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How to make paper pots


Making your own pots from paper will save you money, and reduce the amount of plastic you use in your garden and greenhouse. Newspaper pots are completely biodegradable, so when plants are growing strongly and ready to go outside, the whole pot can be planted into the soil, and it will decompose as the plant grows.

All you need to get started is a pile of newspaper and some cylindrical objects to act as moulds. Try using a bottle and wrapping strips of paper tightly around it, several times, before folding over the base and sliding the paper off. There are also simple, wooden pot-making kits available to buy.

Make batches of differently-sized pots so that you have plenty to hand as the seed-sowing season gets under way, and look for other things that can be recycled into pots, too.

How to do it


Choose moulds of different sizes in order to make a range of pots suitable for all your seed sowing and plant raising activities.


Cut strips of newspaper wide enough to fold halfway across the mould base, and roll the paper round to make 4-6 layers per pot.


Wrap tightly to create firm pots, then start folding the paper over the base so there is no gap for any compost to fall through.


Wooden kits have a crimping block that helps create a crease to hold paper rigid, or just push the base firmly onto a flat surface.


Carefully slide the paper pot from the mould. Stand pots in a seed tray, ready for sowing.

Our tip

As an alternative to making paper pots, try recycling cardboard tubes or egg boxes. The card tubes from the centre of kitchen foil or paper towel are ideal for sowing deep-rooting seeds.

Rest the pots in trays of damp compost. This ensures the paper always remains moist, allowing roots to grow through the sides.

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