In part 3 of this gardening series, I will teach you a super easy and free way to make your own paper pots for your emerging seedlings. By now your seeds have sprouted but it's still too early to move them to their summer home outside in your garden. These pots will be their temporary residence indoors until they can stretch their little arms in the summer sun.
To get started, you will need:
Step 1: Fold a sheet of newspaper in half lengthwise so that you have one long strip 6-8 inches high and however many inches across. The "however" measurement depends on the size of your newspaper page. All that matters is that it is long enough to wrap around your container at least once. The more you can wrap it around, the sturdier your paper pot will be. So go ahead and wrap your container, making sure to leave a couple of inches hanging over the edge (see photo).
Here I used a 16oz apothecary jar as my container, but I have also used a candle holder.
Step 2: Tape the edge of paper.
Step 3: Turn your container so that the bottom of the pot is facing you. Tuck in the top and bottom edges of the newspaper like so. Tape.
Step 4: Tuck in the left and right sides of the overhanging newspaper to seal up the bottom. Tape.
Slide the paper off the container and you are ready to plant! Fill your paper pot with the same type of soil you used to grow your seeds. This will allow the seedlings to continue receiving proper nutrition for their tiny size.
Carefully scoop up the entire seedling, roots and surrounding soil from their seed tray with a spoon and gently place them in your soil-filled paper pot. Water and talk sweetly to your seedling. ;)
Note: Don't panic if your transplanted seedling droops a few minutes after planting! Most likely it will perk up again in a little while. Making sure you scoop up as much of the soil surrounding the roots as you can while transplanting can minimize transplant shock. It also helps to do all of this at room temperature to avoid shock. Meaning, your seedlings, new soil, and water should all be at room temperature when you do the planting and don't use hot/cold soil or hot/cold water on seedlings that have been growing comfortably at 70 degrees in your kitchen.
It will be time to take our gardening adventures outside soon. I'll give you a tour of my tiny garden and share my lazy compost and mulch methods with you. (Hint: they are one in the same!)