homemade (or very cheap) peatpots?

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This fall I am preparing a heavy mulch garden and so next spring I plan to do transplants instead of direct seeding-which means alot of little containers to start seeds in. I have seen in catalogs a tool where you can make your own "peatpots" out of newspapers. The tool looks kind of like a hardwood bedpost- and its expensive! Has anyone used this-is it worth the money? Anyone have a cheaper tool or method? What about food grade cardboard boxes-like cereal boxes or milk boxes from schools? I'm allways worried about that pesky dioxin they use to bleach paper with. Thanks-Kelly

-- Kelly in Ky (markelly@scrtc.com), September 26, 2001


I bought one of those newspaper pot maker thingys in a fit of gardening zeal a couple years ago. It works. The pots it makes are more fragile, I think, than peat pots. Once wet (from watering) they'll fall right apart if you try to move the individual pot & plant. I always just put the paper pots in a flat after planting in them, and move the whole shebang around, instead of the individual pots.

It takes a fair amount of time to make enough pots to do anything with, too, and you end up with lots of newpaper ink on your hands, but the tool lasts forever, and is clever and elegant in design.

-- Julia (charmer24@juno.com), September 26, 2001.

you take a cardboard egg carton and cut it apart and you have 12 little pots for starting seeds. If you need them a little bigger just take one of them and carfuly cut the bottom off all 12 and set each one over a section over the holes in a ice cube tray. Cut the cardboard off when its time to plant. Cheep as it gets. If you break open your eggs carfuly you can just get the top off the shell you can also fill the empty egg shell with soil and use as pot set back in the carton for a holder. I am always going to try this but you know when your half asleep and breaking a egg you forget about saving the shell and break it to much to use hahahaha. Have a good day

-- Teresa (c3ranch@socket.net), September 26, 2001.

I have that tool too. I found if you need to move the seedlings, let the paper try a bit. What I have also done, if I the seedling got to big for the little paper pots, was to make a larger paper pot. I used a 12oz. tin can and just wrapped the paper around, like with the wood tool.

I have also used the tool to make favors. I used wrapping paper and stapled on a little handle. Cute little baskets!

-- Cordy (ckaylegian@aol.com), September 26, 2001.


I have one of these tools to. It works very well. What I usually do is to cut a large number of paper strips and put them in a bushel basket. Whenever I'm sitting down watching tv, or whatever, I make pots. It goes quite quickly once you get the hang of it again. Another tool I have which I like even more is a soil-block maker. It makes 4 2-inch square blocks at a time. It only takes a couple of minutes to fill up a flat with blocks using this tool. I like it a lot better than the paper pot makers. They are available from most of the catalogs that sell the paper pot makers. They are more expensive (around $30.00) but that's really not so bad when you stop and think of the fact that you won't have to buy cell packs or peat pots again. Good luck.

-- Murray in ME (lkdmfarm@megalink.net), September 26, 2001.

We use a vegetable can for a form to wrap newspaper around then remove the can. I can probably find a link to a site with photos if you need it.

-- ourfarm (ourfarm@noaddr.com), September 26, 2001.

I'd like to see that...A few years ago, OG mag had illustrated directions for making these newspaper "peatpots", just by hand. I'd like to try it next year, since our last frost is so late here.

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), September 26, 2001.

Have you ever tried the rollers from the middle of the toilet paper? I used these one year. Cut the cardboard roller in half, make four snips at equal distances around one end, then fold the little flaps like you would to close the top of a cardboard box. It makes a nice little cup, about the size of those expanding peat pellets. But like has been said about the newspaper pots, they need to be placed in a tray, then filled with your planting medium, and not removed from the tray until transplanting. To plant in the garden, just plant cardboard and all, and the cardboard dissolves away when covered with dirt. Works good for things with short roots, not so good for long roots, like turnips, carrots, etc. I am going to try using the whole toilet paper roller for them this time.

-- Lela R. Picking (stllwtrs55@aol.com), September 26, 2001.

Here is a link LUSENET

-- ourfarm (ourfarm@noaddr.com), September 26, 2001.

Thanks everyone, this information is exactly what I needed!

-- Kelly in Ky (markeely@scrtc.com), September 26, 2001.

I bought a soil blocker that makes 4 2" square blocks at a time. After depositing them in a flat directly from the tool, I place them a little further apart in a flat. You do get a little "melting" of the block if you aren't careful watering but you'd be amazed how well the roots hold the block together when you remove them from the flat for transplanting. No newspaper, no dioxins, no aluminum, just a soil mix of your own making and the seeds. You can make up the blocks a few days ahead of time and cover the flats or place them in a plastic bag to keep them moist until ready to use.

-- marilyn (rainbow@ktis.net), September 27, 2001.

I was told by some friends on another group to simply use a glass. It was very easy and we did lots. They are a bit fragile to move when wet but did just fine when they dried a bit. One thing I noticed was that the newspaper didn't break down very fast because we had a dry spell after we transplanted. I would recommend opening the bottom or the side of the pot when you transplant unless you water your garden regularily. Also if you have any half sheet sized publications they are the perfect size for doing pots. The full sized newspaper got to be either too tall or too thick.

-- Trisha-MN (tank@linkup.net), September 27, 2001.

I'm with Lela. We have used the toilet paper rolls for 3-4 years now and they work great! We have even used to start fruit trees and just keep progressing up--paper towel roll--gift wrap roll. Then you have to go outside.

-- (stephanie.wilkerson@experian.com), September 27, 2001.

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