How to make a paper seed tray

It’s been a pretty soggy, cold and generally all round miserable April here at Little Wren Pottery HQ. Even so when I walk around the neighbourhood you can see people optimistically stocking up on gardening equipment and compost for that eventual moment the sun breaks through.

plantpotting1 How to make a paper seed tray


For the last three years I’ve been trying to grow tomatoes, its probably the plant that every gardener tries to grow at some point. This ‘easy’ plant has been causing me a lot of problems; from blight to moulds and just not planting them out early enough.

So this year I decided to plant them up early in the wettest month of the year and with a little help from Miracle Grow. It’s been a seriously long time since I used Miracle Grow but when I was little I used to water my Grandmothers geraniums with it and quite frankly I need all the help I can get.

plantpotting2 How to make a paper seed tray

How to make a paper seed tray in four steps

It’s really easy to make your own seed tray to do it you’ll need; a newspaper, a glass and some sort of tray or container. I used a mushroom crate from the greengrocers.

1. Fold and cut your newspaper in half and fold it out so that you have strips of newspaper. If there are any staples remove them.

2. Take your glass and wrap the newspaper around it to create a cylinder.

3. Create about an inch to an inch and a half gap between the bottom edge of the newspaper and the bottom of the glass, fold this over and then press down onto a flat surface.

4. Slide the glass out and fill with compost. Place in a tray and repeat until you either fill the tray or run out of newspaper!

plantpotting3 How to make a paper seed tray

I know some people don’t like the idea of newsprint inks being so close to plant roots. Personally I think the newspaper helps to absorb and retain some moisture especially for water thirsty plants like beans. Here’s hoping the weather improves!

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this really neat (and very green) idea! Will definitely give these a try next year. I usually use the little biodegradable pots you can buy.

    Tomatoes are a real pain in our climate of late; we’ve given up on standard plants and now grow only cherry tomatoes in hanging baskets and have had a lot of success with these over the past couple of years. We’ve tried a few varieties but Balconi Red always seems to give us a lovely crop of salad tomatoes, forming stout little shrub plants (rather than drooping over the edges like the trailing varieties) and we haven’t (touch wood) see any sign of blight or mold.

    Good luck with yours this year! x
    Ana

  2. tomatoes can be tricky in our climate can’t they! I’m especially concerned for ours this year as the seedlings are a fraction of the size that they were this time last year and i’m sure we sowed them at the same time… must be all this miserable weather we’re having!

    i agree that cherry varieties seem to work best in the British climate – we’ve done well with one called ‘Elletro’ from Tamar Organics x

  3. I’ve found so far that variety makes a huge difference, I’m a little concerned that the weather this year isnt the best for tomatoes so I may not manage it again – I’m just unlucky!

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