Seed Starters out of Paper Pulp

It's March 29th and I have yet to actually start any of the seeds for my vegetable garden. So, it's time to remedy that problem, and the first thing I need to do is make some seed starters.

The first thing I did was cruise around the internet until I found something I wanted to try: Seed Starters from Paper Pulp (365 days of DIY). Then you have to implement the darn thing. Here's how I did it.

 

Step 1: Shred Paper

I would recommend using your tax documents from 7 years ago. It's time to get rid of those anyway, and they should be shredded. Spring cleaning, and spring planting preparation all bunded into one great upcycle.

 

Step 2: Grab a handful of shredded paper and shove it in your blender

This is where the beginning of the direction gets fun... I used the words "gob of paper" -- how much paper is that? who knows!? And! I must be some sort of odd-ball, because I don't actually own a blender. I only have the magic bullet. A product that I love, but it made this project extra messy, and slightly more of a pain-in-the-butt than it should have been (I think). You'll notice that because my container is smaller, I have to squeeze it into the container, and it gets all over my counter.

Step 3: Add Some Hot Water

Notice the directions are getting even more wishy-washy as we go. "Some Hot Water" -- how much is some? Start out with less than you think you need, and then add as you go -- you don't want soup you want paste, and a little water goes a long way.

Step 4: Blend or Magic Bullet'erize

This is where you'll figure out if you used enough water, too little water, or too much water. Good luck to you, I wish you the best in this endeavor. I'm not 100% sure how this will workout with a "real blender" but with my magic bullet, I am limited on how long I can 'blend' without giving the machine a break. This makes for extra fun - but what you will notice is that when it starts to work... it happens very quickly.

step4b

Step 5: Gob paste-like substance into your (worst) muffin tin

The directions that I was following said to put in "a heaping tablespoon" - I would say fill the reservoir about half way full.

Step 6: Form to Muffin Tin

Mush it with your fingers so that it covers the bottoms and sides of the muffin hole. You might see in the picture to the right, that there is a bit of water just sitting on the surface. I just gently used a paper towel to sop up that extra water.

 

step6c

Step 7: Wait for at least 24 hours

I am not the most patient person - I'm really not, but I waited for 24 hours, and it was still moist. So, I waited for another 24 hours and it was still "barely moist." When I came back later that day, it was dry... dry, flaky, and crumbling. Total fail.

Step 8: Go to Amazon.com

I ended up purchasing Seedling Starter Trays, 144 Cells: (24 Trays; 6-cells Per Tray), for under $10.00. I'm going to justify my non-green decision by convincing myself that I'll reuse them next year :) But, if you decide to try these seed starters out of paper pulp, I wish you the best of luck.

I will also mention that in the original how-to tutorial at 365 days of DIY - it said, "After waiting for 24 hours the cups were not fully dry, so I decided to try sticking them in the oven. 220 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour seemed to do the trick."