Here’s a perfect classroom activity to DIY newspaper seedling pots instead of buying peat pellets. Have you read the post on why we need to find alternatives to using peat and preserve the centuries old peat bogs? If not, make sure you read it here. And if you need ideas for peat alternatives, read about those here.
Why not just use peat seedling pellets?
Why should you bother to DIY newspaper seedling pots if you can just buy some peat pellets from the store? Peat is not the sustainable, environmentally friendly choice that marketers would like to make you think it is.
If you’ve ever wondered what peat moss is and how it is formed, make sure you read the full post here. In fact, even if you have never wondered about this, head on over to read the post anyways. You will find it very interesting.
Peat bogs are fascinating ecological systems that take hundreds and thousands of years to form. The bogs create a unique habitat for unusual species of flora and fauna that have adapted to thrive in the harsh acidic water conditions. Some of these special plants you are probably familiar with include the Venus Fly Trap, the Pitcher Plant and the Sundew. But these are just the tip of the iceberg of the creatures and plants that call peat bogs home.
You can be sure that once you learn about the sensitive nature of this fragile resource and appreciate its ecological wonder, you will have second thoughts about taking peat seedling pellets to the cashier. There are many alternatives to use for seed starting. You can read about those here. Sometimes what seems to be the most convenient is also the most environmentally damaging.
Seedling Container Alternatives
Many types of small containers can be pressed into use for seedlings. Re-use containers from snacks (single serve apple sauce or pudding cups, mini yogurts), egg cartons or other pulp-based take out containers. But a great little activity to engage the young gardeners in your family or classroom is making these DIY newspaper seedling pots. Check out the suggestions and links to instructional videos below.
Seed Starting Soil
Check out the post on Peat Alternatives to find many ideas for soil mixtures to use for planting your seeds.
DIY Newspaper Seedling Pots
Roll newspaper around a small glass, cup or tin, maybe a tomato paste can. You don’t need more than a couple of layers:
Here’s a couple of videos showing how to make newspaper seedling pots:
This one shows a little more complicated (but neat and attractive) origami style square pot that starts out as a newspaper pirate hat – remember those?!
Toilet Paper Tube Seedling Pots
You can even use toilet paper tubes, although a little thicker and they may not break down as fast in the soil:
Here’s a video on how to make toilet paper tube seedling pots:
Commercially Available Pot Maker
You can also buy a commercially made device called the Pot Maker:
Watch the video on how to use the Pot Maker:
Do you have some ideas for seed starting that are fun kids activities or that have worked well for you? Please share in the comments!