My thoughts have been swirling around this summer’s vegetable garden. For the past several years, we’ve purchased plants that need an extra jump on the growing season-like tomatoes and peppers.
Since money is tight this year-I decided to go back to germinating seeds indoors in an effort to save money. I’ve started seeds in all sorts of plastic containers before-and even tried the egg shell method one year. I liked the egg shell-because you could plant it directly in the ground without disturbing the roots of the plant-but an egg shell is so tiny, most plants out grow it before warm weather arrives. I’ve also used peat pots to start plants in-they worked well-but can be expensive if you’re planting a large quantity of seeds.
After doing some research online, I discovered many folks use newspaper to make seed pots. I immediately liked the idea. Using newspaper is inexpensive or even free if you can get donated newspaper. The method is green for the environment-newspaper is biodegradable. And the ease of planting the whole pot is attractive to me.
As I wandered the web, I found origami newspaper pots-which I figured out real fast were too complicated for me-I also found pots that used glue or tape in the construction-for me that kinda canceled out the green factor.
I played around with the original idea and came up with a method that worked for me. You need: a paste made from flour and water, newspaper, scissors, and a drinking glass or something to mold the paper around.
A word of advice that showed up on all the sites I visited-only use black and white newspaper-no colored pages.
~First-take a long strip of newspaper and wrap it around the bottom end of the glass-leaving enough above the bottom of the glass to fold over. (I folded one sheet of newspaper in half twice (lengthwise) and trimmed about 4 inches off one end. This part I just played around with until I got it to the right thickness-the first one I did was so bulky the paste wouldn’t hold it-but you do want it thick enough to hold the plant.)
~Using a paste made from flour and water-paste the edge down
~Fold the edges down over the bottom of the glass like you’re wrapping a present-I snipped some slits in the sides to make it easier to fold. Then use the paste to secure the paper.
~Allow the pots to sit until the paste has dried. I used several sizes of glasses and jars-so I could pick and choose for each seed’s need.
A few more tips: ~keeping the pots in a tray helps support them-since they are kinda fragile ~you can water from the bottom-the paper will act as a wick-but don’t let them sit in water or the paper will dissolve ~if they are too wet when you plant them-the pot will fall apart in your hands ~if they are too dry when you plant them-the dirt will crumble out the top.
If you give the pots a try-I hope they work out for you-I hope they work out for me too.
Do you start all your plants from seed? If you do-what method to you use? If you don’t garden-what method did your parents or grandparents use?