Friday, October 26, 2007

Replanting recycling

I've replanted my little seedlings and couldn't resist making a 'photo reportage' out of the process. Enjoy!


Clean out the greenhouse. As you can see there were soil left in it, which can carry diseases. This is a fancy factory made greenhouse for seedlings I bought before I realised the coolness in using odd stuff left at home. Ah well, at least I had use for it now.


You need; old newspapers, some form of tray for the pots, a spoon you can dedicate entirely for soildigging, soil and something to role the paper around. I used a plastic bottle that hid behind the plastic bucket on this shot. PET Garbo!


These are my little seedlings grown in eggboxes made out of cardboard put in plastic trays originally used for takeaway food. (Sorry about the lousy picture. They probably said something funny in the podcast I was listening to.)


This is one of the boxes I'll use for the plants when they grow bigger. I took it out to meassure the size of the pots I was about to make. The layer of soil will be thin; no more than ten centimetres (four inches). It'll be interesting to see how the common purslane and the iceplants adhere to that. The tigernuts had no problems with it.


Potterytime! Tear a strip of paper roughly twice the size of the pot you are making. Tear in the most easy direction (paper has an easy and a hard tearing direction due to the fiber alignment), rather than according to the form of the paper. You can manage with a rather short strip.


Role the strip around a cylinder of some sort. I'm using a plastic bottle here, the ideal is a small yamjar of glas.


Fold in the paper like this.


Go on until you've formed a bottom.


Gently pull the thing off the cylinder. (I did mention that the cylinder should be next to 100% smooth? My bottle had a small speck of glue that hooked the paper all the time - don't do the same mistake.) Fold the top edge too. This stabilises the pot and makes it possible to further adjust the size.


Fill with soil for potted plants or perennials.


Put the pot on the tray and pour water on the soil. Once wet the pot will soften and will be hard to move around without damaging it. Here I'm using water from our dryer (if you read swedish you can see that it's written on the carboy) since it free from lime. I've had a problem with white crusts in my pots.

A few words on stuff in the soil are in place here. As you can see most of the papers I'm using are bright purple. I don't like it, since the colours are definately not made for eating. If I continue using these kind of pots these colours will bleed into the soil, and since I'm reusing it and are planning to wermicompost leftover vegetables the percentage will get higher over time. When I replant this for the second (and last) time I'll tear away most paper to limit the bleeding. For the next round I consider experimenting with tigernut grass and vegetable glue. Let's see if I get around to it.

Back to the story.


Cut out and trim one of the cups of the eggbox.


Put the little 'bowl' in the bigger pot. The cardboard is porous enough to allow the roots to pass, so I don't do much more than this. This is the first time I experiment with this kind of method, so I don't know how well it works.

The greenhouse is filled with pots and I've used the old trays for collecting the garbage. Trashbin next!


Remember to lable your seedlings. These lables are hard to see from above (mostly you look down on this kind of greenhouse), but you won't accidentaly switch them if you happen to put on the transparent roof the wrong way. Yes, I've done that, and I don't intend to do it again.

Tadaa! My little seedlings have more soil around their roots, won't need constant watering and can grow big and strong.

Besides, my calamondin are growing oodles of buds.


jodi said...

This is a great post, and so nice to see a good use for newspapers. I've done this in the past, but not recently--a lot of our newspapers go into the compost (shredded--worms love them) and I don't grow that much from seed due to time constraints. But this is a great post for encouraging others to try making their own pots. Bravo!

MrBrownThumb said...

I have to agree I too like the idea of using the newspaper pots. Good luck with the seedlings.

Anonymous said...

You have good stuff, I put your site in the favorites of mine and will come back often.

Rosengeranium said...

Jodi: Thanks! Good to hear that it's possible to put the papers in the compost. We don't have a daily paper any more, but boy, do we pile up on commersial papers instead!

mr Brown Thumb: Thanks! I believe you wrote about newspaper pots some months ago? You're part of the inspiration for this project, anyway. (Plus those fancy paperpopmakerutensils you can buy in garden frippery stores here. When I saw them I went home and tried a yam jar insted.)

Wawaron: Merci beacoup, monsiur! I don't speak french very well; this the most I can manage without dictionaries and with my swedish kejboard. I'm planning to improve my knowledge this winter, so I'll visit your blogs every now and then to see how well I read them :-)