Is a pot biodegradable?

This blog post will answer the question, “Is a pot biodegradable” and cover topics like the biodegradability of the pot and frequently asked questions related to the topic.

Is a pot biodegradable?

Yes, a few types of pot are biodegradable like wood fiber, coir, and peat pot.

3 Advantages of Planting Seeds in Biodegradable Pots

Gardeners have long used plastic pots & module trays for transplanting and sowing seedlings. With the need to reduce plastic use at the forefront, biodegradable alternatives are gaining popularity. 

A wider variety of items, such as biodegradable fiber pots, are now available on the market. 

Here are three advantages of utilizing biodegradable seed-sowing materials as opposed to conventional plastic.

  • They benefit the plant more
  • You may utilize common objects as pot holders
  • Biodegradable pots don’t need to be washed

I will now elaborate on these.

They benefit the plant more

When seedlings are sown into conventional pots, one difficulty is that if they are not moved early enough, their root development may be damaged, with the spiraling of the roots emerging as a frequent problem. 

In contrast, the fibrous pots enable seedling roots to penetrate the sidewalls of the pot, promoting strong, even root development. 

These pots are particularly great for finicky plants that don’t want to be moved, like poppies, since you can put the whole pot in the ground and let the seedling grow normally while the container decomposes.

You may utilize common objects as pot holders.

While biodegradable fiber pots are better for the environment than plastic pots that can be cleaned and reused, they are also more costly. However, using ordinary things that you would otherwise throw away, you may create biodegradable pots. 

Toilet paper roll cardboard centers have often been utilized as plastic-free substitutes for planting seeds. If you want smaller pots, you may split them in half. 

As an alternative, you might use a pot maker to create paper pots out of old magazines or newspapers.

Biodegradable pots don’t need to be washed.

The plastic pots in your garden may be used again, but they must also be cleaned & sterilized after each use, which requires a lot of water and takes time. 

Even though biodegradable pots are only meant to be used once, once they break down in the ground, they enrich the soil and save you from further cleaning!

Different Types of Green Garden Pots

There are several varieties of pots available, consisting of anything from paper to cow dung!

  • Peat pot
  • Coconut coir 
  • Feather pots 
  • Fertilpot
  • Eco-Forms 
  • EnviroArc
  • Western Pulp
  • Paper pot
  • One kind of pot is not even a pot. 

I will now elaborate on these.

Peat pot

Although peat pots have been around for a while, there is considerable debate regarding how sustainable they are as a product. The world’s supply of peat is limited, much as that of oil. 

Despite the fact that many people believe it to be renewable, it takes a while. One inch of peat grows every 14 to 25 years. Canada is the primary source of peat utilized in the US. 

The pots are completely plantable if you wish to use peat and available in a variety of sizes and varieties, including Jiffy7 pellets, strips of square cells, and individual pots.

Coconut coir 

Coconut coir is beginning to be utilized in place of peat. The coconut’s fibrous husks, which were formerly regarded as agricultural trash, are now made into pots or utilized as a planting substrate after being finely shredded. 

Roots may readily travel through the coir fibers, making coir pots suitable for planting as well.

Feather pots 

Feather pots are another example of agricultural waste. Each year, US poultry growers produce around 4 billion pounds of chicken feathers. 

The feathers may be ground into light, strong pots that can be composted after use and are a clean, sustainable supply of the protein keratin.

Fertilpot

A blend of 80% spruce fibers and 20% peat is used to make fertilizer pots. They are certified organic, biodegradable, and free of binders or glue. 

Since plant roots may pass through the pot’s sides, plants can be planted throughout the whole container. Since they are French-made, they must go to a US distributor in Pennsylvania. You may get them through Johnny’s Selected Seeds.

Eco-Forms 

Containers called Eco-Forms are manufactured from starch-based binders and grain husks, typically rice hulls, which are heated & pressed to make them stick together. 

They provide a variety of pots, from functional ones for commercial growers to fancy ones in a variety of hues for backyard gardeners. 

These pots can endure freezing and thawing and will last for five years. Although they may be composted, they are not intended to be planted in the ground. They’re Chinese-made.

EnviroArc

An Australian biodegradable pot is called EnviroArc. It is manufactured from organically cultivated materials from their own farms, including bamboo pulp, wheat straw, and maize stalks. 

These pots survive 18 to 24 months, but when composted, they decompose in less than 6 months. They have a huge selection of colors and sizes.

Western Pulp

Western Pulp turns recycled paper into a molded fiber pot. Tender plants won’t be able to force their roots through these sturdy pots because of their construction. 

Before planting, it is essential that you carefully separate the pots from the rootball. After that, compost the container. Despite being produced in the USA, they are not organically grown.

Paper pot

Making your own pots out of old newspapers is nothing new; many of us have been doing it for years. Paper strips may be used to create little cups by wrapping them around cylindrical forms and folding the bottoms over. 

These may be used to grow transplants for the garden by being filled with dirt. Try not to handle them too much since they are delicate, particularly when wet. 

They may be planted whole in a container and decompose quickly in your soil. Egg cartons made of fiber may also be used as seedling pots, as can cardboard toilet paper and paper towel tubes.

One kind of pot is not even a pot. 

Another outdated method that is regaining favor is soil blocks. To compress potting soil into blocks for direct seeding, transplanting, or growing cuttings, just use a form. 

The blocks must be handled carefully to preserve their integrity until planting.

Making Biodegradable Planters at Home

3 three methods of making a biodegradable pot at home are listed below:

  • Seed trays in egg crates
  • Paper pots
  • Toilet Paper Tube Pots

I will now elaborate on these.

Seed trays in egg crates

The easiest approach is to use cardboard egg boxes.

  • Cut the lid off.
  • To enhance strength, place the lid beneath the base.
  • Plant after adding potting soil to the sections!

Egg crates should only be used for crops that will be swiftly moved on or planted out, since the roots of certain crops may soon get confined in them.

When moist, egg carton cells are readily ripped apart when you’re ready to put your seedlings outside. To assist the roots in escaping into the earth, be careful to also pull away from the base of each cell.

Paper pots

To construct paper pots, you’ll need an old newspaper, some scissors, and a jar or glass to serve as a mold. Avoid using glossy magazines since they take a long time to decompose and may be printed with harmful heavy metal traces. 

To create your newspaper pot, adhere to the directions below:

  • Make newspaper strips that are about 1 inch (3 cm) higher than your jar.
  • To create a crease, unfurl a flap after folding it along a strip’s length.
  • Position the jar on the newspaper so that the open end protrudes out from one end of the strip.
  • Roll the strip tightly around the jar.
  • Turn the jar on its end while keeping the paper closed.
  • To form the foundation, fold the paper’s loose ends in and press them down.
  • Firm up the edges by pinching them.
  • Pull out the jar and tighten the base while holding the bottom flaps.
  • To make the rim of your pot, fold the top of the paper along the crease you produced before.

The pot will become more sturdy after it is filled with potting soil, but it is important to additionally nestle your pots side by side in a rack to keep them secure until the paper is wet.

When it’s time to plant, drill a hole in the prepared soil, place your seedling inside, and water it. The paper in the pot will decompose over the course of a few weeks.

Toilet Paper Tube Pots

For the majority of seedlings, cut toilet paper tubes in half. For plants that need extra root room, such as peas, maize, and tomatoes, leave the tubes intact. You might also shorten paper towel tubes to the required length.

Even simpler to make than a newspaper pot is a toilet roll tube seed pot.

  • Slit four well-spaced, inch-long slits into the toilet paper tube’s one end.
  • To make a solid, interlocking foundation, fold the flaps inward and alternate the tucks.
  • Add potting dirt and plant your seeds within.

As the cardboard softens, place the tubes in trays to prevent them from falling apart. The roots of the seedlings will aid in keeping the potting soil together as they develop. Pots may also be arranged in groups using rubber bands or twine.

Newspaper rots down faster than cardboard tubes, yet roots finally manage to escape the container on their own. However, if you’d like, you may remove the cardboard before planting since it comes off quite easily when wet.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs), “Is a pot biodegradable?”

Which pots decompose quickly?

Fiber is the major component of biodegradable pots. The majority of gardening supply stores and Bunnings sell these peat, coir, or wood fiber containers. 

Beyond their capacity to decompose quickly, they offer benefits. In fiber pots, roots may pierce the walls of the container.

Are compostable pots a good idea?

When compared to conventional plastic materials, biodegradable plant containers provide a more effective and environmentally friendly method of transplanting. 

The ability of plantable pots to aid in plant development is another advantage. According to research, utilizing different containers typically promotes plant growth.

Do pots come in plastic?

Pots made of plastic are robust, lightweight, and flexible. They match both indoor and outside designs since they come in every hue of the rainbow. 

Plastic is a great option for plants that love wetness or for gardeners who water seldom since it lacks the wicking effect of clay.

Do peat pots rot away?

The quick answer is that yes, over time, peat pots do deteriorate. Peat pots will ultimately decompose since they are made of biodegradable materials, but until then, they may still harm your seedlings by restricting root development and delaying transplant shock.

What are some uses for biodegradable pots?

Biodegradable pots are only sometimes used by garden centers and nurseries, and some actively urge users to return plastic pots so they may be recycled or reused. 

Check with your neighborhood nursery or garden center to find out what their rules are. You may even create your own pots by using toilet paper holders or newspapers.

How quickly do peat pots deteriorate?

Usually, it takes a year for peat pots to decompose.

Even after being buried for close to two years, some gardeners have reported pulling out portions of peat pots. The size & thickness of the pots affect how quickly they degrade. The pots disintegrate more slowly the thicker they are.

Newspapers: biodegradable or not?

Yes, newspapers decompose naturally. Remember that they are composed of paper, and unless protected with plastic, paper materials disintegrate quickly. 

We said before that they were made of paper. Paper materials typically take between two and ten weeks to biodegrade, depending on their thickness.

References:

https://www.homestolove.com.au/biodegradable-plant-pots-9800#:~:text=The%20main%20type%20of%20biodegradable,push%20through%20the%20pot%20sides.
https://www.gapphotos.com/GardensBlog/?p=3706
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/propagation/seeds/what-are-plantable-containers.htm

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