Sunday, 27 March 2016

How to make biodegradable seed pots

I've found a great way to make biodegradable plant pots that are essentially free!  You just need newspaper, scissors and a jam jar.

Step 1:
Take your free London Evening Standard (or other newspaper, don't use glossy magazine paper) and cut or tear a strip lengthways that is a few inches taller than the height of your jam jar.  Lucky for me I found that cutting the page straight in half gave a good strip height for my jar.

Step 2:
Fold an inch or two along one end then unfold again.  This will make folding in the rim of the pot easier later.

Step 3:
Place the jar with the open end towards the fold you just made.  Make sure there is about two inches of paper free either end of the jar.  More if your jar is bigger.

Step 4:
Roll the jar up inside the paper.  Make sure you make the first roll relatively loose or you will get the jar stuck inside like I did first time.

Step 5:
At the bottom end of the jar fold in the paper and tuck the end bit inside the rest if you can.  This will make the base of the paper pot.  Firm up the edges by pinching.

Step 6:
Remove the jar from inside the paper and set the paper pot upright.  This will be difficult if you rolled it too tightly in step 4.  I ripped the paper trying to get the jar out first time...oops.

Step 7:
See the crease you made in step 2? Well that's your guide to fold the rim of the opening in on itself which will help firm up the pot and prevent it unrolling.

And ta-dah!  You have a paper pot!

Here's a whole box of them I made ready to be filled with compost and seed.  

When they are full of compost and wet it's best to keep them all together like this so they don't fall a part.  You can also tie string round groups of them to hold them together until you want to plant them out.

When the seedlings are grown inside the pots you can plant them directly into the soil without removing the paper as this will just disintegrate once in the ground and the roots of the growing plant can easily push out.  It's a great way to plant out seedlings without disturbing their roots.

For a video version of this how-to and for more ideas for DIY biodegradable pots, take a look at this that I found on YouTube to help me make mine:

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Carrot planting

Having just moved house I am so excited to have a back garden to play with!

As I can't really dig it up, it being someone else's house and I don't have the permission yet, I've decided to grow lots of veg in containers this year.

For carrots you of course need a container deep enough to allow for the roots to get long.

Here are the seeds I bought, from Lidl actually.

I bought the compost from Lidl too and put 3 seeds in each little hole.  I will thin them out to one per hole when they get going.  I also decided to plant just one container for now and plant more later so when it comes to harvest I don't get a complete carrot overload all at once.

As it's only the end of March I've put a bit of cling film over the top to keep it a bit warmer in there and stop any frost that might have a go. 

The pot was £2.20 I think from a cheap shop down the road, although I have since found similar pots in Poundland.  Gardening needn't be expensive and I plan on growing everything as cost effectively as possible.

I placed my pot n the sunniest part of the garden to help get the germination going.

Good luck little carrots!


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