Making Paper Seedling Pots

The only thing that really relates to vermicomposting in this video is the vermicompost/coir mix I am using to fill the pots! Nevertheless, I figured I would post it here in case readers found the info useful.
The overall theme is actually rather appropriate since I’ve been VERY focused on getting my various gardening projects up and running as of late (hence my lack of posts here). Hoping to get most of it wrapped-up this week so I can get back to writing more (including writing about my various gardening projects – haha)!

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    • bruce westfall
    • May 28, 2010

    just a few video observations. you were almost 4 minutes into the video before starting to demonstrate. Then you put down the camera and blocked the view with your hand.

    James Cameron has nothing to fear from you yet. Although Wormatar 3D would be cool.

    thank you for not filling ALL the pots on video.

    perhaps next time brief and succinct with a tripod would be really nice.

    Keep them coming, though. I watch them all!

    • Paul from Winnipeg
    • May 28, 2010

    This is a great post Bentley! I too am really focused on getting my garden in and this is a great alternative to peat pellets. I see you can really produce many in a short time as well. I’m off to go find the right sized container!

    • Bentley
    • May 28, 2010

    BRUCE – If you’ve watched “them all” you should know by now that this is “how I roll” (haha – I can hear the groans on that one!) when it comes to making YouTube videos!
    Seriously though – all my one-handed point-and-shoot-camera videos are utterly low budget, with terrible cinematography, and commentary that goes perhaps a little too long. I basically get inspired, pick up the camera and go.
    I’m cool with people not liking it (and/or having constructive criticism) – I guess I just find it funny that this is the first time you’ve had some thoughts to share on the matter.
    PAUL – Thanks for the pick me up after Bruce’s thrashing!

    • mike
    • May 28, 2010

    You just saved me from spending 20$ on a tool from a garden magazine to make the same thing! My only concern is that the plants would get root bound until the newspaper disintergrates. I might cut out the bottom when transplanting. Great post!

    • Bentley
    • May 28, 2010

    Hi Mike – yeah, I remember being tempted to buy one of those at one point too!
    I agree re: freeing the roots. This paper I’m using is really thin but I don’t want to take any chances. I was thinking of at least cutting slits down the sides before putting them in the ground.

    • Anna
    • May 28, 2010

    Bentley, which gardening zone are you in? (Or is this too much information to divulge to the online world?).

    One trick I read about in Organic Gardening this year is that you can add a little all-purpose flour to your potting mix. This will provide enough glue to hold your potting mix together if you need to take it out of the pot before putting it in the ground.

    Good luck with your yard-long beans. Mine were a miserable failure when I tried them last year. Perhaps if you have success, I will try them again next year.

    • Don
    • May 28, 2010

    as for concerns about getting root bound, you could just as easily pull out the plant and soil ball from the container just like you would do if the plant was seeded in a plastic container and transplant just the plant and soil. Then just toss the paper cups into your worm bin with no further muss.

    • Anita
    • May 28, 2010


    I’ve made paper pots before. You need not worry about the seedlings getting root bound. Newpaper, when wet, is easy for the roots to break through. When you plant them they will have many many roots shooting out through the paper.

    Last time I used a toilet paper tube to roll tall narrow pots in hopes of encouraging deeper roots at the get go. This year I purchased the “tool” for making them. You don’t need it, but it does speed things up.


    • Barb V.
    • May 28, 2010

    Thanks for passing along a very frugal and useful garden tip. I make larger newspaper ‘pots’, for starting cuttings, using juice bottle as template. BTW .. I think that Bruce meant to give constructive help rather than a ‘thrashing’ … you were kidding, right? But however you do it, keep those videos coming. You don’t bore with music, as so many other of these u-tube videos do, who try to imitate Hollywood. And you get to the point quickly…much appreciated.

    • Bentley
    • May 28, 2010

    ANNA – I am in zone 5 (he says, with considerable embarassment – haha). I should have most of this germination stuff taken care of by now – but I’m still not the most efficient gardener.
    Thanks for the cool trick with flour – that is interesting!
    DON – valid point
    ANITA – Thanks for chiming it. I will definitely be interested to see how my pots perform. If I see roots sticking out, they will indeed go in as-is!
    BARB – I was totally joking about the “thrashing”. Bruce was of course just offering some constructive criticism, which is just fine with me.

    • John Duffy
    • May 29, 2010

    What a great idea! I think my grand kids would have a blast making these. I’m still trying to get enough compost added to my daughter’s garden to get the soil to resemble something less like concrete.
    Thanks again, Bentley…Always look forward to your videos
    Have a great weekend all you wormers!

    • Angelina
    • May 31, 2010

    Thanks for taking the time to show us how to make pots. I tired this once and I think my newspaper was too thick. I will try it with the old phonebook next time.

    I had to giggle seeing a spoon in your dirt mixture. I agree with you….try not to let your wife see this video. We women get upset seeing our flatware used for other means than eating purposes! 🙂

    • Bentley
    • June 1, 2010

    Thanks John / Angelina!
    I am definitely REALLY pleased with these pots thus far. I’ve been starting a LOT of plants this year and I can only imagine how much of a pain (and expense) it would have been to do it with peat pellets!

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