Encouraged by my 10 year old to cut down on plastics and re-use as much as possible, we started an experiment for growing some vegetable seeds – we’re starting off with beans, peas & gerkins.
For my birthday, my sister had bought me a paper pot making tool, so we decided to try this out and also use some kitchen roll and toilet roll tubes to see what worked the best for growing vegetable seeds.
With the cardboard tubes, it was trial and error but the best way was to make cuts from the bottom of the tube up to about a 1/3 of cardboard. This was done about every 2cm then folded the flaps over each other so it had a closed base.
For the paper pot maker, strips of newspaper were cut and rolled around the pot maker. The newspaper was then folded at the base. The instructions with the pot maker said to press the newspapers into the base supplied and twist, but every time I twisted it ripped the paper, so in the end I just pressed it in and it seemed to do the job and create a closed base.
To stop the pots falling over and to give them some stability, we used a plastic container from a take away and put the paper pots in this. We filled each pot with compost and planted our seeds…and waited…
My daughter and I both thought the newspaper pots would disintegrate first and be a bit more flimsy but actually we think they are the best. The cardboard tubes are definitely stronger but they have started to go mouldy on the outside. we also reckon they will take longer to break down in the soil once we plant them. However, the seeds have come through in both sets of pots and 2 weeks later are outside in a cold frame (having been in the kitchen to germinate for the past few weeks).
Our verdict is either are great but we enjoyed making the paper pots. You don’t really need a tool to make them (although pressing them at the base was useful). If you have a gardener in the family they do make a good gift though. There’s something really positive about growing from seed – every morning my youngest checks for the seeds coming through and waters them. Two weeks on we’re doing some successional sowing so have done it all again so we’d definitely recommend. It’s also great that everything we have used has been recycled or re-used so we haven’t used any plastic pots. Definitely recommended and maybe a good half term activity to do with the kids too.
Our spark joy rating is 10 / 10.