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Square Foot Gardening Forum
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Recycling newspaper => starter pots - Page 2 Toplef10Recycling newspaper => starter pots - Page 2 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Recycling newspaper => starter pots

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Post  OhioGardener 5/11/2022, 8:56 am

Hip2B wrote: Does the paper deteriorate quickly enough to not impede the growth of the vegetable.

Yes, it does. In fact, the paper bottoms will often be decomposed before you are ready to transplant them.

I am especially interested in whether there are issues using them for root vegetables such as carrots, onions etc.

Root crops, such as carrots and beets, do not appreciate being disturbed once they have developed their roots. Their developing roots don't transplant well, and it is much better to direct sow them. Disturbing them will most often result in deformed roots.

I have had a very high success with the germination rate of carrots and beets by covering the seeds with cardboard or wood after the seeds are planted and watered. The cover will keep the seeds damp, and they will germinate much better.

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Post  markqz 5/11/2022, 10:20 am

Hip2B wrote:Just bumping this thread.
Due to limited bed space, I would rather plant seedlings into my squares than deal with the uncertainty of direct seeding. I am trialling using a paper pot maker to save money on peat pots etc and reduce transplant stress on my seedlings. Does anyone else use paper pots? I am especially interested in whether there are issues using them for root vegetables such as carrots, onions etc. Does the paper deteriorate quickly enough to not impede the growth of the vegetable.
I start almost everything that's not a root crop in pots made from small yogurt containers. I found that peat pots didn't actually dissolve very well. In one of the older SFG books, I think Mel makes the same point.


Edit -- found the reference:
Square Foot Gardening 1981 p. 177 wrote:1981 Square Foot Gardening p. 177

Of course, there are also many homemade or recycled containers you can use for seedlings. My favorite are waxed cardboard yogurt cups, with drainage holes punches in the bottom with a pencil, screwdriver, or ballpoint pen. You can plant cup and all in the garden by just tearing out the bottom when it's time to plant; the sides and rim even become an automatic cutworm collar. I like them much better than peat pots. In fact, I find peat pots to be a distinct disadvantage, unless the entire pot is removed for planting. The top rim of the peat forms a wick and draws a lot of moisture out of the ground and away from the foots. In addition, I find that roots do not readily grow through these pots as they are assumed to.


Last edited by markqz on 5/11/2022, 11:26 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Formatting.)
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Post  sanderson 5/11/2022, 2:02 pm

Peat pots were my bain. The upper rim acted like a drying wick like Mel described. In fact, I started removing the whole peat pot as they were compressed peat and only added to the peat ratio in the Mel's Mix. Today when I have to buy a nursery start, I gently remove as much of the peat moss/coir/perlite mix as I can so I don't add anything unwanted to the MM.

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Post  Hip2B 5/11/2022, 11:12 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone. I will know to steer away from paper pots for root vegetables. Also from peat pots Smile
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