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Starting Seeds Indoors Using Newspaper Pots


Start seeds this gardening season using newspaper pots!

I officially took my first step into my very first gardening season! I had a nice afternoon creating newspaper pots with Seneca and learned some of the ins and outs of starting veggies and herbs from seed. Visit our handbook for easy step by step instructions on How to Grow Seedlings Using Newspaper Pots and check out our youtube video below.

The great thing about newspaper pots, so I’ve learned, is that not only are you making use of old newspapers, but you can directly transfer them over to your garden bed or pots once they’re ready. Most inks these days are soy based and newspapers are biodegradable so they will eventually decay into the soil. Just avoid glossy or colored papers.

Some other tips for getting started:
  1. If you’re starting indoors, make sure you have enough sunlight and that it’s warm enough (70-80 degrees)
  2. Do not use garden soil as you don’t know the exact conditions of the soil, you never know what diseases it may carry. It also might be too heavy for the delicate roots. It’s best to use fresh potting mix or some seed starter mixes. Make sure the mix is damp, not soaked but wet enough so that if you pinched it, it sticks together.
  3. The seeds don’t need to be buried very deep at all. Seneca’s rule of thumb is to bury the seed only 2-3 times the size of the seed.
  4. If you read the packaging of most seed packets, they’ll indicate whether they should be started indoors. Tomatoes and peppers are common as they need long warm growing periods. It’s best to put veggies and plants that will sprout around the same time in the same tray.
  5. After planting the seeds, water the pots with about an inch of water. Cover with a garbage bag or something to preserve the moisture. The pots do not need sunlight for the germination process. Once your first seeds sprout, you can then transfer it to an area where it’s sunny.
  6. Make sure the soil stays moist, especially on top of the soil as moisture is the most important step for germination. A spray bottle works great here.
  7. Don’t forget to label everything. Unless you are an expert at identifying the little leaves once they sprout, you’ll easily lose track of what is what. I was told to cut up an old milk carton to create the labels, which has worked great so far.

Stay tuned as I will continue to document my gardening journey from a fresh, newbie perspective. So for anyone that’s hesitant and not sure they can garden, feel free to learn with me and share your ups and downs. For those master gardeners, check in and be reminded of what it was like when you grew your first tomato.

  1. marty bhatia
    marty bhatia05-01-2011

    Great timing. I was just looking at all the pots on my porch, and was thinking to myself…”self, I want to do this better this year.” I’m looking forward to getting started with a bit more education that last year. I was just happy that I had some results last year.

    I’ll have to get a hold of Seneca to get some advice too. You guys are doing a great job. I thought the blog was very useful, relevant, and well written. I like the video too. It gave me two opportunities to understand how to affordably get going this year.

    Stay inspired,


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