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Biodegradable pots make so much sense when you’re starting from seeds or seedlings. Instead of moving a small, vulnerable plant into a bigger container or a spot in your garden, you can just plop the entire pot down into the soil. This means less disturbance to your new plant overall. Then the pot will break down naturally for a simple and sustainable way to garden.
You have quite a few options when it comes to biodegradable pots, including grow bags, a bamboo option, and even making your own. This is an excellent excuse to move from more conventional plastic pots to a much more eco-friendly option.
Here are some of the best options biodegradable pots on the market today.
The CowPots (view at Amazon) is a genius way to reuse something that most people don’t see as valuable. Plus, the nutrients will make your plants look amazing! Then for those who want to have the very smallest carbon footprint, the Wooden Paper Pot Maker (view at Amazon) is the way to go, because you’ll be able to make as many biodegradable pots as you want for many years to come.
Just from the pots on this list, you can see there are a lot of biodegradable options ranging from cow manure to coconut fiber. When you come across biodegradable pots, look at the materials they are made from to ensure good drainage for your plants and seedlings.
Many seed-starting pots are small because you’re likely going to be moving them to a more permanent location relatively quickly (usually within weeks). However, if you’re going to keep them going as plants for a while before you move them, look for larger pots to give the roots lots of room to grow and expand.
Look for other details from the plant makers, specifically about how the pots are made, or any eco-friendly methods they use. You may also want pots with drainage holes.
You plant the pot directly into the ground, seedling and all. Then depending on what the pot is made of, it will break down over time. Don’t worry about your new seedling’s roots being cramped because the biodegradable features of the pot will allow them to grow through as needed.
The big advantage is that you’re reducing your plastic use right away. It’s an easy way to go more green with your gardening. They can also increase your transplanting success rate, because your seedlings will get less stressed when you move them into the garden.
A disadvantage might mean you’re buying more biodegradable pots over time, because once you plant them in the ground, you can’t use them again. But if you purchase biodegradable pots that give back with nutrients in some way, you’re just adding to the benefits.
Right away, they’re reducing our reliance on so much plastic. Gardening tends to have a lot of plastic pots, so it really helps to move to more biodegradable, planet-friendly options.
Some of the pots on this list make use of materials that might otherwise go to landfill, like paper pulp.
It really depends on the material, and often, you can find that information on the label of the pot. CowPots, for instance, will break down more quickly once they’re in the soil. Coir pots will last a bit longer but usually only make it through one season.
Treehugger is always on the lookout for more sustainable home and garden products to share with you.
The author, Stacy Tornio, has been making her own seed-starting pots out of recycled paper for years, along with the help of her two kids. She is also an expert garden writer and Master Gardener.