Following on from my post about growing vegetables in containers you may find making your own paper pots to sow your seeds in useful. Makes it much cheaper than buying pots or ready grown plants – also you don’t have to worry about storing them if you are short of space.
There are several ways to make them, this is the way I make mine, you can even get special formers to use.
Start with a single page of a paper like the County Press, cut or tear it into three.
Fold over about 2″ on one of the long edges, this makes the top of the pot more rigid and stops compost going between the layers of paper.
Find a suitable sized straight glass about 2 – 2½ ” across, more if you want. That is the size that I use for sowing runner and broad beans. I can’t find the glass I normally use so I am using a bottle this year. You can use anything of your chosen diameter as long as it has a solid base to fold the bottom of the pot over. Place your glass/bottle with the bottom at the long unfolded edge.
Check that you have left a couple of inches of paper to fold over at the bottom.
Fold in the the first bit making sure that it is the loose end, it should fold right across to the other side of the glass or bottle. Fold the the next third of the base in and the third one should cover the other two folds. Carefully ease the glass or bottle out of your paper pot. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
You should now have a pot something like this, about 2½” across, 4½ – 5″ tall. As you will see I have cheated slightly by adding one staple to the top of the pot to make doubly sure it says together. Important note: Hold the pot in your hand when you fill it with compost, if you drop it in it might go through the bottom, once filled the compost stays in.
You can water them as you normally would, the pots stay intact for several weeks, quite long enough for seeds to germinate and grow to be large enough to plant out. One of the advantages of these pots is that you just plant the pot in the ground when your seedling is big enough and all danger of frost is gone. The roots grow through the paper and there is no check in growth due to root disturbance. I have used paper pots for my runner and broad beans for years.
These instructions may look complicated but it is far harder to explain than do, I made 40 pots last night in about 20 minutes.