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26
Mar

10 Steps to Planting Organic Veggies in Newspaper Pots

by Guest in Eating Local, Gardening

Guest post by Debbie Steinberg Kuntz, founder & editor of Odyssey Outdoors.

newspaper pots
 

If you want to know where your food comes from, there’s no better way than to grow it yourself! That’s just what we did with a group of families last weekend in the outdoor family group we formed about a year ago.  We followed these 10 easy steps.

1.     Gather supplies.

We started with newspaper, some beautiful organic seeds that would grow in early spring in our area, organic potting soil, popsicle sticks and markers for labeling, and shoeboxes for transporting the seedling bundles back home.

The beauty of using newspaper is that we didn’t need to buy pots, and the newspaper can be planted directly in the ground and will quickly biodegrade.

seed packets

2.     Discuss with kids where our food comes from.

First we talked about how our food is grown. How do we know how many chemicals were used? We explained to the kids that the best way to know is to talk to people at the grocery store, form relationships with farmers and best of all, grow it yourself!

3.     Demonstrate how to create the origami newspaper pot.

Before beginning, a couple of the adults watched this video.  Note that the woman in the video is in Germany and she uses a different size newspaper than in the U.S. In the U.S. you will need to trim about 2 inches from the long side of your newspaper before folding.

Here one of our group moms demonstrates how to make the origami newspaper pot.

group seed planting

4.     Work in adult/child pairs if possible.

Research shows that it’s an asset for kids to have non-parent adults who they can trust in their lives. In our outdoor group we often work in non-parent adult/child pairs to build community long term.

coloring sticks for garden

5.      Color popsicle sticks to label each seed pot. 

We used a background color similar to the vegetable, and then spelled the name of the veggie on top.

6.      Fill the origami newspaper pots with organic potting soil. 

filling pots
 

7.      Label each pot with the popsicle stick labels.

8.      Put the seed bundles in a shoebox for easy transport and watering.

9.      Time to plant the seeds!

Make sure to use organic seeds that grow well in your area.

 

planting seeds with children
 

10.   Your seedlings are ready to grow!

Bring home the seedlings and water them just enough so that the soil stays damp, but the newspaper doesn’t fall apart.  Wait until sprouts appear and then bring them outside during the day, in a shady spot for a few days.  Then gradually move them into the sunshine.  Then, they’re ready to go in the ground!  Tips on planting them in the garden can be found here.

And that’s how we start growing, and soon eating, our super-local, organic food!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

5 Comments

  • joan v

    When u water them, it won’t saturate the paper/ shoebox? Also at what point do u repot? I am very interested in doing this. :-)

  • Debbie

    Hi Joan, Water them sparingly and the newspaper will get a little damp, but the shoebox will remain dry. No need to repot. The seedling can be transplanted in the ground in the newspaper after you harden it off outside. Thanks, Debbie@OdysseyOutdoors.net

  • Lindsay Brook

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.foundafeather.com

  • http://www.greensahm.com Stephanie – Green at Home Mom

    I like that. I’ve been reminding my husband that it’s really time to get seedlings going if we’re to have a garden this year. Unfortunately, our soil is awful, mostly decomposed granite, so we have a lot of soil improvement to do before we get any real success in the garden outside of pots.

  • Alicia@ eco friendly homemakin

    I agree what a great idea!!