the can down and into the folds, back and forth a few turns
Carefully remove the pot and give it a look. If you are not happy with the bottom of the pot, press on it some more with the can.
Carefully remove the pot and give it a look. If you are not happy with the bottom of the pot, press on it some more with the can.
Once you are happy with your pot, set it aside to dry. This may take overnight or so. Here is a batch of pots I made in under an hour. I made 30 total.
Once you are happy with your pot, set it aside to dry. This may take overnight or so. Here is a batch of pots I made in under an hour. I made 30 total.
Lady Narrator: Can I talk about your hands now?   Harlan: NO!
Lady Narrator: Can I talk about your hands now? Harlan: NO!

Here is a nice 4" tomato plant I started a few weeks ago in a newspaper pot. You can also take a Sharpie Permanent Marker and label your flowers and veggies. I use a Sharpie so the ink will not run when the paper gets wet. Just write the name of the plant right on the side of the paper - before you get it wet. I find it helpful to write the plant names on the pot when I am deciding where to put what - especially if it is a seedling.

s this something you would consider doing to save some money in the future?

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Comments 12 comments

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Excellent work Harlan, and thanks for the link back to my hub :)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Sweet Harlan:)


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains Author

Thank you. I am glad to get this right for once lol.

- Harlan


jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

This is really a great idea. I can also use as containers to germinate my seeds and recycle at the same time. Awesome tutorial and great pix to go with it. This deserves a vote up, useful and awesome!


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains Author

@jpcmc,

I have to give all the credit to Mistyhorizen2003, this was her original idea. And dang it was a good one. This hub is just about me using her idea and the results I got.

- Best Wishes,

- Harlan


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

What a brilliant idea. My wife and I grow our own veggies every year in a local plot. We have always used those plastic ones you buy from the garden centre. We will definitely be using your brand next season. Thank you Harlan. I am so glad I found you. I love reading your hubs.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

What a great hub and a trip down memory lane for me , back to the times when my children were small.

Thanks for sharing and I vote all the way.

Take care

Eiddwen.


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 5 years ago from United States

I don't know if I have the patience for this--it looks a bit like paper macrame--but I found your hub very entertaining. Thanks for a good read and lots of chuckles.


billips profile image

billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

This is a wonderful hub - truly useful - you have created an item that is indispensable to gardeners - something that is virtually free, and can then just disappear back into the soil from whence it came - great stuff!


Harlan Colt profile image

Harlan Colt 5 years ago from the Rocky Mountains Author

Dirt Farmer,

I enjoy reading your work very much. Its nice to see you giving me a visit! Thank you for commenting.

Billips,

Thank you for the comments. I made so many pots last year I still have a bunch for this spring - but my oh my - its not even winter yet and I am ready for spring so I can start planting again! GAH the agony! - Harlan


mizjo profile image

mizjo 4 years ago from New York City, NY

I understand the agony of dying to start planting out. Some people start their seeds too early and the seedlings are tall , thin and pale by the time the soil is warm enough and the last frost date is over. All that time and those seedlings wasted. This paragraph describes me as a novice gardener years ago.

I think these paper pots are a super idea. But make sure the paper is not the hard glossy type. Ordinary newspaper is best, it's easy to work and degrades in the soil to amend and enrich it.

Your tomato plant is the picture of good health. Beautiful. Voted up and awesome.


erinshelby profile image

erinshelby 3 years ago from United States

There are a lot of steps to this process, but it looks like a great idea. I think I'll have to try it sometime!

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