Newspaper Seed Starters

Newspaper Seed Starters, Part 1

Well fuckin’ A, you guys, it’s time to start your fuckin’ seeds! Fuckin’ go here to find out what to start based on your geographic location: sproutrobot.com.

Okay, so now that you know which seeds to start, go to your local Wal-Mart and senselessly spend money on seed starters you can easily make for free at home. May as well pick up some seeds for those super firm, brilliantly red, uniformly shaped, blemish-free, polygalacturonase lacking “Flavr Savr” tomatoes you will almost certainly over-fertilize this summer.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to be a total shit puppy about EVERYTHING in your life, you could read this post: Seed Exchange, Farmers’ Market, and Other BS, then follow the below directions, which walk your mediocre mind through the entire process of making your own newspaper seed starters.

Why to make your own Seed Starters out of newspaper:

1. Because I TOLD you to, of course.

2. It’s free. Fuck yeah.

3. It’s easy. For me, probably not for you.

4. You don’t need tape. Newspaper sticks together when it’s wet, and stays that way even when it dries.

5. Once your plants are established, you can plant them directly into the ground. The newspaper will encourage downward root growth in the initial stage of growing, then decompose, thereby providing your crappy soil with much needed brown material.

Brown material is important for a spring garden. Here’s why: you’ve been composting all winter, and probably incorrectly like me. When you add your compost to your spring garden, it’s wet, hot, full of nitrogen, and probably not completely done decomposing, like mine. Spring “compost” that isn’t quite yet compost and is actually still in the form of what’s left of those four McBLTs you destroyed that night you got super drunk and started all of those bands with the 21 year olds you hung out with can burn the tender roots and stems of young plants, making them more susceptible to disease months later. The newspaper will protect them from that bullcrap, while preventing nutrient loss during its slow decomposition phase. Those little net things you get from the local Wal-Mart don’t do any of that shit, so fuck them.

What you need:

Here’s my advice, and believe me when I tell you that you need my fucking advice: Get the stuff you need, then put on an awesome documentary. I recommend Food, Inc., but you’ve probably seen that one. Perhaps put on Fresh, or The Science of Sex Appeal, because they’re pretty great. Also, all three are evidence based, and not filled with a bunch of unverifiable, unfalsifiable hippy bullshit.

Things you need for newspaper seed starters
This is all you need.

1. Newspaper

2. Scissors

3. A bowl of water

4. Some kind of tray that won’t leak. I’m using the plastic tray I bought from the local Wal-Mart a couple of years ago. If you don’t have one, you may have to buy this item, but at least you can use it for several years. I don’t know how to mold plastic, and I’m not creative enough right now to think about leak-proof alternatives to this plastic tray, because my simple brain is too busy thinking about ways to insult you for absolutely no reason, dick.

5. Some kind of cylindrical object. This is your mold. I used a spice container. Use something without a lip at the bottom so it won’t destroy your fragile seed starters when you start sliding them off. Or use one with a lip at the bottom, I honestly don’t give a fuck what you do.

How to make them:

1. Cut the newspaper into horizontal strips. Make a pile of 3-inch wide strips, and a pile of 1.5-inch wide strips. The 1.5-inch strips should be the width of the bottom of your cylindrical object. Mine was roughly 1.5 inches, yours might be different. It really doesn’t matter that much. And neither do you.

Newspaper cut into strips
Newspaper Strips

2. Cut the 1.5-inch stips into lengths of about 4 inches. I pretty much cut the 1.5-inch strips vertically into thirds.

Pile of Newspaper Strips
Pile of Newspaper Strips

2. Put the newspaper strips in the bowl of water, but separate them first, because newspaper is hard to pull apart once it gets wet, and it’s pretty delicate. Sort of like your psyche, which is why your girlfriend thinks you’re weak.

Newspaper Strips in the Bowl of Water
Newspaper Strips in the Bowl of Water

3. Start wrapping the cylindrical object with one 3-inch strip. Do it while thinking about your grandma’s neck.

Wrapping the 3-inch Strip
Wrapping the 3-inch Strip
Wrapped with 3-inch Strip
Wrapped with 3-inch Strip

4. Drape one 1.5-inch strip over the bottom, and make it stick to the sides. Fold the corners down or whatever.

Drape and Stick the 1.5-inch Strip on the Bottom
Drape and Stick the 1.5-inch Strip on the Bottom

5. Put another 1.5-inch strip over the bottom again, but the other way to maximize coverage.

Drape and Stick the Other Way
Drape and Stick the Other Way

6. Wrap another 3-inch strip around the cylindrical object.

Wrapping the 2nd 3-inch Strip
Wrapping the 2nd 3-inch Strip
Wrapped With Another 3-inch Strip
Wrapped With Another 3-inch Strip

7. This is the only hard, and sometimes frustrating part. Grab the top of the cylindrical object with one hand (in my case it is the cap of the spice container) and the newspaper with the other hand. Start twisting and pulling the two in opposite directions. The newspaper will start sliding off of the cylindrical object. Sometimes you have an issue with the vacuum that is created between the bottom of the cylindrical object and the inside of the newspaper when you start pulling it apart. It sucks when that happens. Sometimes, it ruins your seed starter. Other times, you can sort of gently put your fingers into the seed starter and mold it back into shape. I don’t care if this happens to you, but when it happens to me, I want to murder one or two folks.

Slide Off the Seed Starter
Slide Off the Seed Starter
Finished Newspaper Seed Starter
Finished Newspaper Seed Starter

8. Make more

Tray of Seed Starters
Tray of Seed Starters

2 comments

  1. Pingback: Newspaper Seed Starters Part 2 | The Raging Gardeners
  2. Freaky Johnson

    You are a funny bastard….I learned how to make free seed starters and actually laughed while doing it, which is pretty silky shit

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