Food for Architects

Starting Seeds in Newspaper Pots

Starting seeds in newspaper pots is a simple idea, easy to execute, beautiful and practical. There are lots of detailed instructions on the internet and youtube. I chose to make the square version, it looks great and the square forms make more sense to gang together for a unified surface and makes watering easy. If you are like me, you’ll want to pick a graphically appealing sheet of newspaper. Start with the good-side facing in. If my photos are hard to follow just watch this video that I found.

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This year I started some nasturtiums from seed in these pots and they worked well. Just be sure to have the pots on a tray to hold excess water. I found that the newspaper absorbs more water than you’d think, so be sure to keep your seedlings adequately watered at all times. I placed mine in a West window, the only non-North facing window in my home. A South window would be better or some grow-bulbs if you have them.

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I hope my nasturtiums take off and grow this summer. This is the first time that I’ve tried growing edible flowers. They are so pretty as well as delicious. Last summer I was served a cocktail with a nasturtium garnish, delicate and wonderful to eat. The leaves can also be eaten as can the flower buds, pickled as a homemade version of caper berries. The best part about starting edible plants by seed is that you can be confident that no pesticides or herbicides have been used. Especially if you start with organic seed.


As you can see the roots broke through the bottom of the pots. When you gang together a bunch of pots, over time the newspaper starts to discolour from the minerals in the soil, and the roots needle their way through weak spots. This reminds me of a city or perhaps civilization being broken down and reclaimed by nature. My seedlings have done well and this past weekend I’ve transplanted them into a hanging basket outside. You can probably plant the newspaper directly into the ground but I chose to tear the paper away from my seedlings. I’m still waiting for summer to start, its relatively cool at night where I am and the growing season is short making it all the more important to make the most of it before winter starts again.


This entry was published on June 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm. It’s filed under technique, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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