Really easily! You may want to start letting people at work know that they have to save their old toilet rolls for you, but it is very easy to make once you have enough!
I cut mine in half, then make four further cuts to around halfway. Fold the ends in on themselves and you have a little biodegradable plant pot. It is ready for some soil and a few seeds.
The main benefit to using biodegradable pots has to be that you can plant out your seedlings without fear of harming their roots. You will quickly find that most of gardening involves leaving nature to do what it does best. Therefore avoiding disturbing the roots is spot on. They will grow through the pots as they decompose.
You will really benefit from putting seeds from herbs that need to be planted alone. So not like Parsley where you need lots of them but more like Thyme which can then be simply planted out separately.
Very much so. Simply fill each section with soil and drop a seed in, cover, water and once the seedlings are large enough you can separate the individual ‘egg’ sections to then plant directly in the ground. The egg cartons will break down in the soil and the roots will be able to grow freely as the egg carton is biodegradable.
We have put together a video of three of the best homemade, biodegradable free plant pots! Free being the key here, as well as biodegradable obviously!
How to make a square biodegradable plant pot
This relies on you having a newspaper that is twice as long as it is wide. So we cut our newspaper, but broad sheets work just fine. They work fab for sorrel that doesn’t want to be disturbed.
Heads up the video is a step by step tutorial as well but this is a lengthy one to show you in pictures!
Start with the paper cut and folded in half as it would be normally. Then fold it at 90 degrees to that fold.
With this second fold make sure it is a smooth one that will show up easily. Then you are going to fold the corners in to make almost the start of a paper aeroplane.
Then bring the other side to meet the first side, then point the arrow downwards. You will have two sheets at the top. So fold the top one in half to meet the bottom of your new triangle.
Next fold it once more to cover the bottom part of the triangle. Fold to the edge, but do not worry about perfection too much!!!
Now turn it to point the arrow to the side and move each side inwards to meet in the middle crease you created earlier.
Once you have both sides folded together, all the little mismatches will show. Now is not the time to worry at all!
Are you ready for the fiddly bit? Fold it so that the top meets the bottom of the triangle, then fold over again.
You need to tuck that lid into the flaps that are part of the triangle. This is fiddly and my best tip is to start with one side then get the other side in. Sometimes it just seems to slide in, others it needs a bit of gentle encouragement.
Then fold it all flat again. The triangle will need to be pressed flat over the base. Do it each side
The hard work is nearly over! Take the apex of the triangle and fold it to be flat on the bottom line, this will allow it to fold out when you open it up in a moment.
Finally you can open it up. Make sure it remembers all of the folds you have created. Pinch it along the lines you want at the bottom.
You are now ready to plant seeds or to plant up some cuttings! Seriously though I have made nearly 100 of these but not all in one go, so if you do need a large quantity perhaps think about buying them?
If you are thinking of using peat pots please have a read of this article from the BBC first and then check out our better options!
Where to buy biodegradable plant pots
Biodegradable plant pots are better for your seedlings, but ultimately they are also better for the environment as most council recycling schemes will not collect them. So therefore it is important that you don’t go for a biodegradable alternative that actually harms the eco-system somewhere else.
You can avoid peat pots altogether or go for environmentally friendly ones. There is plenty on the market including ones with biodegradable labels too!
There is nothing to stop you making some, but when you think about the number you may need this also seems a good idea.
Plant pots that can be composted are nothing new, but what about bags? If you do chose this route, chose ones without the weaving as I have had more tender plants not be able to break their roots through in the past. We have used Biodegradable Non-Woven Nursery Bags with great effect. You will find that the sizes are more flexible and they work out a lot cheaper. Just make sure that you have somewhere to let them grow where they will not be moved or disturbed.
No matter which type you go for you will need to support your herb seedlings through their early life. That may mean simply covering them once they have been planted and keeping them at a constant room temperature or it may mean getting to grips with a propagator.