3 Benefits of Using Biodegradable Pots for Sowing Seeds

Biodegradable fibre seedling flower pots - © Tim Gainey

Biodegradable fibre seedling flower pots – © Tim Gainey

For years, plastic pots and module trays have been used by gardeners for sowing seeds and transplanting. With the importance of reducing plastic use at the forefront, biodegradable alternatives are becoming more popular, with an increasing range of products on the market, including biodegradable fibre pots. Here are three benefits to using biodegradable options for seed sowing rather than traditional plastic.

They are better for the plant: 

Phaseolus vulgaris 'Borlotto Lingua Di Fuoco 2' - Borlotti beans in biodegradable pots, showing the growing roots - © GAP Photos/Maxine Adcock

Phaseolus vulgaris ‘Borlotto Lingua Di Fuoco 2′ – Borlotti beans in biodegradable pots, showing the growing roots – © GAP Photos/Maxine Adcock

One problem when sowing into traditional pots is the root growth of seedlings can be impacted if they are not transplanted early enough, with spiralling of the roots becoming a common issue. By contrast, the fibrous pots allow the roots of seedlings to push through the sides of the pot, which in turn promotes healthy and even root growth. Using these pots also works well for fussy plants that do not like to be transplanted, such as poppies, as you can plant the whole pot in the ground and allow the seedling to establish itself, while the pot breaks down naturally.

You can repurpose household items as pot holders. 

Growing Sweet Peas. Tray of newspaper containers planted with seeds: tray of newspaper containers planted with seeds - © GAP Photos/Nicola Stocken

Growing Sweet Peas. Tray of newspaper containers planted with seeds: tray of newspaper containers planted with seeds – © GAP Photos/Nicola Stocken

While biodegradable fibre pots are environmentally friendly, they are also quite expensive compared to plastic pots that can be washed and reused. However, you can make biodegradable pots using household items that you would ordinarily dispose of. The cardboard middles of toilet rolls have often been used as plastic free alternatives to sowing seeds. They can be cut in half for smaller pots. Alternatively, you can make paper pots out newspapers or old magazines with the help of a pot maker.

You don’t have to wash biodegradable pots. 

Person washing dirty plastic plant pots in soapy water - © GAP Photos

Person washing dirty plastic plant pots in soapy water – © GAP Photos

While you can reuse the plastic pots in your garden many times over, they also need to be washed and sterilised after each use, which uses lots of water and takes time. Biodegradable pots may only be used once, but once they breakdown in the ground, they add to the soil content, save you from further washing up!