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Almost Free *Jiffy* Pots

April 19, 2011

A picture of jiffy pots; which are biodegradab...

Image via Wikipedia

Fast, Cheap and Soon-To-Be Dirty

April is a good month to start seeds indoors.  There are plenty of commercially available seed starting trays, and if you are just chock-full-of-money go ahead and buy some.  If your cash supply is limited like mine, you may want to try this technique, and make yourself some inexpensive, biodegradable seed starting pots.

Here’s what you need:

Gather up this stuff first…

  • Scissors
  • Stapler (office variety)
  • Old Newspaper
  • A Kitchen Glass

The glass might oughta be plastic, and of the diameter of the *pots* that you want to make.  The one I used yesterday was about 3″ in diameter and 4″ tall.  I use this size for plants that are already growing in those commercially available seed trays.

Here’s the One,Two, Threes of it

For the glass I mentioned above, I take one sheet of newspaper, which is four pages if you are reading it, and slice it in half up the fold.  Let’s just say you have the front page and page two.  Fold that in half, lengthwise.  Place your glass on the folded paper, and roll the paper around the glass.  When it is all rolled up, fold the *bottom* paper in successive *pinches* onto the bottom of the glass.  For me this was generally five successive folds, to get all the way around the bottom.  Squish the folded newspaper down on a hard surface, using the bottom of the glass as a press.  Slip the glass out, staple the newspaper one time near the top.  Then go ahead and indent the bottom, slightly, up into the interior to help the folded bottom retain its shape.  Don’t worry too much if your creation does not sit exactly square at this point, it will do just fine when you fill it with potting soil.

And that is it.  Make up a bunch of these, fill them with moistened potting soil, lovingly plant your seeds in there, place them in a waterproof tray, near a south-facing window, and keep the soil moist.  You will have “starts” to transplant in your garden after the last frost date.

Note: My internet friend MMPaints  over at the excellent Self Sustained Living blog places her seed pots into zip-lock bags to create a mini-greenhouse effect.  The added warmth should germinate your seeds faster.  Snoop around at her blog for more details.

Why I Like These

Here are a couple reasons I like these home-made *Jiffy* Pots.  They are cheap, easy to make, bio-degradable and most of all- I just squeeze the bottom at transplant time (carefully so the dirt stays in) and set them into a pre-dug hole in the garden.  The roots find their way down and the newspaper gets tilled in next tilling season, adding *fiber* to the soil.  Try it, you might like it!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2011 1:06 pm

    Now that sounds like a great idea! I’m going to give it a try next season, although I’d like it even better if there were a newspaper around here worth buying for the reporting. For seed pots, though, the paper sells at a pretty fair price.


  1. Using those free *Jiffy Pots* « View from Bippus
  2. They’re HEEEEEre! « View from Bippus

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