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Making Simple Newspaper Pots for Seed Starting

Over the last few years, I have experimented with all kinds of seed starting methods. I’ve used store-bought seed starting mix, all kinds of different ingredients, peat pots, plastic containers in the windows -- you name it, I’ve probably tried it. Of all the options I have tried, making simple newspaper pots for seed starting is the easiest, cheapest and best seed starting process.

Why Use Newspaper Pots

Lots of gardeners start with those little peat pots, including myself. After dealing with several plant failures, I discovered that the roots of many of my crops weren’t able to grow beyond that little net that surrounds the peat pellets, preventing them from growing properly. I was also disappointed to find many of those little nets were not breaking down very quickly in my soil. My solution is creating my own truly biodegradable plant pots out of newspaper. Not only do I save money by making free containers, I also save a lot by mixing my own simple seed starting mix.

Seed Starting Mix

For a frugal, basic seed starting mix combine equal parts:
Soil (store bought or from your own garden)

Making Newspaper Pots

When making simple newspaper pots for seed starting, I used a pint beer bottle because I like the aluminum and it’s taller than the standard soda can, but you could use a kitchen glass, or just about anything to make your newspaper pots.

Planting Seedlings

When it’s time to plant, I put the whole newspaper pot in the ground without disturbing my fragile plant roots. It takes no time at all for newspaper to break down in the soil and give the worms something yummy to feast on!

How do you like to start seeds?


  1. Do you use tape to help hold them together?

  2. Nope, no tape. By folding the bottom over and pushing into the palm of my hand, they stay in tact perfectly fine. I don't handle them except when it is time to transplant, so there's no worry of the bottom falling out and when I transplant, I hold them from the bottom.


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