Potty projects: cardboard inserts

When potting on seedlings the advice is not to use a pot that is too big. Like toddlers learning to swim, little seedlings struggle to progress when they spend all their energy trying to reach the sides.

You could add several seedlings to one pot. Their roots, however, will get intertwined and these will inevitably be damaged when you come to separate them later.

Here’s a nifty solution I came up with, illustrated with some sweetcorn:

  • Cut a cardboard shape from a corrugated packing box that fits diagonally across the pot (it doesn’t have to be too precise).
  • Use this as a template to cut as many as needed.
  • Cut two to the centre as shown, one from the base, one from the top, and slot them together.
  • Insert into the pot and fill with compost and your seedlings.
  • When it’s time to plant them out, make sure you’ve watered the compost half an hour before gently tipping out. Each plant will separate easily when gently pulled apart. There’s no need to remove any attached bits of cardboard when planting as this will soon decompose in the soil.

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