Why I Use Newspaper Pots Instead of Plastic Ones

Not only are they fun to make, but they are sustainable in both resources and cost. I started using newspaper pots about 3 years ago as my “potting up” vessel for tomato and pepper plants. I soil block all my seedlings and while most go right into the garden soil after they size up, peppers and tomatoes need a little more time to mature and therefore need more growing medium than the soil blocks provide. I used to reuse plastic pots from plants I bought from a nursery, but that required water and bleach (eek) to sterilize in between using them. Plus I was surrounded by plastic and that stuff has been known to leach chemicals into soil. Pass. Enter newspaper pots! Although newspaper is getting more and more difficult to source, it’s still out there and there only so much crafting it is needed for. Each pot only requires one sheet of paper and once you get the hang of it, a minute or two to make. Think assembly line. Other benefits include:

  • They are water wicking, so I can put them in a tray and bottom water so that they plants remain moist but not water-logged. Then they naturally dry out and I water again.
  • Used newspaper is generally free and people are happy to give it away
  • It can be ripped apart and planted in the garden with the plant
  • You can write on them with permanent markers
  • The soil doesn’t get compacted in them
  • They sometimes have funny pictures and stories to read as you are folding & potting
  • Did I mentioned they don’t have plastic in them?

Keep in mind that they are not as long lasting as plastic but materials ARE meant to break down. The pots have held up well for the about 3 weeks that they live in them until they are translated into the garden. Try your hand at them. Happy folding!

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