No pots? No problem. Make these biodegradable containers for our next seedling swap

newspaper seedlingI’m surrounded by seedlings. Some are intentionally grown from my homemade toilet paper roll starter cups. Others are renegade sprouts making surprise appearances on the opposite side of my garden. So it’s a lucky thing that being808 has come up with a way to find new homes for all my seedlings with seedling swaps.

Being808’s Facebook gardening group 808 Green Thumbs holds these gatherings for interested gardeners to trade their extra seedlings. Not only is it a chance to diversify our gardens, we sometimes end up finding our new favorite crop.

I take pride in saying that many gardeners are frugal in nature. No – sustainable, that’s the word. Gardeners actively practice sustainability, even when it comes to trading seedlings. Yes, those iconic plastic green pots are cheap, but they still cost money and they’re not exactly good for the environment. I used toilet paper roll pots to transport my seedlings to the last seedling swap, but I was pleasantly one-upped by one of my friends and fellow being808 bloggers Jillian Scheibe, aka the “Health Rebel.”

She showed up with a box full of seedlings in newspaper pots. They were sturdy, they were larger than my starter cups, which allows for more growth, and most importantly, they were biodegradable. I swapped one of my renegade pumpkin seedlings for one of her sugar snap pea plants and once I got home, I dug a hole and placed the entire pot into the ground. No mess!

I gave Jillian a call to meet me at a nearby park to teach me how to make these newspaper pots. I was so amazed at how sturdy they were; I thought maybe she did something special. It turns out to be about only four steps that can be done in a minute.

Ready to give it a try? Here’s what you’ll need:

• Newspaper

• A straight open-ended cylinder (PVC pipe, a glass tumbler, jar, etc.)

• Tape (optional)

newspaper pot instructionsFirst, lay out a sheet of newspaper. Place your cylinder at one end of the newspaper (if only one side of your cylinder is open, make sure the open end is facing in). Tightly wrap the entire sheet of newspaper around the cylinder — it’s OK if you go around more than once. Use your fingers to push the excess newspaper into the open end of the cylinder. Remove the cylinder and flatten the bottom of the pot with your knuckles.

Now guess who has their own newspaper pot? You do!

You might feel the need to tape the loose edge but trust me, if you wrapped the cylinder tightly, you’ll see how sturdy the pot is once you fill it with soil. Now you’re all set for a seedling swap or just basic plant transport. Like I mentioned earlier, the entire pot can later be placed into the ground and the newspaper will eventually break down.

I’d like to give big mahalo to Jillian for introducing me to these pots and for giving me a quick demo. I can’t wait to start making more of these with my kids.

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