When we heard how well our compost works with the paper pot transplanting system, we were intrigued. After chatting to Hen from Spindlebrook Farm vegetable market garden, we decided to have a dig into this innovative method.
What is paper pot transplanting?
The paper pot transplanting system (PPTS) is a bio-intensive farming technique. It allows farmers to plant 200+ plants within minutes.
Where did it start?
The Nippon Sugar Beet Manufacturing Company Ltd developed paper pot transplanting in Japan.
How does it work?
The system uses:
- an environmentally-friendly hand-pulled transplanter
- a biodegradable plant pot chain
— NeozOne ðŸš€ (@NeozOne) March 25, 2018
What makes the pots so different?
The paper pots are formed by compressed biodegradable paper chains. When pulled apart, they reveal a spread of hexagonal cells.
Efficient and effective seeding. Paper chain pots pull apart like an accordion onto a special rack, flip into a rigid plastic bottom tray, get packed with germination mix, then 'dibbled.' Homemade gravity seeder drops a single seed in each divot. Weekly seeding done in an hour! pic.twitter.com/nynHfguSRH
— Patrick Boyle (@boyle_bros_farm) December 17, 2017
Which plants work best?
The paper cells come in different sizes and spacing lengths. They are best suited to seedlings which can grow closely to one another.
You can seed by hand or use specialised tools, shown in this video:
How do you transplant the seedlings?
You simply pull the machine along by hand. It creates trenches, unloads the seedlings and covers them. Here it is in action:
Why are small farms using paper pot transplanting?
There is no need for electricity, fuel or motorization. PPTS is therefore perfect for farmers trying to save money. It can also reduce your carbon footprint.
What sort of growing media works best?
Lighter soils work better than heavy clay soils. Spindlebrook Farm say they don’t have to sieve our seed compost before putting it into the paper cells. Read the full interview in Focus on: a No-Dig vegetable market garden in Devon.
Where to buy paper pot-friendly compost
You can order seed compost from our website. All our composts are peat-free, Soil Association approved and organic.
Where to find out more
- Investigating the Profitability of the Paper Pot Transplanter on a Small Scale Vegetable Farm – Cornell University
- Incredible Innovations from Overseas: Introducing the Japanese Paper Pot Transplanter – Cornell University
- We love our paper pot transplanter so far – Muddy Fingers Farm
- The Paper Chain Pot Transplanting System – Small Farm Works