Germinating Self-Care Now and a Garden for Later

Reader Contribution by Janice Cox
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Hello – I hope you are all home, safe, and comfortable.  I am here in Oregon and really not sure what to think about the world right now.  I am thankful for simple daily activities that are keeping me balanced and busy.  Simple self-care activities such as face washing or taking a bath are now moments of peace and calm.  I am embracing The Mother Earth Living Magazine’s mission of being self-sufficient, staying healthy, and learning new skills.  I have even found myself going through back issues.  Remember the pollinator garden, Jessica Walliser showed us all last year in?  The one that used an old garbage can? Well mine has become more of an herb garden this year, but I love the idea of reusing containers and creating garden spaces full of healthy plants, herbs, and produce. 

My daughter and I just made a bunch of newspaper pots and planted them with tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, and sunflowers (all her choices).  As we rolled and planted seeds, we relaxed, talked, played music, and connected in such a good way. We realized as we read on the seed packet that our projects should all germinate in 14 days – the same time that hopefully our self-quarantine should be over. A reminder to be patient, be healthy, and know we are all in this together. Here are the directions for making seed pots from newspaper:

Photo courtesy Linda Holliday and MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Make Your Own Newspaper Pots

These simple pots work well for seed starting and they can be placed right in your garden when the chance of frost is over and your seedlings are ready to transplant.  They are also a good activity for children of all ages. 


  • Sheets of newspaper
  • Empty can with each end removed, or a small section of PVC pipe
  • A smaller can or wooden dowel
  • Tape or twine (optional)


  1. Fold the newspaper lengthwise
  2. Place the can near the top of the paper.
  3. Roll the paper around the can.
  4. Turn the can upside down and push all the loose ends of the paper inside the can.
  5. Turn the can right side up and then, using a smaller can or wooden dowel, tamp down the newspaper inside the can to create a pot.
  6. Remove the can.
  7. You can secure the pot with a bit of twine or tape.I have not found that I need to do this if planting right away.I fill the soil and the pots seem to keep their shape.

Note:   You can also recycle other household items such as toilet paper tubes, egg cartons, cans and paper cups to start your seeds in.

When you finish your pots, take a moment to relax. Here is one of my favorite bath soak recipes for you to make at home (it also makes a nice foot soak).

Soothing Bath Salts

Yield: 16 ounces

When times are stressful a good soak helps, calm both your mind and body.  Using natural minerals and salts also help soothe tired bodies and help you sleep.  Epsom Salts are a natural source of magnesium.  If you do not have a bathtub you can use these salts as foot soak.

  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • 1 /2 cup baking soda
  • 1 /2 cup sea salt or kosher salt
  • 3-4 drops essential oil of lavender

Mix together all ingredients and pour into a warm bath.  Soak for 20 minutes in the evening before bedtime.  If using as a foot soak just use half the amount of salts called for and fill a large tub or basin with warm water.  

Thinking of you all – You are beautiful!

Janice Cox is a bestselling author of several DIY books.  Her latest book, Beautiful Luffa, is all about growing and using luffa sponge gourds.  Learn more at her website. Follow Janice on Instagram @AtHomeBeauty.