Last year I tried making newspaper pots for my seeds using a small plastic drinks bottle as a guide but found it quite fiddly, and could never quite get the base to sit correctly.
When I saw the Nether Wallop Plant Potter (great name!) online it was top of my Christmas wish list and I was therefore delighted to find that I had been a good girl after all when I was handed my presents from under the tree.
Some seedlings sulk if their roots are disturbed so they should either be sown directly into the soil (like parsnips and carrots whose roots generally won’t form) or into pots that will biodegrade (beetroot, beans, peas, squash and melons).
I’ve used cardboard tubes (from kitchen or toilet rolls) which work very well too but it’s questionable as to whether the glue used to stick them together is ‘safe’.
If you like to sow your own seedlings, making your own pots out of newspaper is a great money saver (even if you do have the initial small outlay of a wooden potter, better if it’s a gift) and you’ll be doing your bit to help the planet by recycling old newspapers too.
I really enjoy using my little potter. It’s made from FSC oak and beautifully turned, fitting into the hand perfectly. My eight year old made several pots too and loved helping mum – she didn’t want to stop! I was also impressed by the minimalistic packaging. Just a cardboard box with the instructions printed on it – no plastic and compostable – there’s a lesson there for other companies who over package…
There’s not much more I can say other than a great little tool that I’d recommend all gardeners have in their kit bag. These are available online for €11.75 plus postage… If you count up how much can be spent on seedling pots over the years, and the fact that once you have this tool you’ll never run out of them, I think it’s worth it.
If you’re not sure, or are just interested in how to make them, here’s a clip demonstrating how quick and easy paper pots are to make using the Nether Wallop Paper Potter.
Have you an essential piece of kit in your bag that you can’t do without in the garden?
This is so nice. I don't know if they are available here in the US, but I use all my plastic curd tubs to grow seedlings. But,using the biodegradable newspaper is a fantastic idea and thank you for posting that video.
Really neat, I have thought about purchasing one of these before but have yet to do so. Glad you shared the video which made it easy to see how the plant potter works…looks like something even I could manage.
Thank you 🙂 They are in Canada so must be in the US – I was given a link for homemade square ones yesterday you might like http://dirthappy.blogspot.com/2010/03/going-square.html
Thanks. My first video! You might like the link in the reply about too Mr H. I like the look of the square pots, though they do look slightly fiddlier.
Terrific review on an exceptionally practical little tool and huge congrats on your 1st ever video. Woo hoo they'll be no stopping you now!
omitted to say you appear to be concerned that the glue on your kitchen / toilet roll would be a problem but what about the ink, solvents etc used on the printed paper?
Thanks for all your comments Ena and encouragement Ena 🙂
You've hit a whole other debate there Ena. There's an interesting forum topic here on the subject… http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/soil/msg0107183324963.html
I do use loo rolls and find them fine, though did get damping off one year on my runner beans that were growing in them. I like the idea of using both tbh.
They are a great idea and I love your 'how to' video. Thanks for all the tips 🙂
Ah thanks Nessa. Perhaps you could start your chilli's off in something similar?
[…] germinate (burst their seed shell and start to grow) so is best started off in newspaper pots or seed modules indoors around March time. Sow three or four seeds in each pot or module that […]
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[…] You can either use a special paper potter, as I’ve done in this YouTube clip, or use a small plastic bottle as a mould. […]