Starting Seeds Indoors with Newspaper Seedling Pots

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How to make your own newspaper seedling pots for starting seeds indoors, along with tips and ideas for soil, supplies, and growing plants from seed.

newspaper seedling pots filled with potting mix in a black seed starter tray for starting seeds indoors

We've already begun starting seeds indoors for the coming growing season. Seed starting is a process that requires planning, good timing, and a li'l tender loving care.

We'd learned some time ago, in one of our gardening groups, that newspaper makes great little seedling pots… Not only that, but it's a great way to re-purpose newspaper.

I'm a huge fan of re-purposing. In fact, I even re-purposed this vintage tractor seat to make a tractor seat bucket that's perfect for weeding and working with plants in the garden.

While we don't actually pay for a newspaper anymore, we still have newspaper laying around, not to mention newspapers are only 50 cents apiece at our local convenience store.

So if you're trying to save money with your garden, newspaper can be much cheaper than seed starter pots.

It also makes compostable or biodegradable pots. So it's good all the way around.

By the time we're done, our dining room will probably be filled to the gills with trays of seedlings waiting to be planted.

heirloom seed packets from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Tips for How to Start Seeds Indoors

When it comes to starting seeds, a lot depends on the types of plants you're wanting to grow. Here are a few general tips for starting seeds.

  • Start seedlings in a quality potting mix or potting soil.
  • Make sure the seed starting containers they grow in give them plenty of space, and pot up if needed.
  • Don’t overwater your seedlings, which can lead to fungi, like damp-off, which thrives in a too-wet environment.
  • Ensure that your seedlings are fed well, whether the fertilizer is in the potting mix or you feed with an all-purpose fertilizer.
  • Make sure the seedlings have plenty of light. You may even consider using grow lights.
  • Kinda along the same lines as light, give your seedlings plenty of warmth (80-90 degrees) when they need to sprout, but don’t keep it too warm after they have sprouted (70-80 degrees).
  • When your seedlings are growing, brush your hand against them to strengthen and exercise them, preparing them for the real world.
  • And you may think I'm a li'l cuckoo, but… Talk to your seedlings. Play music for them. They like company, and they will thrive even more with a little tender loving care and attention.

Seed Starting Supplies for Starting Seeds Indoors

You really don't need that many seed starting supplies, especially if you're using newspaper; in fact, it's more affordable than people think.

With a little creativity and re-purposing, you can save a LOT of money.

  • Seeds – We prefer heirloom seeds because then we can harvest our seeds and re-plant the next year.
  • Newspapers – How many depends on how many seedlings you plan to grow.
  • Seed starting trays, with or without lids

How to Make Newspaper Seedling Pots

Making newspaper seed pots is so simple. If there are a few of you working together, you can start an assembly line and help each other, making the process go by even more quickly.

To make a paper pot planter…

  • Take a regular-sized tin can and use that to measure and roll the newspaper into a sort of pot.
measuring newspaper with a tin can for newspaper seedling pots
  • Fold your bottom end up, closing it in. Then fold your top down over the top, creating a crease so it's easier to fold down once you remove the can.
folding newspaper end over tin can for seed starter pot
  • Unfold that top fold and remove the can from your seedling pot.
pulling newspaper pot off of tin can, making paper pot planter
  • Following that crease, fold the top back down. Fill each newspaper seed starter pot with dirt.
filling newspaper seedling pot with potting mix
  • Then place the seedling pot in a seed starting tray. You should be able to fit at least 20 pots in one seed starter tray; you definitely want the tray, so when you water the seeds, it can hold the excess water.
newspaper seedling pots with potting mix in seed starting tray

Things to Keep in Mind When Planting Seeds

Once you have your pots made and filled with potting mix or seed starting mix, it's time to plant your seeds. This is where our boys got a little more involved.

family starting seeds in newspaper seedling pots

You'll want to make sure to follow the instructions on the back of each individual seed packet when growing plants from seed. Reasons I mention this…

  • Different seeds have different planting depths.
  • Some seeds may do better if started outdoors rather than indoors.
  • Growing times and when to start seeds may differ. You'll need to factor in frost date, best times to grow each type of plant, the rate seedlings grow, germination time, the time it will take for the plants to mature, etc.

So, be sure to read the seed packets before you ever start planting.

seeds in hand above seedling pots

Once your seeds are planted, be sure to water the seedlings, and place them in a sunny spot indoors. This will keep them safe and happy.

boy child starting seeds in newspaper seedling pots

More Gardening Tips and Outdoor Living

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If you find this seed starting tutorial helpful, please share it with your friends on Facebook and Pinterest! If you make the newspaper seedling pots, be sure to share that you tried it on Pinterest. I love when readers share feedback!

Starting seeds indoors with newspaper seedling pots