This is a recycled posting from spring 2009. It is instructions for making newspaper seedling pots instead of plastic ones. To get plants ready for the garden, I plant seeds in flats. After the seeds germinate, I put the seedlings in small pots where they grow until time to transplant them into the garden. You can also plant the seeds directly in the pots. I searched the internet for ideas on how to make newspaper pots. There is a lot of information available. The seedling pots I made last year no longer exist. They degraded into the soil where I planted them with the small plant. If I had used plastic pots, they would be around for another few centuries.
It is easy. Just follow these instructions:
First cut 3 or 4 sheets of newspaper lengthwise (about 5 inches wide). Roll these layers of paper onto a tomato paste can (can size depends on how large you want your pots). There should be about 2 inches of paper extending beyond the bottom of the can. Fold this paper edge in and press firmly on a surface like a table. This is the bottom of your pot.
Gently pull the can out of the roll of paper. I stapled the top edge of the roll so that it would stay in place. You can also tear and twist the top edge of the pot to keep it from unrolling. After experimenting, I found that a long-neck beer bottle works well. It gives you a handle to grab when pulling the bottle out of the paper roll. You do not need to buy a special form to roll the newspaper onto.
The pots support each other when they are placed in a flat. They should not be handled much until the plant is ready to be transplanted into the garden, but they will hold together when you water the plant. When the plant is ready to transplant, plant the pot and seedling together. Plant it deep enough to cover the edge of the paper. You do not want the paper to stick out of the ground because it will wick moisture from the plant. The newspaper will degrade and the plant roots do not get disturbed. No plastic pots and inexpensive!!