Reuseable seedling cups : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I went to the dollar store and purchase packs of plastic disposable cups for a dollar per pack. Punched holes in the bottom for drainage and lined them with newsprint. I filled the newsprint with wormcast, peatmoss and kitty litter potting mix, taking the exposed paper ends and folding them to the center and pressing them into the mix to form a seed cavity. Planted my seed in the hole and covered it with mix. After the seedling sprouts and is ready for transplant, remove the plant from the cup in the newsprint "soil block" for planting and store the cup for use next season. The worm cast in the paper bundle is quite often enough fertilizer for the life of the plant if the larger stadium cup sized containers are used. The paper wrapped plant eliminates transplant shock and the newsprint mulches away in the garden.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, March 16, 2002


That's a great idea Jay! Thanks.

-- Jodie in E. TX (, March 17, 2002.

I've done this before too, with great results. You can use any container... I used old yoghurt containers. There are a few products on the market that press dampened newsprint into a form for later use as a seedling pot, but why bother with a gimmick, when you don't really need to press anything... good work Jay.

-- roberto pokachin in B.C. (, March 17, 2002.

Jay, do you use one sheet or two sheets thickness of newsprint per cup? Thanks for sharing this great money-saving tip.

-- Betty (Mich) (, March 17, 2002.

I use a single sheet thickness of newsprint. I cut a square about 8"x8" for the small cups and 12"x12" for the larger ones to ensure a tight tuck.

If using recycled food containers be sure to sterilize the containers with bleach and rinse real well with hot water to eliminate threat of unwanted bacterial infection of seedlings. you only want the intentional bacterial infestations with your seedlings.

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, March 17, 2002.

If you want cheap trays to put the cups in, cut down a sturdy cardboard box so the sides are 1/2 to 3 inches high, slip it into a plastic bag, tuck the bag into the box, and tape off the ends. A few weeks back I picked up some shallow heavy duty boxes at the grocery store that were designed for canned goods, just the right size for the large green garbage bags to cover. These work really well.


-- Chelsea (, March 17, 2002.

I bothered with the gimmick and bought a pot form last year (Enviro potter). I can fit 12 in a little black plastic tray that my mom saved for me (actually she saved me a bunch and 12 little paper pots fit in each one). If I was to go out on a bigger scale it would be a pain in the butt but for my little garden it works. Great idea, though, Jay. You're always so cutting edge eh?

-- Alison in NS (, March 17, 2002.

Why not use toilet paper rolls and snip the ends so they fold in. You could use a dot of glue to hold it together (like flour and water paper glue that is not toxic)?

-- Ann Markson (, March 20, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ