Newspaper Seedling Pots

by Daisy

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I tried the drinking glass newspaper pots (too big), the origami newspaper pots (too big and had to think too hard), and the toilet roll paper pots (good but didn’t start collecting soon enough). So, duh, I just made tiny versions of the drinking glass pots with (don’t tell anyone) a little piece of tape per pot. Very easy and I risk insulting everyone’s intelligence here by posting a how-to, but Ivory assured me that I should do it anyway, so here it is:

  1. Take a section of newspaper:

  1. Cut it in half (I cut several layers at once to save time, but use only one sheet/single layer per pot):

  1. Cut it in fourths:

  1. Take a small round container, I used a spice jar, and roll the paper around it, leaving about an inch overhang at one end where you will fold it in for the bottom. Don’t roll too tight or it will be too hard to get the jar out later:

  1. Fold the bottom in, as if you were wrapping a present:

  1. Tape (masking tape would have been more biodegradeable):

  1. Take out the jar. Turning it right side up, fold in the edges all around the top. I then fold it in again for stability and because I want a shorter pot:

  1. Repeat:


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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

linda June 19, 2009 at 10:03 am

hey there, i did the newspaper seedling pots this year, and even used up some old stuck together envelopes… worked awesome!! i have a wooden seedling pot maker which made making the pots ultra easy and no need for tape… once they’ve been wet in the trays they all stay flat 😀

TL June 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm

Nice! Great, Linda!

tiffanys June 23, 2009 at 3:00 am

thats so cool,thank you to tell me that~~

TL June 23, 2009 at 5:23 am

You are very welcome, tiffanys!

tiffany July 17, 2009 at 9:52 pm

hi,Thanks . i will visit your blog eveyday.

wrought iron furniture August 11, 2009 at 10:17 am

Wow that is great, I can’t wait to try out my own newspaper pots like that!

happytiffany September 18, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Great,thank you very much,I like read your blog,and welcome to my site:

Crusty Baguette September 29, 2009 at 10:04 pm

This is brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing!

Handful October 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm

FANTASTIC! Wish I had seen this before spending $20 on one thru a seed catalog! I even own a wood lathe to turn it on! We are going to attempt to make some this winter to sell. Ridiculously easy after I recieved it!

Got hit with a hard frost last night so we spent today hanging up in the barn what was left of the tomatoes and pepper plants. I was so sick of canning but now I just feel sad. One more batch of tomato soup maybe. Old fashioned tomato preserves (3 batches last night) were AWSOME!!!

Nobody told ME it was gonna frost! I hate to see summer end

At least it is football season 🙂

Tomato Lady October 3, 2009 at 6:43 am

Handful–Way to look at the bright side! Your tomato preserves sound interesting, too.

Tomato Lady October 5, 2009 at 9:36 am

Dorinne–I’m so glad! Thank you very much!

powerleveling November 3, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Very nice!!!

shichunhui December 17, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Love it! My friend used the toilet paper roll method last season, I will forward this to her, she loves this stuff! Love your site by the way. My friend and I each have a space at a local year round farmers market. You have great stuff to share with our vendors! Thanks!

Tina February 25, 2010 at 9:16 am

I just Stumbled (literally, lol) across your blog today.
I did a pictorial for the origami kind not too long ago.
Paper pots work so well and are so economical!
folded newspaper pot pictorial

CharlysGardenPlace February 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm

that was great! I just folded up the point in #24 to make a little crease where the bottom edge will be, so it “finds itself” squared up a little easier (mine was tall, and I didn’t want to tear it while opening it up)…. If that makes sense.
What’s great is to be able to make scads of them, still folded up, and they take up little space til I’m ready to use them!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!
I’ll be folding up a storm tomorrow!
We just got the greenhouse reassembled today for this gardenign season, and are ready to start… just in time!
God Bless

Tomato Lady February 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm

CGP–Neat! Sounds great! Hope you have a great garden this year.

Colleen March 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Super idea! I put a link to your blog in my blog 😉 I hope to make a few of these today!

Ed March 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

I have been so excited to start my gardening this year and have been ‘googling’ everything I can think of. Stumbled on your blog and CAN NOT wait to get home from work to make these tonight! Thanks for the great idea and instructions!

Ed March 23, 2010 at 10:50 am

I know I just left a comment, but thought you might like this as well!

Tomato Lady March 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Ed–Thank you–I understand your enthusiasm completely, it is TIME for the growing to begin! Goodbye winter!

Brandon August 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm

These are an awesome idea for tomatoes. I just saw another one that used a shoe rack that you put over a door to elevate the plants separately in pots outside. These would be cool to put in something like that 🙂

valli Madhavan September 29, 2010 at 1:08 am

paper cups help too

Marcellus Geoghegan October 17, 2010 at 10:07 pm

been visiting your blog around 3 days. absolutely love what you posted. by the way i am doing study relating to this issue. do you happen to know any other blogs or online forums in which I can learn more? thanks in advance.

h February 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm

great idea, but DO NOT use newspaper with colored ink! You don’t want to be eating that later. Go for the classifieds or other pages printed in black and white.

Tiffany Marie March 2, 2011 at 5:14 am

You know I “stumbled” onto your site and, I just subscribed to you because you put that little “you won’t be dissapointed” at the end! Hooray!

jane smithy March 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Thanks for this! As a sidenote, you may not want to use colored newspaper for this project – apparently the newspaper inks used in black printing are primarily soy-based and non-toxic, but the colored inks are not always as foodsafe…. just in case you’re planting veggies!

MollyBee March 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

Wow, what a great way to recycle newspapers and have a seedling pot when you need one. Good Job! Awesome.

terry March 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

nice idea.

I made a watery paste of flour to seal it all together. and used two round pieces of paper inside and outside for the bottom. a small soup can works great for the mold.

terry March 27, 2011 at 10:19 am

one more idea make your own seed strips.

make watery flour paste.
cut strips of newspaper wet the strips with the paste and press seeds onbto the strip at the proper vspacinbg. let dry and fold up until ready to plant.

toni May 8, 2011 at 9:50 pm

thanks for the tip – wanted to make something with the kids at work (i’m a teacher) thanks

Debora September 1, 2011 at 12:35 am

I want to know if I saved seeds from my summer garden, Do I need to place them in the fridge before use ? I placed them on a paper towel, dried them on the window seal. when I harvested, them so there Stuck to the towel so I can just tear them with the paper towel still attached.

Tomato Lady September 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Debora–Many people like to store seeds in the refrigerator in airtight containers to keep them dry and at a constant, cool temperature. If you want to prepare your seeds for planting via the stratification method (which mimics having gone through the winter) the seeds need to be sowed in a slightly damp medium (like peat moss, sand, or paper toweling) before refrigeration. If you do a search on “cold stratification” you can find detailed instructions including which seeds need this treatment to do their best. I think they’re okay stuck to the towel, shouldn’t be a problem.

Tangela February 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I love this idea! I just have some question since I am new to this and really want to do it. So I was wondering would any herbs work in these? How many seeds would I want to put in each planter? What type of soil should I use? Watering? Would these grow if I kept them in my house?
Thank you so much for your help and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Tomato Lady February 29, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Tangela–Use a seed starting mix. Put about 3 evenly spaced seeds in each pot. Cut off all but one or two in each pot after they have their true leaves. Most herbs will work, although some are difficult to germinate well. As a rule, annual herbs are easier to grow than perennial herbs. If you can, water from the bottom and let the water wick up to the top of the soil. They will grow indoors, especially if you have a very sunny, warm window, but will typically grow better in the ground or a larger pot outside as soon as weather permits.
For more tips, look here, in the comments section:
Good luck with your new garden!

Lynne Downs March 6, 2012 at 3:05 am

Can’t wait to make these!…

Angela March 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Note to anyone interested in trying this:
I spent hours making newspaper pots and planting seeds in them today (47 pots in all!). After I finished I received an email from the Denver Post (Colorado’s main newspaper) telling me that they use petroleum-based black ink. Now all of my veggie starts are ruined. You will want to check with your newspaper company to make sure they use soy-based, which can be used for veggies, before you spend the time.

Connor April 6, 2012 at 12:43 pm

I used these pots for the first time this year. Unfortunately, the flour paste was a breeding ground for bacteria and I had a fluffy fungus growing all over my plants within 3 weeks.

Lisa October 31, 2012 at 7:47 pm

This is such a wonderful idea, so simple, yet I never thought of it! In fact, I have never heard anyone mention it before! Thanks! Now I have no excuse for running out of peat pots!
I am also thankful to the poster who mentioned the soy ink issue.

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