Newspaper Pots for Seed Starting

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March has finally arrived, and though it doesn’t look like it outside, that means spring is on the way. It has finally warmed up some, we are actually near freezing today. The bad part is that it is snowing again.

We are expected to get another 8 to 12 inches of snow today, and since it’s “warm” out, that snow is heavy and wet. I don’t want more snow. Luna can already see over our 6 ft fence. We even dug out about 2 feet of the snow in the high spots to make room for today’s snow. Depending on how it falls by the fence, it could be as bad or worse than it was before we dug it down.

All this snow makes me wonder when I will be able to get into my gardens. I was hoping to be able to get into them mid-April, but it’s starting to look like it may not be until late April or May before I can get into them.

This wouldn’t normally be an issue, but I decided to attempt to start my own seeds this year and had everything planned out as to when to start each seed and when they need to be transplanted outside. I based all this on a seed starting guide I found here.

Since it gives a date range I went through and adjusted the dates of the plants that are put outside early. Instead of starting them on the early side of the range, I changed it to the late side of the planting time.

The ones that I had to change were broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots, onions, spinach, and lettuce. These were all scheduled to be planted outside in mid to late April. Since the weather isn’t cooperating, they got moved later. The ones I didn’t change are sweet peppers, tomato, cucumber, potatoes, and beans.

I already started some seeds last week and hope that I didn’t start them too early. I started luffa because it has an extra-long growing season and needs early indoor starting for zone 4. I’m not sure if I started it too early, but if it needs transplanting into bigger pots, I will do that.

I also started lupine last week. This is a flower I’m hoping to plant for the butterflies and bees. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much luck of finding when to start this indoors, but figure since it won’t bloom for a year, starting it early shouldn’t hurt. At least I hope it won’t hurt…

The last seed I’m starting early is milkweed. I’ll be writing a post about the 3 ways I’m attempting this by seed and will link to that once it’s written. I’m hoping to get these seeds planted this weekend, but I did have a problem.

Milkweed has a taproot and I was concerned about planting it in plastic pots. I do have 6 peat pots left but plan on planting 12 sets of seeds (6 of each with 2 per pot). I’m hoping that by planting 12 I will get at least a few to grow. Though I’m not sure what I will do with the extras…

So, to make up for the 6 pots I was short, I came up with the solution of making newspaper pots. I made 6 total, 4 with a half sheet of newspaper and 2 with the whole sheet of newspaper. I’m hoping these will hold up alright until late May.

The nice thing about these is that they can be planted directly into the ground once it is warm enough. This will allow me to not disturb the taproot on the milkweed.

Another concern some may have is the ink that newspapers use. Newspapers used to be printed with ink that was considered toxic, but they no longer use those types of ink. According to the Chicago Tribune, most inks used now are safe.

According to, newspaper ink used now is 100% non-toxic.

How to make a newspaper pot:

Start with one page of the newspaper. I had to cut the newspaper sheet in half.

Line up the top and bottom of the page.

Press down to fold in half, being careful of the fold that is already there.

Fold in half again.

Unfold the last fold. Take note of the fold mark.

Take one of the corners of the folded side and fold it to the fold line in the middle of the paper.

Fold the other corner to the middle.

Take the top of the page and fold it down to the top of the folded corners.

Fold it over again.

Turn the paper over to the other side.

Fold one side in to the middle fold line.

Fold the other side to the middle line as well.

Fold the bottom up to the flaps near the top.

Fold it up one more time.

Open it up a little.

Pull the flaps back a little, this is where the bottom gets folded into.

It should look similar to this once you have the bottom folded in.

Smooth it out.

Fold the pointed end over. Make sure to crease.

Fold the pointed end over the other side as well. Make sure to crease it.

Take the pointed end and fold it over to one corner at the top of the triangle. Crease only the bottom part of the fold where my fingers are.

It should look like this.

Open it up until it looks like this.

Crease all the corners on the sides and the bottom.

The completed pot from the top.

The completed pot from the side.

I hope that you were able to follow along with the pictures and make your own newspaper pots.

Have you ever made these pots before? How did they work for you?

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