My neighbor Alyssa and I spent this afternoon making paper pots to propagate wildflower seeds for our neighborhood community garden. Anyone can create these simple recycled pots using just an empty can or jar and paper; we used cut up grocery bags and old newspapers for our organic planting project.

Alyssa displays her finished paper potAlyssa displays her completed paper pot filled with planting soil.

Alyssa creates her paper potTo make a paper pot for planting, simply cut your material to size, fold it and wrap it around your jar or can, leaving a few inches over the end of the container; then fold the edges of the paper over into the open end. Next you remove the jar and push the sides down to form the bottom for your pot. Now you are ready to fill it with soil for planting your favorite vegetables or flowers.

Alyssa fills her paper pot with soil

Once your seeds have sprouted the whole biodegradable pot can be planted directly into the ground, so you do not have to disturb the seedlings’ roots. The entire paper pot will eventually just decompose into the earth.

When initially making paper pots I suggest experimenting with different sizes, methods and materials to see what works best for you; there is more than one way to make a perfect paper pot. I prefer to use old grocery bags because they are sturdy and last many months, but the paper is thick and can be difficult to manipulate; Alyssa liked using newspaper because it was easier to shape into a pot, though it does not last as long. After making a few dozen paper pots you will discover the process that works best for you and your planting needs.

Here are some of my organic heirloom peas sprouting in paper pots that were made from our used grocery bags:

Sweet peas sprouting

If how to make a paper pot is still a little fuzzy to you, here is a link to a video that explains the process: