Easy, Free Newspaper Pots for Transplants

Hello, everybody!

Dropping by to show you how I handle transplanting my vegetables, mostly tomatoes, when the seedlings are outgrowing the tray but the great outdoors isn’t ready for them yet!

Every year, I jump the gun on starting my seeds, and every year, they’re pushing the limit on size well before the frost date. This year, I was even earlier because The Boy was adamant we start seeds one rainy weekend, and I needed something (anything!) to occupy him for half an hour.

I start seeds in the Park Seed BioDome system, keeping the vents closed until the seedlings sprout. This year, I did some damage by not opening the vents early enough, and the plants got set back after being a little overheated one or three times. It actually worked to my advantage, though, because they didn’t get QUITE so big so quickly.

Newspaper Pots for Seedlings

What you’ll need:

  • seedlings
  • a jar or can
  • old newspaper
  • Scotch tape, masking tape, or some other kind of (easily removable) tape
  • potting soil
  • a tray of some sort to hold your seedlings
  • water and/or fertilizer (I like fish emulsion, but only if I’m keeping them outdoors, because it STINKS)

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I asked Pete to film me making one of these. Please excuse basically everything, including the new bangs, which were a mess, my unpainted porch, and like, everything else. And also, my child whaps me with a pool noodle most of the way through.


The basic steps: take one full sheet of newspaper, folded into quarters, and roll it around your can or jar. Tape on the side, then fold the bottom onto itself, and tape that, too. Remove jar, fill with soil, and plant seedling. Continue care until ready to plant, then remove tape and the bottom of the pot, which will remove easily because it will deteriorate from water, fertilizer, etc. Plant!

Here are my 20 pots, ready to be planted. Almost all my seedlings will go to new homes as gifts to friends.


My tomatoes are already planted; I figured if there’s another freeze warning (unlikely, but possible), I’m only planting three plants so I can cover them. Our garden grew a bit this year, as Peter dug up a section next to the duck house for me.


We mixed in some mushroom compost, and also the duck straw will go directly on as mulch. A nice thing about duck poop versus chicken poop? It’s not nearly so “hot” as chicken manure, so it can be spread directly without composting! Yes, I’ll be thoroughly washing our veggies.

Planting is kind of a family activity lately; here’s The Boy with his Arbor Day tree!


And the back garden is in one of my favorite phases: the early spring creeping phlox bloom!


And finally, I got to work on my “playing along with the ORC” plans this weekend and made my throw pillow covers!


I am loving the bold colors, which is a serious departure from the norm for me. The new sheets are in the bottom right corner, and I also made a pillow cover from that ivory toile print in the bottom left corner. I’m not allowed to put them all on the bed yet, though, because I promised myself I’d hold off until I painted the closets and shelves. A bit of decorating motivation, I guess.

I’ve also acquired one piece of artwork that I think may go in the bedroom, and I’m giving a good hard think on another one. And I’ve done some curtain investigations. And I got the carpet cleaner out this weekend and had a go at the rag rug. Shockingly, that worked.

I’ll leave you with this Instagram picture of Sweet Sis in the back garden.

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Also titled “Boy Lurks with Water Gun.”