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Low (or no) Cost Planter Pots

Commercial planter pots are very nice to have, but when you are starting a LOT of new plants and your budget is tight, it could be difficult to come up with enough of them.

Here is a nifty low cost option that we used this Spring.  Actually, it should cost you nothing if you have some newspaper lying around.  So check it out and see what you think...

Comments

  • Guest
    John Thursday, 21 May 2015

    Have seen this again and again, also people using newspaper to mulch. One concern I always have: ink contamination.

  • Guest
    Christopher Thursday, 21 May 2015

    John, it seems that most concerns about ink toxicity go back to heavy metals that are in the petroleum-oil base, or possibly in some of the color pigments.
    It seems this poses more hazard from handling the newspaper, than from using it in soil, where the micro-organisms go to work to turn it back to safe, natural forms.
    Do you have more definitive info on this?
    Keep in mind that clay is largely aluminum, and other mineral particulates have substantial amounts of the various metals. But being in a natural context, they are not a health concern usually. Likewise, soft rock phosphate contains quite a salad of metals that in isolated form, would be deadly. Yet, as far as I know, there has been no evidence of toxicity from using reasonable amounts of soft rock phosphate, either as a soil amendment, or as a feed supplement. It is the way God made it.

  • Guest
    John Thursday, 21 May 2015

    No, no definitive info on this Christopher. Posted to invite feedback from others. I would like to see studies on this though. Until then, I will rather stick to composted leaves, wood, vermicompost, composted manure from drug free animals, etc. Thank you for your feedback.

  • Guest
    Matt Hangas Tuesday, 09 June 2015

    Newspaper inks are lecithin-based, a soy product not unlike the pan spray used in restaurants..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_ink

  • Guest
    Christopher Thursday, 21 May 2015

    There is certainly nothing wrong with your plan. Anything we can do to get away from the toxic materials of civilization--whether plastic, ink, paper, paint, etc.--and closer to nature, is good.
    We use soil blocking instead of pots for most of our seed starting. The tools cost a bit, and getting the soil mixed right can be a bit tricky. But the other day, we pressed out 350-some 2 x 2 x 2 inch blocks in about an hour, dozen at a time.
    For bigger items, we use pots.
    The advantage of the paper pots is that everybody can get newspaper, usually free. However, it is slower than our $200 setup. http://www.groworganic.com/soil-blockers-professional-floor-12-blocker.html

  • Lisa
    Lisa Thursday, 21 May 2015

    Thank you both for the questions and discussion. I LOVE the idea of soil blocks and eventually we want to transition to that here. But for now, I had to just use the resources I had on hand since we've been on a very limited budget. But thank you for your ideas John!

  • Guest
    John Thursday, 21 May 2015

    Yep, these are great. Small flower pots can be used also, same way like kids making sandcastles on the beach! Stick your finger in the hole at the bottom before taking them off the mold. I use small individual yogurt cartons. It's one at the time, but get the kids working and it's free and fun!

  • Guest
    Laurie Thursday, 21 May 2015

    Nice idea, I think I will try some

  • Lisa
    Lisa Thursday, 21 May 2015

    You'll have to let me know how it goes!

  • Guest
    Mom Thursday, 21 May 2015

    Oh I like!

  • Lisa
    Lisa Thursday, 21 May 2015

    Hmmm... wonder which 'Mom' this is. ;-)

  • Guest
    Lea Thursday, 21 May 2015

    this is cool!thanks Nick n Lisa

  • Lisa
    Lisa Thursday, 21 May 2015

    You are so welcome! Nice thing was, it worked! :-D

  • Guest
    pat Thursday, 21 May 2015

    check your newspaper, I have called my local newspaper and have been told that for many years they have used soybean ink...safe for humans and plants

  • Guest
    Belinda Thursday, 21 May 2015

    Nice idea. My only concern with the newspaper is that the ink is soybean and it is likely GMO. This is why we have not used it for other garden tricks. Time will reveal how much that matters.

  • Guest
    Christopher Thursday, 21 May 2015

    GMO proteins will be dis-assembled by microbial activity. Your lettuce will not contain GMO soy protein from the ink. The lettuce will build its own proteins.
    However, GMO soybeans may contain substantial traces of glyphosate (aka Roundup) and other pesticides.
    Composting is a great way to clean up this stuff. If in doubt of the thoroughness of the composting, apply the compost to your lawn, woodlot, or other non-food vegetation, and then harvest the grass or leaves that grow.

  • Guest
    Missy Friday, 22 May 2015

    What about toilet paper or paper towel rolls cut to size?

  • Guest
    Pam Sunday, 24 May 2015

    Very neat! I used the t.p./paper towel tubes and they worked well. Love seeing Lisa's helps; shared ideas and successes build community. Thank you, Lisa!

  • Guest
    Adrienne Monday, 25 May 2015

    I would like to start planting from seeds vs. buying seedlings. So I can use regular soil and not the seed starter soil I see in the store?

  • Guest
    Patricia Snider Friday, 18 August 2017

    What items did you add to your soil prior to adding it to your newspaper pots?

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