Spending Strike: Day 6 - DIY Compostable Seed-Starting Pots!

Today I'm going to share a money-saving, eco-friendly, gardener-approved, multi-hyphenated project with you. In fact, I've been working on this project for about a week now, just so I can gear up for the greenhouse John is building me this spring and starting my own seeds.

Today, friends, we're going to talk about making your own compostable seed-starting pots. I am in full swing for preparing for my 2014 garden, and although I am on a spending strike, that doesn't mean I can't get creative and find ways to prepare for free.

The only two supplies you'll need to make your own seed-starting pots are non-glossy newsprint and a glass jar.

With those two 'tools' you can make all of the seed pots you'll need to begin growin' your own produce, folks!

First, separate all of your newspaper sheets into single sheets and fold them 'hotdog style' {rather than the popular 'hamburger style'}.

Then, take your jar and lay it about 1/2 way over the folded edge of your newspaper.

Start rollin', baby.

Then tightly fold all of the loose ends of the newspaper into the jar, like this:

Carefully pull the 'rolled and packed' newspaper off your jar, and then you'll have this:

Put your fist into the newspaper to flatten the bottom so it's not as open.

And there you have it: A little newspaper pot that you can fill with potting soil and seeds.

These guys will hold up for several weeks, but make sure you are gentle with them, because after a few weeks of watering, the newsprint will break down.

When you're ready to plant your starts, you can just plop the entire thing - newspaper and all! - into the ground. The newspaper will break down and compost into the soil. In fact, if you've been watering and letting your starts hang out in their own newspaper pot for a few weeks, the pot is likely to begin breaking down a bit, preparing it for your garden.

As you can see, I've only made a few pots so far, and have a long way to go, but a little work once or twice a week beats spending money, right?

Tell me, how do you save money with seed starting or in your garden? I'm on a roll now, people!

Here today's spending strike numbers -

Money Spent Today: $0
Running Total: $0
Money We Didn't Spend: $0 {I was a hobbit today :) }


  1. I came across this idea before but was advised against this strongly by other gardeners as the black ink in the newspaper would contain (heavy) metals and the colours would contain harmfull ingredients.
    Have you heard about this?

    1. My husband is a compost specialist with our state university extension and gets this question all the time about composting newsprint. Apparently this used to be true, but years ago, the dyes and prints became vegetable based (and the shiny inserts, that shine is from clay) so you don't need to worry about harmful ingredients in the paper.

  2. What a great idea. My garden will be in 2015, so better start rollin' now :) Since we're moving, I'll use my blank leftover "newspaper" from U-Haul for these. I like to use that on my dishes rather than get newspaper ink on them. Does it count as spending if it was purchased (cheap) and used twice? Har.

  3. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids is printed with soy ink which is safe for your seedlings and worm bins. I user a bit smaller container to roll jars for most of my seeds and larger 4 inch pots from previous purchases for tomatoes and peppers which need a larger root base. I tear the newspaper a bit when I plant them so the roots can get out of the paper. Sometimes the paper can take a long time to degrade and the roots get bound up in the pot. Thanks for a great tutorial, Kelli!!

  4. I do this too! Some of my seed catalogs are printed on non-glossy pages. I also make mini greenhouses from milk jugs and put them outside to save space under my lights.

    1. Kayla, I see a lot of Amish and Mennonite folks in our area - you can tell their gardens apart from the mini-milk-jug-greenhouses.

  5. Replies
    1. Another awesome bit of 'trash' that finds a new home. I love it!


Got some thoughts? Don't be shy. Leave 'em here!

You might like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...