Saturday, February 12, 2011

Being Frugal, For Peat's Sake

The occasional warm winter day inspires me to dig out the potting soil and do my early indoor seed starting.  In the past I've used styrofoam cups and peat pellets but this year, in the interest of sustainability and cost, I've decided to start my seeds in toilet paper rolls and newspaper pots.  When researching how to make the pots, I found several folks willing to sell me a handy little device to help.  Unfortunately, the handy little device carried a handy not-so-little price (in its defense, the wood was beautifully turned and finished).  So, I rummaged around my place and put together my own newspaper pot maker.

I put together a quart jar lid, a small mushroom can (both ends cut out), and an empty worcestershire (or any that fits inside the can) bottle.  To make your pots, tear your newspaper at the center fold to make a single page.  Fold that single page lengthwise and use your bottle to crease the paper.  Roll the paper firmly (but not tightly) around the can, leaving just over half the diameter of the can to fold in for the bottom.

Starting where the newspaper ends, fold the bottom into the can (four folds).  Fit the jar lid over the bottom of the can and set on the table.  Use the bottle to tamp the bottom of the pot flat, twisting to crimp well.  Carefully sllide the can out of the pot, then remove the jar lid.

I store these in a shoebox lined with a plastic bag.  I'll let you know how these work out!

PS  April:  Fill these to the top with soil and keep moist lest the paper wick away moisture quickly.