Sunday, March 18, 2012

Making Newspaper Pots

We really are having the most extraordinary weather.  Summer-like, almost hot!  This morning I decided to continue with more seedlings.  I've never grown Brussels sprouts ever.  Over the Christmas holidays, I had a friend raving about hers from the garden, and then we had delicious roasted sprouts at a holiday dinner.  I vowed to get seeds in Spring and try growing them.

So my Jade Cross Brussels Sprouts seed packet says to "start inside 1/4" deep in peat pots", which I take to mean they don't like their roots disturbed upon transplanting.  Instead of store-bought, packaged-in-plastic peat pots, I make newspaper pots, which break down faster anyway.  Here's how I put them together:

First I cut two strips of newspaper.  For these small pots, the strips were 5" wide by 12" long (12.7 cm x 30.48 cm).  The length is enough to fold over the pot.

I turn the pot upside down and ready four pieces of masking tape.  Then I lay the strips over my pot in a plus sign (or cross) on top of the pot.  The bottom of the pot is more or less centered at the center of the cross.

Next, just fold over one side to the next - kind of like wrapping a present – and tape down.  Do this on each of the four sides.  Once the newspaper is wrapped around the pot and taped, remove the plastic pot.

"Lifter strips" and pot w/lifter strip under newspaper pot.

Initially I forgot to do this today, and then remembered newspaper pots can be hard to get out of the plastic pots.  Because of this, I had made these strips that act as lifters.  When buying electronics you sometimes get plastic-ish material that appliances are wrapped in.  I cut my lifter strips out of that material, and add holes to let water through.  Cut strips long enough to be able to grasp on each side.  These things can be used again and again.  FIRST you stick the lifter strip in the plastic pot (holes at bottom)...

then stick the newspaper pot in and fold the tops over.  These pots don't show the lifter strip hanging down like above.

I put dead needles and small sticks in the bottom to take up some space.  Then I fill about 3/4 with a compost-light potting soil mix.  On top goes seedling starter mix, and I sow the seeds.  I put five Brussels sprout seeds to a pot, watered on top lightly and from the bottom.

When they're ready to be planted outside, I carefully lift the newspaper pot out by pulling the lifter strip, then bury the newspaper pot in the ground.

I'm crossing my fingers these Brussels sprouts will really grow for me!


GirlSprout said...

Good luck with your Brussels sprouts. I've been experimenting with seed starting so I'll give your newspaper method a try.

charlie b. said...

Hi GirlSprout, thanks for the luck!! I was reading more about Brussels sprouts last night and now think I've started them too early. Oh well, guess I'll try another set later for a Fall harvest.

Good luck to you with your seed starting!

HolleyGarden said...

Great idea! I love that you can just plant the pot, and not have to disturb the roots. I've never grown Brussels sprouts, either. Good luck on yours!

charlie b. said...

Thanks Holley!! : )