Different ways to use plastic bottles for gardening (Willem)

There are numerous ways to use plastic bottles for growing plants with a maximum of water use efficiency.  Here are some of them.

1. Bottle top covering the bottom

Bottle top at the bottom
(Click on the picture to enlarge it)

a. Perforate the bottom to create a drainage hole (2-3 mm wide is sufficient).

b. Cut the top (cone), make one slit in the lower edge of it, and slide it into the bottle so that it covers the drainage hole.

c. Fill the bottle with potting soil (possibly mixed with a water stocking soil conditioner like TerraCottem, see

http://www.terracottem.com

d. Leave 5 cm (2 inches) from the top to form a cavity for irrigation.

e. Seed or plant a seedling.

Papaya seedlings
Papaya seedlings in bottles with top cone as an air chamber over the perforated bottom.

2. Bottom part of a bottle as a reservoir and a wick

Use a wick

a. Cut a bottle in half and use the bottom part as a water tank (reservoir).

b. Take a second bottle of the same dimensions and cut 2-3 cm (1 inch) of the bottom.

c. Leave the stop on top, but perforate the cone (2-3 mm) to create an opening for the wick.

d. Push the wick through this opening, so that it can hang in the water tank and run through the bottle to hang over the top (see picture above).

e. Fill the bottle with potting soil (possibly with the water stocking soil conditioner TerraCottem).

f. Position the bottle with soil on the water tank with the wick hanging in the water.

g. Seed or plant a seedling.

Bottle with wick and mint
Bottle with wick on a water tank (reservoir). Mint cutting develops well.

REMARK

Joseph TOLLEDOT told me that he simply had cut a bottle in half, used the bottom half as a water reservoir and the top one as container for plant growth (see his pictures on

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8511374@N06/
3. Perforated top and bottle sitting in a water tank

a. Perforate the cone of a bottle top at two opposite sides (holes 2-3 mm).

Perforated cone
Cone perforated at two opposite sides.  Leave the stop on top.

b. Cut 2-3 cm (1 inch) of the bottom.

c. Fill the bottle with potting soil (possibly mixed with a water stocking soil conditioner like TerraCottem, see

http://www.terracottem.com

d. Seed or plant a seedling.

e. Position the bottle in a water tank (lower part of a bottle or simply a plastic pot, e.g. a yoghurt pot)

Perforated cone in a water tank
Bottle with perforated cone in a pot (as water tank)

Should you have more interesting ideas to use plastic bottles for gardening, do not hesitate to send them to me (see comments).

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About Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.
This entry was posted in containers, experiments, Horticulture / Gardening, Pictures, plastic (PET) bottles / bags, soil conditioning, Water / moisture. Bookmark the permalink.

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