Make Your Own Paper Seedling Pots
The following is an excerpt from Over the Garden Fence, the newsletter of our community partner and guest bloggers, the EG Gardeners.
Spring is a time for growing! If you have started seeds indoors you may find that your seedlings have come up very close together. You may need to thin them out so they have more room to grow. If you do not wish to keep all the seedlings you can just trim the tops off every other one with small scissors, creating space for the rest to grow on.
However, if you do want to keep all the seedlings, you will have to separate them and move them on to bigger pots once they have their second set of leaves. Tiny seedlings can be hard to handle. Try these tools:
Use a fork or spoon to lift seedlings out for repotting, digging down deep and away from the stem so no roots are damaged. If the roots are intertwined, small paint brushes or spraying them gently with water can help gently tease them apart. Being gentle is the key!
Always handle seedlings by the top leaves, never by the roots as roots are easily damaged. Once the root is damaged, the seedling will die.
Seedlings should always be transplanted into moist soil. Dryness on the roots will kill them.
Here is an excellent video on how to decide what seeds to buy and sow. Very practical!
Remember that any plants grown inside must be acclimatized before living outside. Plants need a process of ‘hardening off’. When the weather gets warmer, move your young plants outside to a shady and sheltered area for an hour or two then bring them back inside. Over a period of 1-2 weeks, slowly increase the time they spend outside and if they are a sun loving plant, slowly introduce them to the sun. Eventually they can remain outside once danger of frost has passed. Frost can reappear at any point in the spring, so be ready to protect tender plants with plastic covers, cloches or blankets. Last year there was a killing frost at the beginning of June!
When you do plant them outside, beware of Cutworms who just love to lob off your beautiful seedlings. Thwart them by surrounding your seedlings with a tin can collar. Cut off the top and bottom of the can and slide it into the earth and plant your seedling within this impenetrable fortress.
Newspaper Pots: These pots are great! The newspaper will break down over time= less plastic.
Use a ‘highball’ size glass, approx. 3.5” tall by 3” diameter. You can also use a tin can but the newspaper will be harder to slide off the can than the smooth glass. You can use any size but this is a good size to start with.
Using a standard, small local newspaper, remove a full sheet and fold in half lengthwise so you have a piece that measures approx. 5.5” x 22” (size can vary, but the piece should be longer than wide).
Place the newspaper strip on the glass so that the folded edge is on the glass and the unfolded part of the newspaper hangs approx. 3” past the open end of the glass, and roll tightly. Fold/ stuff the ends into the bottom of the glass. Slide the pot off the glass and tamp down with the bottom of a smaller jar or can.
Plant and water from the top. You cannot water from the bottom of these pots or they will completely fall apart.
If you are still looking for seeds, don’t forget that the Holland Landing branch of EGPL has a seed library. You may take out up to 5 packages of seeds to use in your garden. There are lots of vegetables and flowers to make your garden bountiful and beautiful.
East Gwillimbury Gardeners’ YouTube channel has lots of informative videos! In particular check out:
A Beginner's Guide to Identifying Perennials as they Emerge in the Spring
Get Growing: Vegetable Gardens
Native Plant and Pollinator Gardens
For resources on more gardening topics, visit our website https://www.eastgwillimburygardeners.com/
On our website you will also find our speaker line up for 2022. Meetings with speakers are free and everyone is welcome to attend. Also on our website you can find out how to become a member. Members receive our fantastic Yearbook publication which includes information on the club and flower shows; our informative bi-monthly newsletter; invites to pop-up garden tours and garden day trips; entry to our flower and photography competitions, discount coupons for local nurseries and more.