How to: Newspaper Seed Raising Pots

Aug 6, 2021 | Grow Your Own, Reducing Waste

With the approach of Spring, now is a good time to talk about making newspaper seed raising pots. If you are a keen bean (see what I did there?), you might already be starting some Spring vegetable seedlings indoors already. Whatever your seed planning schedule, newspaper seedling pots are a fabulous low-waste gardening hack. You can avoid using plastic seedling pots and reuse a typically single-use resource, newspaper. Newspaper is biodegradable and newsprint ink is soy-based so you can plant your seedlings into your veggie patch pot and all, much like coir pots. Toilet rolls can also be used for seedling pots. If you run out of toilet rolls, however, these newspaper ones are a good option.

Newspaper Seed Raising Pots

Equipment and Materials

  • 40 or 50mm diameter PVC pipe about 13cm long (find an offcut secondhand)
  • hacksaw
  • tabloid sized newspaper
  • stick or dowel (or other ‘tool’) less than 3cm diameter


1. Cut the end of the PVC pipe on an angle with a hacksaw. The resulting ‘tool’ should be about 13cm tall.

2. Take a sheet of newspaper and tear it in half along the fold.

3. Fold a half sheet into thirds lengthwise.

4. Align one long edge of the newspaper with the bottom of the angled cut in the PVC tool. This edge will be the top of your pot.

5. Roll the newspaper around the PVC tool.

6. Tuck the excess newspaper in around the bottom of the PVC tool.

7. Stand the PVC tool wrapped in the newspaper the right way up on a flat, firm surface. Use the stick to flatten the bottom of the inside of the pot by tamping it down a few times.

8. Scoop PVC tool and newspaper into your potting mix to fill the pot. Firm down a little and top up if necessary.

9. Remove the PVC tool from the newspaper and your newspaper seed raising pots are ready to use.

The pots can be a bit ‘tippy’ on their own so stand them in a tray and use a piece of timber offcut to hold them in place until the tray is full.