This week's 'dig'
Kate at High Altitude Gardening reports a neat thing happening in SLC, UT

You know you're a gardener when...
Blunders with Shoots, Blossoms 'n Roots
Where things either live or die!

Mar 28, 2009

I let my fingers do the walking!


Well, night before last I planted some watermelon and zucchini in a new 50 cell plug flat that we purchased from Territorial Seed. I forgot that both of these plants don’t really like having their roots disturbed much and not knowing how easy it will be to remove the little starts from the plug flat, I decided that I’d better put them in paper pots. I had no newspaper on hand, so I grabbed a phone book and went to work.


    Yesterday, I didn’t have the time to make some soil blocks, so I had to grab whatever I had. I’ve never used phone book pages for paper pots before, but it’s all I had.  I don’t know about you, but every year they bring me the phone books and every year they go in the recycle bin! I can find things twice as fast online. I do have a couple around for pressing flowers, however :)



     I cut them in half and folded it over a little on the edge to give the bottoms some thickness. Next I rolled it around the wooden pot maker my mom and dad bought for me, and pressed it into the molding base, giving it a gentle twist. I like to give the bottom a mist with water before twisting it- it helps it hold until I can get the soil in and moistened. I did notice that I had to be a lot more gentle while twisting it as the phone book paper is much thinner.

    Viola! Dex paper pots :). I quickly transferred the seeds and put a cover on. I hope they do okay in these- time will tell. After all, there is a reason my blog is named Blunders with shoots, blossoms ‘n roots!




So, will this work? Will the paper turn to mush? Can I keep them evenly moist until germination and not cause the pots to fall apart?



Only Dex knows!


Happy Gardening!




  • Anonymous

    Tessa~~ Love your idea and the principle of using what you have. This is a good use for those unavoidable Dex stacks lying around. :)

  • Gardeness

    I've seen many versions of these paper pots. I really need to have a go at making my own! Great idea using the phone book. We get one, too, despite being a cell-only household. Good reuse of an old doorstop.

  • gardenerprogress/Catherine

    Great idea!

  • Bren

    THIS IS A WONDERFUL BLOG! I have been trying to share ways of recycling in the garden this spring. I want to share your idea on my blog so I am going to add a link to this WONDERFUL IDEA on my page.

    Please stop by.... Great idea!!
    Happy Spring!

  • DirtDigger (Tessa)

    Grace- Dex is great for a few things, but there is no need to have that many laying around :). I just hope it works and they don't fall apart!

    Gardeness- A doorstop, good idea! Dex can be useful for so many things, except what it is supposed to be least in my house! I want to see if I can locate a bigger paper pot maker- say a 4 inch size :).

    Catherine- Let's just hope it works, I want some watermelon this year :)!

    Bren- I was just over and read your good news! Congrats on winning the big greenhouse on ebay! You're gonna love it! I can't wait to see what you'll grow :).

  • Ottawa Gardener

    If only I had a newspaper that I could bear reading - I guess I'll have to wait until paper recycling day. I have been intrigued by this idea for awhile so I'll see how it does for you.

  • Kathleen

    Genius Tessa!!!! I've seen those pot maker tools in catalogs but never known anyone to use them. It was a perfect solution. I hope the pots hold up well for you.

  • Frances

    Hi Tessa, this is brilliant! I have been curious about the paper pots, and think the wooden thingey is adorable. It does seem like a good way to not disturb the roots, and so much cheaper than the peat pots. I would think the water will wick up the paper easily to keep the moisture in. Be sure and keep us updated on the progress!

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