Makin’ Newspaper Pots…

Here’s the sequel to Newspaper Mulch… “Newspaper Pots”

1. Cut a page of newspaper in half.
2. Fold the top and bottom in to form a strip. For my pots, I used the sink tiles as a guide and made the strips 4 inches tall.
3. Roll the strip around a soda can.

4. Secure the strip with a little piece of masking tape at the top.
5. Move the can up to make room at the bottom to push the sides in. Fold the seam into the bottom of the can.
6. Repeat folding around the sides in until you have created a bottom for the pot. If you want, you can also place a little piece of tape here.

7. Here’s the finished Newspaper Pot.
8. Fill to the top with potting mix.
9. Sow some seeds in it and place in a tray.

I saw instructions to make pots out of newspaper on the web and modified it to the size I want. In my case, a soda can was the perfect size, but you can use a bigger can or a bottle.

This is the first time I’ve done this, so I’m not sure if the walls of the pot are thick enough. I may use 2 plies of newspaper in step 1 next time… I’ll just see how this first batch goes.

Once the plants are ready to transplant, place the whole thing including the newspaper in the ground. The newspaper should decompose and you won’t have to disturb the roots.

How’d I do? :)

Also posted in Gardening

Tuesday’s Gardening…

Yesterday (Tuesday) I just did a little gardening, this time in the front yard.

I checked my sunflower bed and a few didn’t make it… but I think a neighborhood cat scratched it up, since there were some cat poo in it. I added a layer of coffee ground on it to deter the cat. I also planted some sunflower seeds that I harvested from last year in the bald spots. Don’t know if it’ll grow, but we’ll see…

I also planted the last 6 packs of a white mini zinnia and some-other flower I can’t remember in the front bed. I amended the soil a bit and sprinkled some random annual flowers. I’m not sure if they will grow, since I have bad luck with sowing seed directly in the soil.

In the back, I checked the newspaper mulch I placed the day before. It turned a light brown instead of that newspaper gray color, so it doesn’t look that weird. I’ll probably add some newspaper mulch in my other beds and maybe add some coffee grounds on top to deter the cats and to also dye the paper brown so it looks a little more natural.

I also got a email reply from our local newspaper editor and he confirmed that the do in fact use soy-based ink in their paper. He gave me the name of their recycling columnist and said to call them if I wanted more info on mulching. He also added that “Wednesday Appetites section is particularly good for helping you grow food for thought” which I thought was funny. He answered my question, gave me a number to call if I wanted more information and also plugged the paper… What a good editor! :)

Oh yeah… one last thing… I learned that they will build a Super Wal-Mart in the old lot where K-Mart use to be. They will then close down the Wal-Mart that is 2 minutes away from our house and guess what will replace it… I freakin’ Home Depot!!! I’m so excited! Imagine, I’ll be 2 minutes away from a Home Depot!!! It’ll probably be in 2 years, which is prefect timing, because that’s about the time when my neighbor will sell his house, which I want to buy… (I’ll write more about the house in a later entry)…

Newspaper Mulch…

As our weather is getting warmer, I’m getting worried about my vegetable beds drying out too much. I’ve read about using shredded newspaper as an inexpensive mulch and thought I would try it. After placing the newspaper mulch in a section of my vegetable bed, I thought to myself that it kinda looks weird, like I’m growing vegetable on some other planet.

Newspaper Mulch 1

Newspaper Mulch 2

My only worry, besides the cosmetic appearance is the pill bugs and earwigs having more places to hide, but that may be true with any mulch…

Have any of you had experience using newspaper as mulch (negative or positive)? Did it work? Were bugs a problem?

Also posted on gardening