Pop bottle science (Inside Urban Green)

Read at : Inside Urban Green


Pop Bottle Science

Lynn Brunelle, author of Pop Bottle Science was at the World Science Festival Street Fair along with a lot of recycled pop bottles. There were three tables of children obviously having a good time doing the experiments.

I already had a copy of her book and was surprised that the pop bottle sub-irrigation planter was not included. There are, however, instructions on how to make a “biome in a bottle”.

What do you do?

1. Remove the top part from your Pop Bottle.
2. Sprinkle one inch of pebbles in the bottom of the bottle.
3. Add 2 inches of potting soil or topsoil from your yard.
4. Run your thumbnail across the center of the soil to make a trench. Sprinkle seeds in the trench and cover them with soil.
5. Water the seeds until you see water collecting in the pebbles.
6. Replace the top of the Pop Bottle.
7. You’ve now created a biome.
8. You won’t need to water the seeds again because the closed Pop Bottle will keep  recycling the water through the process of evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. The growing plants need carbon dioxide, however, so you’ll need to remove the to of the bottle as the plants begin to grow.
9. Put your biome near a sunny window. Your plants should start growing in three or four days.

This will work if your’re careful, but I recommend the pop bottle sub-irrigation planter method. The method outlined above is really an extension of drench and drain watering (ex. gravel catch basin). I would also exercise caution about too much sun that could easily burn the plants.


Posted by Greenscaper Bob on June 01, 2008

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.