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paper ornaments 12
One of my favorite ways to recycle paper, especially good, acid-free paper, is to use it to create new objects. These Christmas ornaments are made from a combination of drawing paper and other scrap paper using clay form cookie molds. The paper is shredded, placed in a blender with water and whirled until it returns to pulp. The pulp is drained in a strainer and then pressed into the molds. When the paper is dry, they pop out of the mold. Then they are trimmed (or not) and painted. Some in the photo are gilded and then painted. A final coat of urethane is painted on. The ornaments last many years. They are very light and make great tree ornaments — simple and effective recycling.

Last day in tubes.

Last day in tubes.


Well, here they are several weeks from the start and one cat attack yesterday. Nothing malicious on Bert’s part, just crawling through looking to find anything edible. Not pretty, but there are healthy seedlings. I’m about to put them in larger more stable pots. I don’t think the paper tubes will last until planting time. They are falling apart now. So my verdict, good idea, and in a pinch I might to it again, but I prefer yogurt cups or commercial seedling containers.

tube experiement 2

tube experiement 2


Here is a second photo of the seed started in paper tubes as a recycling project two weeks ago. As you can see the tubes are holding together and there are seedlings sprouted. What worries me is the mold on the paper tubes both on the outside and inside. Will this affect the seedlings? Waiting to see.

waste cardboard tube seed starters

wast cardboard tube seed starters


I’ve seen seeds started in cardboard tubes and decided to try the process for myself. Since it snowed yesterday, this might be as close as I get to gardening for several more weeks — although the weekend is supposed to be in the forty’s.
I’ve already seen other gardeners posting photos of their garden, crocus, daffodils and tulips. We lag so far behind Southern springs; and like the sap rising in the Maples, my gardening drive is going into full gear.
So here’s my experiment. Cardboard tubes cut in 3 or 4 inch sections. I saw a video where they folded it in half and then in half again to make four corners which might make it easier to place the tubes tightly together, but I just packed them with potting soil.
Planted Scabosia seeds, ‘Oxford Blue’ from Thompson and Morgan.
What I like: reuse trash materials that eventually are composted back into the soil when seedlings are planted, sides are porous so more air gets to the roots.
What I don’t like: Unlike my plastic yogurt containers, there is no lid to hold moisture until seeds sprout, containers are soft, squishy. Will this characteristic harm roots? Don’t know. I wait and see.

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