Making Biodegradable Seed Pots by Lesley Fleming, HTR

HT Activity Plan – Making Biodegradable Seed Pots

Text & photo by Lesley Fleming, HTR Published in Digging In 7(1); 9

ACTIVITY DESCRIPTION: Making biodegradable seed pots


Intellectual: learning about biodynamic gardening, materials and  environmentally responsible practices

Social : discussing positive impact on environment using recycled

materials in group or classroom setting

Physical : fine motor skills

Spiritual & Emotional : connecting & protecting the environment

  1. Develop a plan including desired number of pots to be made based on future plantings.
  2. Gather materials including recycled newspaper with environmentally safe ink and glue.
  3. Wrap a sheet of paper around a rolling pin or soda bottle to accommodate desired diameter of seed pot. Glue or tape edge to form cylinder.
  4. Slide cylinder off rolling pin and let dry.
  5. Cut cylinder into 4 ½” lengths, folding to make a bottom.
  6. Stand pots in a seed tray and fill with growing medium.
  7. Discuss good environmental practices related to growing plants, composting, soil health and upcycling cartons & paper.


APPLICATIONS FOR POPULATIONS: Most populations will have hand strength and dexterity to roll paper around rolling pin, or physical therapy for those with compromised hand movement. Within school settings, this activity can be a lead-in to science, environment and math lessons appropriate for most ages. Extended projects can include: planting and tending to seeds, transplanting into garden, learning about composting methods and practices, and fundraising selling seeds/seedlings.


SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS: Participant sensitivity to paper, glue or growing medium should be determined prior to activity. Some populations (dementia, intellectually disabled, young children) may be tempted to put seeds into mouth. Paper cuts can be treated with first aid materials, soap and water.


NOTES OR OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Alternative method – cut 10 ml strips of paper, use damaged egg cartons free of raw egg juices, paper muffin liners, or toilet paper rolls. Left-over newspaper can be composted or additional biodegradable pots can be constructed and donated to community.


Beaty, V. (2017). 20 upcycled seed starter pots you can easily make at home. DIY & Crafts. Retrieved from makehome

Engels, J. (2017). Seedling pots. Permaculture Research Institute. Retrieved from

HT Activity Plan form developed by Lesley Fleming, Susan Morgan and Kathy Brechner 2012, revised in 2018