How to Make Paper Pots and Sow Seeds

Spring comes early for those who get a jump on the gardening season when they sow seeds indoors.

Let's be honest; gardening costs can add up quickly, but growing plants from seed can slash those up front costs. Save your morning newspaper and use it to make biodegradable starter pots. The best part about this project is that once it's time to plant the seedlings in the ground, you don't have to remove them from their pots—the newspaper will decompose in your garden bed! See how to make these easy paper seed starters yourself.

Cut Garden Costs by Starting Seeds Indoors

What You Need

  • Newspaper (cut to size)
  • Jar
  • Pan
  • Seed-starting (soilless) potting mix
  • Seeds
  • Vermiculite
  • Wood labels
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heating pad 

Step 1: Roll Newspaper

Immerse rectangles of newspaper, sized to wrap around a small jar, in a pan of water until moistened. Roll the softened paper around the jar, extending the bottom edge enough to enfold the pot's bottom.

Step 2: Flatten Bottom

Crimp and press the paper around the bottom of the jar. Flatten the bottom by pressing it on a flat surface. Carefully slide the paper pot off the jar, and set it aside to dry overnight.

Step 3: Fill Pots

Stand pots in a watertight pan. Fill them with moistened soilless seed-starting mix (found at garden centers). Plant seeds according to directions on their seed packet. Cover seeds with vermiculite; sprinkle with warm water. Label plantings.

Seed Germination for Beginners

Step 4: Cover With Plastic and Heat

Cover pots with plastic wrap to retain moisture. Set the pan on a heating pad until the seeds sprout; then remove the plastic wrap. Place seedlings under grow lights for 14–16 hours per day.


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