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Make your own paper peat pots

On a brisk spring day what could warm you better than a smoky fire and glass of smoky Irish whiskey. In Ireland and Scotland, peat fires dry malted barley before it's made into Scotch or Irish whisky.

Peat grows in bogs or wetlands and is drained harvested and cleaned before it is sold as soil conditioner Peat bogs are as fragile as rainforests and are home to rare wildlife, many found nowhere else on earth.

Even though peat moss itself has very little nutrition for plants it helps lighten the soil and retains water so plants survive droughts better.

Sterilized peat moss is often used for starting cuttings or seeds. Peat moss is familiar to gardeners as a soil additive and as material in biodegradable pots, called peat pots.

Peat pots are filled with soil, seeded and then planted pot and all into the garden. The peat pot rots and the plant roots grow right through it with no transplant shock. If you want the advantages of peat pots without the expense or ecological impact of using peat, you can make your own biodegradable pots out of newspaper.

First, simply spread open a full sheet of black-and-white newspaper. Avoid using glossy or colored paper as it might contain harmful dyes or heavy metals.

Fold the newspaper in half lengthwise twice. This will form a long, narrow strip of folded newspaper. Lay a drinking glass on its side and place it on one end of the folded strip of newspaper. Roll the newspaper loosely around the glass forming a tube. About half of the strip of newspaper will stick out past the open end of the glass.

Shove the ends of the newspaper into the open end of the glass. You don't need to be neat and tidy; just crinkle the overlapping newspaper into the glass.

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