Home > Around the Home > Make Your Own Biodegradable Plant Pots

Make Your Own Biodegradable Plant Pots

By: Kate Bradbury - Updated: 21 Jul 2019 | comments*Discuss
Make Your Own Biodegradable Plant Pots

Biodegradable pots are a good alternative to peat pots and plastic pots. Biodegradable pots naturally rot down in the soil when the plants are transplanted. Peat pots also rot down in the soil, however peat is an unsustainable resource and you should avoid buying it in order to protect Ireland’s peat bogs.

There are many advantages to using biodegradable pots. The first is that they are easier to use than plastic pots. When transplanting your plants you do not have to re-pot the plant, just pop it in the planting hole whilst still in its biodegradable pot.

The second advantage is that using biodegradable pots avoids disturbing the roots of the plants you are transplanting. The process of transplanting plants (moving them from a small pot into a larger one or straight into the ground) can damage and remove the delicate hairs on the plants’ roots. This prevents the roots from absorbing water from the soil or compost properly, so this can halt the plants’ growth for up to three weeks.

What’s more, many vegetable plants, such as peas, beans and sweetcorn do not like having their roots disturbed. If their roots are left undisturbed, the plants will generally grow bigger, healthier and produce bigger yields, so it is in your best interests to protect the plants’ roots as much as possible.

The best thing about biodegradable pots is that you can make them out of old newspapers, and also that they are free. They are easy to make and easy to source (your neighbours will be happy to donate old newspapers if you need more).

How to Make Your Biodegradable Pots

Making biodegradable newspaper pots is easy. You can make them using a few sheets from old newspapers and a mould, such as a rolling pin (for small plants) or a jam jar.

Initially, you may also find that sellotape or staples are useful, but they are not that necessary. Once the soil and the plant are in the pot and they have been watered, the newspaper will bind together without the need for tape or staples.

To start with, decide how tall you want your pots to be. If you are growing peas, beans and sweetcorn you should aim to make tall pots, around 15cm tall, as these plants have long roots. However, if you are growing lettuces you will only need pots that are around 6cm tall.

Tear or cut strips of newspaper, from the top of the newspaper to the bottom. The width you choose to cut the newspaper will determine the height of your pots, for example if you want your pot to be 10cm tall, you should cut strips 10cm wide. Wrap each strip of newspaper around your jam jar or rolling pin, and tie them together with string or fix them with sellotape or staples (alternatively, you could tuck one end of the newspaper into the other).

You can choose to make your pots with bases or without them, by folding the newspaper around one end to form a base, or simply wrapping it in a cylindrical shape for pots without bases.

Once you have made your pots, gently part-fill them with compost or soil and then sow your seeds as directed on the seed packet. When the plants grow, you will not need to prick them out or transplant them, simply harden them off in the pots and, when the time is right, dig a planting hole outside (or in a larger pot) and place the plant and pot, in the soil.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I like this piece, however it doesn't make sense to use sellotape when making the pots as that isn't bio degradable.
Charly - 21-Jul-19 @ 9:49 AM
Why is it important to re-use and recycle materials?
lrb - 26-Sep-11 @ 2:21 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Rukhs
    Re: Selling from Your Allotment
    Any idea where I can sell my allotment produce.
    28 September 2019
  • Grubbygreenfingers
    Re: Our First Year in the Allotment: A Case Study
    Horticultural Black Plastic sheets can be a great answer for weeds it is also sold as silage sheeting.…
    21 September 2019
  • Charly
    Re: Make Your Own Biodegradable Plant Pots
    I like this piece, however it doesn't make sense to use sellotape when making the pots as that isn't bio degradable.
    21 July 2019
  • Billy
    Re: Building Your Own Cob House
    I am looking to buy a plot of land approx 50 - 100 acres. My desire is to live off the land sustainably. My partner and I would…
    22 June 2019
  • Rob the roller
    Re: What Not to Do in Your Allotment
    Hi Giancarlo I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate condition. There is nothing to prevent you growing mushrooms etc…
    27 November 2018
  • Kate br
    Re: Selling from Your Allotment
    I would recommend. Country markets as local places to sell surplus veg
    9 November 2018
  • JoJo
    Re: Foraging for Mushrooms
    @Amy - Lepiota (Dapperlings) which look like smaller versions of Parasols have an approx 7cm diametre. They can be very poisonous - so…
    3 September 2018
  • Amy
    Re: Foraging for Mushrooms
    Hello, Im wanting some advice please,ive found a fungi/mushroom in my garden...ive been searching on the internet and it seems as its a…
    1 September 2018
  • Mick
    Re: Self-Sufficient Energy
    I am looking into a thermoelectric generator to place on my solid fuel burning stove. The stove is hot all but two weeks out of the year.
    26 June 2018
  • GoSelfSufficient
    Re: What Not to Do in Your Allotment
    Giancarlo - Your Question:Hello,My name is Giancarlo Cristea, I live in Tooting, London, where I came 3 years ago.…
    24 May 2018