Plastic bottles for growing and planting saplings (Drawings by Liesbeth ORMEL / Captions by Willem Van Cotthem)

How to use a plastic bottle for growing and planting saplings ?

Materials : Plastic bottle, knife, seeds, bucket with water, local soil, sand with manure
Use the knife to cut the tapering end of the bottle
Cutting the top of the bottle
Bottle without its top
Fill the bottle with the mixture of soil and sand
Bottle filled with the mixture up to 3 fingers from the bottle edge
Pour water in the bottle to moisten the potting mix and plant one of more seeds in it
Place the bottle on a shady spot ...
where animals can't touch it
The seed(s) germinate and the sapling(s) grow
When the sapling is tall enough, cut the lower part of the bottle at two fingers of the bottom
Cut the bottom part (5-7 cm, 2-3 inches)
Take the bottom part off to set the lower roots free
Lift the bottle with the sapling carefully to keep the free roots intact
Put the sapling with its bottle gently in the plant hole
The plant hole is filled with local soil, leaving the upper edge of the bottle free and water the sapling

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

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