A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to try the Pot Maker for starting my seedlings indoors. I am happy to report that it is a great success, although the lack of sunlight caused a few seedlings to get leggy. My tomatoes and celery are looking great though.
I'm excited about this little gadget because I won't have to run around looking for peat moss pots anymore. Perhaps I'm the only person who has had trouble with peat moss pots breaking down, but they just seemed to take too long to compost. However, I was afraid the newspaper which I used with the Pot Maker would compost too quickly, but as you can see from the photo, it is doing nicely even though I have been generous when watering, often soaking the bottom of the cup. Despite the amount of water I was able to move it around with out any rips or tears.
To make a pot, cut a strip of paper about 3 1/2 inches wide and at least 10 inches long. Roll it around the large portion of the Pot Maker in order to make a tube (do not remove it yet!). Be sure to resist the urge to wrap the newsprint tightly around the form because it will make it difficult to get the pot off at the end. You want it loose enough that you can slip it off without crushing the newly formed pot.
Press in the bottom of the newspaper like so:
Next, push the larger portion with the newspaper down onto the small circular press, applying pressure.
Finally, remove your paper cup and you're ready to plant! It's that easy. In fact, you could probably use a small can or baby bottle for this, but I have to admit, this tool does make it easy. I was able to make a bunch of these in just half an hour. I'm not sure it would be quite as easy with just a can. One other little tip that might be helpful, but not absolutely necessary. I added just a small bit of glue from a glue stick at the top to hold the paper together at the top. As you can see in the photo below, it has pulled away just a bit and since this bothered me, I went ahead and glued it down (only necessary for neat freaks).
I can't wait to get creative with this tool. One gal on Amazon said that she used cute scrapbooking paper to make decorative pots to give seedlings away to her friends. It would be darling to use this idea and make little favors at a dinner party where your guests could take home a plant ready to go right into the ground! Or how about pretty paper at Easter, then filled with candy eggs? Okay, now I'm getting really excited. Just think of all the holidays...
You can purchase about 8 peat moss pots for around $1.25 or 112 pots for around $17.50 without tax. Perhaps you can even find them a bit cheaper. But compare that cost to the one time investment of a Pot Maker for about $18.95 (see my Amazon Store in the left sidebar). Even if you are just a small scale gardener, it could easily pay for itself in one or two seasons (and you can't make a peat moss pot look very cute for gift giving). Only a couple of things more are needed to make this little item perfect... train the kids to make them and remember where you put it at the end of last summer!