Since I’ve gotten a few comments and one direct request, I decided to put up my directions for making newspaper seed-starting pots. It was time to start more cabbage anyway, and I planted a couple of lettuce seeds too. I didn’t need to or plan to, but Eric was complaining about how long it would be before we could pick our own lettuce, and it was snowy and cold, and, um, I can stop at any time.
You need newspaper, a jar, a toothpick, soil, and seeds. I use half a regular newspaper sheet–that is, a sheet with page A1 on one side and page A2 on the back, but not A1, A2, A17, and A18 all together. I also use a Trader Joe’s Basil jar, because I decided my sesame seed jar was just a little too big. The Trader Joe’s jar is 1.75″ in diameter.
1. Fold the newspaper approximately in half–the fold it comes with is fine, even if it’s not exact. From the folded edge, fold over an approximately 2.5″ strip.
2. Place the bottom end of the jar at one end of the folded-over strip. Roll the entire sheet tightly up and around the jar.
3. You’ve now got a long tube with most of the newspaper sticking up over the end of the jar. With your fingers, squash the newspaper down onto the bottom of the jar, starting at the far end, bringing all the excess toward the loose end of the newspaper where you rolled it. Smooth the remaining flap up along the side of the jar. You’ve now covered the loose rolled end with the flap from the bottom. Squish the bottom of the jar hard onto the counter to get the newspaper to lie flat; if necessary, roll the jar to get the flap to lie reasonably flat on the side of the jar as well.
4. Remove the jar from our pot. Fold over the flap that’s sticking up so that it lies neatly inside the pot.
5. Holding the pot by the side with the flap (so that it doesn’t come undone), fill the pot to the top with water. Squish the flap down against its wall, but don’t be distressed if it doesn’t stay.
6. Empty the pot. Turn it over and poke two or three holes in the bottom with a toothpick.
7. Turn the pot right side up and squish the flap down again. It will stay beautifully because the entire pot is now hydrated.
8. Fill with premoistened potting soil and add seeds.
9. (Optional) Stick a tiny flag in the pot and claim it in the name of your garden.