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Making a Paper Pot

Additional notes:
  • The top edge of the can is sometimes sharper and will give a better crease to create a sturdy bottom of the paper pot.
  • When folding down the excess newspaper to create the bottom of the pot, you may need to adjust the paper so it covers the entire bottom without leaving a hole.

Planting Seeds

Green Bean Seeds

Step 1

Start with seeds

Paper pots

Step 2

Make paper pots (see above video) and fill them with potting mix.

seed in paper pot

Step 3

Place each seed in a 1/2" to 1" deep hole in the potting mix. Cover gently with soil. Water daily and watch your plant grow!

Seed germinating in paper pot

Step 4

See the seed sprouting (or germinating) out of the white outer seed coat.

Seed leaves emerging

Step 5

The seed leaves (or cotyledon) rise out of the soil.

true leaves emerging

Step 6

The first true leaves develop.

seedling ready for transplanting

Step 7

After two or three true leaves have grown, follow directions on Transplanting below.

plant flowering

Step 8

The plant starts to flower.

bean developing

Step 9

Beans start to grow.

bean harvest

Step 10

Harvest and enjoy!

Transplanting Seedlings

Grown Seedling
Most vegetables should be transplanted into containers or the ground when they develop their first two to three "true" leaves.
Shady day
Transplant on a shady day, in late afternoon or the early evening to help prevent wilting.
sunny day
If transplanting into the ground, be sure it's in a location with adequate sunlight. Green beans need at least 6 hours of sunlight.
Recycled container
If transplanting green bean seedlings into a larger container, find one that's food-safe and at least 1 gallon or larger.
Pointing to side of recycled container
Good drainage is needed for plants to grow well. You will need to make drainage holes. It is best to put the holes along the side of the container to allow the excess water to escape.
Measuring container
Make holes about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch from the bottom.
Measuring container
Make holes about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch from the bottom.
Marking container
Holes should be 3 to 6 inches apart. They can be made with a drill, nail and hammer, or another sharp object. Use caution to avoid injury.
Rocks on the bottom of the container
If available, place some gravel, pebbles, or small stones in the bottom of your pot. Coffee filters over the holes are also a great option. This will prevent the loss of potting mix.
Water plant
It helps to water the plants several hours before transplanting. Whenever watering, try to water only the soil and not the leaves to prevent possible leaf disease problems.
Handle plant gently
Transplanting should be done carefully to avoid injuring the young root system. Try not to handle small seedlings by their delicate stems.
Make a hole in the soil
Make a hole in the soil where the seedling will be planted. Make it the same depth as the seedling was growing in the seed container.
Transplant seedling and remove tape
Take off the blue painter's tape from the newspaper pot. You may then place the entire paper pot into the soil.
Remove plant from newspaper
Otherwise, after taking off the tape, you may gently take the seedling out of the paper pot by holding the lump of potting mix and roots and placing that into the hole you made in the soil.
Cover plant with soil and pat the top firmly down
After planting, press the soil firmly down around the roots of your plant and water gently. Be sure to water the soil, not the leaves.
Transplant complete
Keep the newly transplanted seedling in the shade for a few days. After the plant starts to mature, be sure it has at least 6 hours of sunlight. Remember to email your transplanted plant photos to UHfoodtogrow@gmail.com.

Need Help with your Plants?

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The UH Master Gardener program is an official volunteer program of the University of Hawaiʻi Cooperative Extension Service. UH Master Gardeners are dedicated to providing local, research-based information to help home gardeners in decisions that affect themselves, their neighbors, and our local and global environment. So much information about gardening in Hawaiʻi is located on both their Tropical Topics and FAQ web pages. Enjoy exploring the wealth of information that they have to share with you.

If local information is not available on your subject, UH Master Gardeners are trained to find research-based information and other reliable sources of information, so please contact them with your questions. They believe that every question is a good one. With so much beauty and diversity in Hawaiʻi, we have a BIG responsibility to have the right tools and correct information to protect our environment. UH Master Gardeners want to help your garden thrive!

Get help from the UH Master Gardener Helplines

Important information to include is the name of your plant and the symptoms that you are observing. UH Master Gardeners love pictures! If you are sending a picture through email, please include a close-up of the problem area, as well as a picture of the entire plant. This will help diagnose the problem with your plant or identify the insect.