Newspaper seed starter pots

August 9, 2012 at 7:02 am | Posted in crafts, garden | 1 Comment
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In December my family moved from a small 2 bedroom apartment into a 3 bedroom house on 1/2 an acre.  I was thrilled to finally have a yard, and had just enough time to get seeds started for a summer garden.  Being the cheap person that I am, I decided to make my own seed starter pots from newspaper.  Since buying a $30 gadget to make my own newspaper pots hardly seems cost effective, I used a toilet paper tube as my mold.

First, grab a piece of newspaper.  I used a single sheet, folded into thirds length-wise.  By the time it gets rolled up the single sheet is thick enough to last until planting.

Leave about 2″ hanging off of the end, and roll the paper around a toilet paper tube, or other similarly sized form (like a straight sided cup.)

Flip it over, and fold the extra paper over the top of the tube to form an end.

I really can’t figure out a good way to explain this process, so heres another photo.  Its very easy to do – my 7 year old made about half of the pots without any help.

Slide the toilet paper tube out and you have a seed starter pot that is ready to use!

Fill the pot with moistened potting mix.  In this picture I had curled the top down to keep it in place, but after I made a few more pots I found this wasn’t necessary.

Since the pots are lightweight, I found it was easier to keep them upright if they were taped together with masking tape.  I made bundles of 6-8 pots and labeled them with whatever seed I planted in them.   I had a little trouble with the tomatoes, but these aci sivri chile peppers did great – I got several peppers off of my two plants.  (I started a lot more seeds than I needed, and ultimately planted the strongest plants.)

Right now (mid-August) my garden needs to be mowed down and started over.  After a month of daily rain the bugs and weeds overran it, but I am planning on planting a second summer crop since we don’t really get cold weather until late November.  I think gardening is one of those things that requires practice, so I was expecting this first planting to be a learning experience more than a productive garden.  I did get lots of great produce, and now I have  better idea of what to do next time.  🙂


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  1. I had just seen a post about the newspaper pot making gadget and was thinking that there had to be a better, cheaper way to do this. Lol. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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