A Lesson in Reading the Directions (or Just Buying It)

Come the cold and dreary days of January and February, I always get a strong urge to garden. Recently, I bought and potted some bamboo plants to add a bit of lively green to my home. Now it’s time to start some seedlings! I’m trying to be a bit more frugal with my garden this year than in others, so I thought I would start by making my own newspaper seedling pots.

What I wanted was something like this little wooden pot maker: simple, easy to use, pots in seconds. Just wrap, squish, and you have a pot. Being cheap and wanting to build one sooner than I could get it by shipping, I found an alternative plan. Instead of making a wooden one, I could make a similar pot maker using PVC pieces from the local hardware store! This blog post shows how.

So I went out to my local hardware store and started wandering the plumbing aisles for the relevant pieces. Turns out, I couldn’t get the exact parts pictured in the guide, and it came to about $9 rather than the $6 they expected.

Then I went home and became distracted by several other projects. When I finally came back to the paper pot maker, I started making pots completely wrong (wrapped around the inner ring instead of the outer) and then wondered why they didn’t work right. Doing them the right way means for bigger pots, which wasn’t what I planned for when I bought the parts. I haven’t tried making pots with that method, but for no better than the original came out, I don’t feel optimistic. 

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Long story short, read your directions carefully, and remember that, in some cases, just buying the damn thing you’re trying to DIY will save you a lot of headache.


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