You've already mastered your green credentials—reducing plastic in the kitchen, using chemical-free products, and nurturing a garden full of herbs and veggies. Gardening is undeniably eco-friendly, but it's time to address the wasteful materials it can involve. Is it possible to garden without plastic? Absolutely!
Allow us to introduce the paper pot maker—a practical and eco-friendly tool that helps you create seedling pots using old newspaper, eliminating the need for plastic.
Plastic plant pots are like the notorious supermarket bags of the garden—the black plastic cannot be recognised by sorting systems, so they slip past recycling facilities and end up in landfills or incinerators. During the spring and early summer, your garden can feel like it's submerged in a sea of plastic pots as you plant your precious seedlings. So why not try your hand at cultivating seedlings in compostable newspaper pots instead?
Creating these newspaper plant pots is a breeze with the help of a paper pot maker (finally, a purpose for those irresistible piles of Sunday papers!). When your seedlings are ready for planting, simply place the entire pot in the soil—the paper will naturally biodegrade, a stroke of genius! But that's not all—besides being environmentally friendly, you'll save money, and even keep the kids happily occupied on a rainy Saturday.
Now, let's delve into the process of making newspaper plant pots and taking your first steps towards plastic-free gardening:
STEP #1: INVEST IN A PAPER POT MAKER
To create an endless supply of seedling pots, invest in a basic wooden kit called the paper pot maker. While you could experiment with bottles or cylindrical objects lying around the house, the paper pot maker has the advantage of a purpose-made mould and base, so it's easier on your hands!
STEP #2: CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAPER
As mentioned earlier, newspaper is the perfect choice for this. If you’ve already switched to online news in your efforts to reduce waste (kudos to you!) any other non-shiny and easily decomposable paper will do. It needs to be flimsy enough to absorb water and easily decompose. Nothing shiny or coated, as these would behave like persistent plastic that never truly disappears.
STEP #3: WRAP THE PAPER
Cut a strip of paper measuring just under 60cm in length and about 10cm in width. Wrap this strip around the mould – tight enough so it’s secure but not so tight that it won’t slide off later. Line up the paper so you’ve got a substantial bit hanging over the bottom.
STEP #4: SECURE THE BOTTOM
Take the overhanging paper and fold it over the edges of the mould. Then, insert the base (which features an indentation) into the mould, twisting it around to tightly pack the paper. This will create a solid bottom for your newspaper plant pots, preventing any soil mishaps that could leave you covered in dirt.
STEP #5: TIME TO PLANT
Slide the paper pot off the mould, fill it with compost or soil, and plant your seeds. These paper pots are especially suitable for seedlings. When the time comes to transplant your seedlings into the garden beds, simply place the entire paper pot into the ground. As the paper naturally biodegrades, your plants will thrive (hopefully—our disclaimer: we take no responsibility for your gardening skills!).
Want to give it a try? Explore our collection of plastic-free gardening tools to find paper pot makers. By embracing newspaper seedling pots, you'll enjoy a truly green gardening experience, bidding farewell to those nasty black plastic plant pots. Happy gardening!