Monday, February 13, 2012

Newspaper pots for seedlings

With the weather warming (+6 on Sunday!) and the seeding calendar suggesting now is the time to plant things like celery and leek seeds, we spent some time this weekend making seed pots from newspaper.

Lots of good arguments for doing so--cheap, biodegradable, no need to strip peat from swamps, a fun craft, etc. We made about 36 pots (enough to fill a plastic tray) and then filled them with left over potting soil (next year I will try to remember to stash some garden soil in the autumn).

We then filled the tray with water to let it wick up and Jess dropped some kale seeds in a few of the pots. The newspaper picked up the water way faster than the bone-dry soil.

Fast forward 12 hours or so and the soil has started to take up the water... and split the sides of the pots. Curiously, this was not mentioned in any of the "how-to" articles on line.

There are a couple of fixes. I could add layers to (future) pots to make them slightly stronger (although how much stronger you can make wet newsprint is unknown). I could start with moist soil (so less expansion, but at the cost of a huge pain in the butt).

Anyhow, we'll see how this works for the rest of the day. So far it is not the disaster of wet newsprint and mud that I expected when this first started last night. Stacking the pots together appears to be keeping things mostly contained.

Up next: Assuming the pots don't disintegrate, we'll be seeding and putting them under lights later this week and drop in the rest of the seeds.

1 comment:

  1. It's one of those 'I should have thought of that' moments!