I know lots of gardeners love the idea of jiffy peat pots which reduce the effects of transplant shock and whilst these peat pots aren’t all that expensive to buy, I’ve thought up a cheaper alternative that’s worked well for me and want to share it with you. I’ve read of how people use egg cartons as alternatives but I find that they are a tad too shallow for my liking and after lots of experimenting, have come up with a feasible (and cheap – pretty much free) alternative which has worked well for me.
Starting materials : a cardboard roll – this one’s from the center of paper towels and 1 sheet of newspaper (Not the huge papers but the smaller sections ie 16″X11.5″)
Starting with the cardboard roll on 1 end and just under 1/2 way the width of the newspaper. Roll up the newspaper over the carboard roll till you reach the end
This is what you should end up with – I’ve started to push the free end into the tube of the cardboard roll
Keep pushing the rest of the newspaper into the hole and make sure none of it is sticking out – this is what you should end up with. Now pull the newspaper pot out from the cardboard roll and voila – home-made ‘jiffy’ pot!
This is the newspaper alternative to the jiffy peat pot all planted up – here with a camellia cutting I’ve just done with starter mix in the ‘pot’.
They are remarkably sturdy and what’s more, use a marker pen and pen the name of the seed/cutting/date and you have easy labelling! Initially I thought they would collapse after weeks of watering and damp required to kickstart the cutting but they didn’t, and when time came to plant out, I would just dig a hole and plonk the lot into the soil. Sometimes if I feel that the newspaper hasn’t disintegrated enough to allow the roots out into the soil, I plant it into the soil then use a pair of scissors to snip through the pot to ensure the roots are freed. This way of planting ensures that the new babies experience less transplant shock and you don’t have to touch the tender root system when planting out.