Make your own biodegradable seed-starting pots

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Now 'tis the season to start garden seeds indoors! In fact it is high time to do so. In some regions people have begun planting the likes of beans and such already straight outdoors.

SeedPotMaker(1) We can save tons of money by starting garden seeds indoors to transplant into our spring gardens, creating our own plug plants rather than buying them later, whether bedding plants or vegetables.

Most seeds require a few weeks to grow before it's time to set them out. Considering we're a few weeks out from the last spring frost date in many parts of the country, now really is the time to start those early seeds. Though that does not mean that there is not the possibility of some frost still hitting us later on so, when you have planted your seedlings out of doors, be prepared that you may have to cover them when the forecast talks of the possibility of temperature below 2C.

Instead of buying plug trays in which to raise your seedlings you can make your own biodegradable seed-starting pots using newspaper and a little wooden gadget walled the Paper Potter (available from Nether Wallop Trading in the UK and from other outlets and sources worldwide).

One word of advise is to follow the instructions that come with the Paper Potter and not make the pots too thick, as I have done before, as that could mean that the paper will not degrade properly and might hamper the growth of the plant. Been there, done it and got the T-shirt.

You can make newspaper pots also without buying a Paper Potter and using instead a soda can or any other kind of tin can. In my view, however, those pots will be far too large for the purpose, taking up far too much valuable compost too.

A couple of years ago I saw the so-called grow tubes for sale which were not cheap and really, though made of plant fiber, were nothing more than glorified toilet tubes.

Some people who use toilet roll tubes for seed-starting pots go to rather elaborate length to make them into pots but there is no need to do so. You can use them as they come or you could just cut them in half for making two shorter tubes.

I tend to just leave them as they are and by reusing those plastic punnets from strawberries or such, or plastic trays from packaged meat, arrange the tubes on them and then fill with compost, add the seeds and voila... ready. It really is that simple.

When the plants have reached the right size (use your own personal judgment) to go outside you just taken them as they are, in the tube, or paper pot, make a hole in the ground and pop them in, tube and all.

It could not be easier now, could it?

© 2012