Bottle Herb Garden – a Recycling Project.





Introduction: Bottle Herb Garden – a Recycling Project.

Many similar ideas exist. I want to show you how to recycle 2l soda bottles and make a herb garden. The main idea here is that you water from the top and the excess water runs into the 'pot' below and so on. If you build one similar in size to mine you should be able to move it around or transport it easily. It also takes up very little space as it stands almost straight up.

Step 1: Hardware:

1)2l soda bottles.
2)Scrap wood, bamboo sticks, PVC or similar for frame.
3)Wood screws.

Step 2: Tools:

1)Knife to cut tops off.
2)Drill press / hand drill to drill holes through the bottle neck and to screw frame together.
4)Hand saw to cut scrap wood to size.

Step 3: Cut Soda Bottles.

Cut top of bottle off as shown.

Step 4: Drill Soda Bottles.

Drill bottle neck as shown.

Step 5: Build a Frame.

Build a frame to hold your bottles as shown in the two sketches. Note that the opening of the lower bottle must be screwed to the top bottles' neck. I have not used any measurements because you can make your own custom size. I have made a 5 column X 3 row frame. This could be made to any configuration.

Step 6: Screw Bottles on Frame.

Screw bottles on frame.

Step 7: Stones, Potting Soil, Planting and Watering.

Put stones in the bottom of each neck for drainage. Fill with potting soil. Plant seeds or seedlings and water.
Good luck.



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    I love the idea of duck tape. It comes in so many pretty colors.

    i did with a self watering wicking method using the bottom of the pet bottles as a water reservoir. its kind of cool. I drilled the bottom bottles to the wooden frame and then placed the top part of the bottle filled with the soil and seeds. this way you only need to fill the bottle as and when you need it. its really a cool idea. thanks to "bottle Herb garden", Jack.

    The smaller 1/2L water and soda bottles would make a very compact herb garden to sit on a window ledge...

    man I just unloaded my soda bottles. Very excellent project!!

    This is seriously one of the coolest "green" gardening ideas I've seen in a long time. I'm thinking I'm going to have to start drinking soda just so I can give this a go.

    An idea for anyone not liking the raw look of the plastic bottles: hot glue some sheet moss to them. It will also help to prevent algaenation in the soil (that green growth in the soil due to light exposure).

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share this!

    good idea, to make it better we need to block all/most light from getting to the roots to improve health and therefore harvest/flowering. Just wrap with opaque ....something. I've used duct tape in past for make shift planters.

    7 replies

    how about wrapping it with scrap fabric? might look kind of cool that way. No need to buy any either ... I'm sure we all have an old sweatshirt, T-shirt, skirt or something around the house that would work. Or even a no-longer-usable sheet or tablecloth. They can all be cut to the right size and used to decorate the planters while blocking the light to the roots.

    fabric being highly porous and holding water, will encourage fungal growth in it which is less than optimal around plants.

    Isn't the fabric on the outside of the bottle? That's what I did- the decoupage on the outside.

    Yes but do you water plants often? In my garden I often get some water on the outside of pots, or it tends to rain every once in a while, or a bird poops on them, animal urinates, etc etc.

    My point is that ideally the surface treatment will not be porous.

    The surface treatment is not porous.When you decoupage using paper or fabric it is sealed with a sealant like mod podge.Give it a couple of coats at least. If you are leaving it out in the sun, use outdoor podge. Use polyurethane after the podge coating if you want a stronger sealant .Please wait for it to dry completely between coats. It is now water proof .

    As for how often I water - depends on the plant.When you feel it's drooping, leave the container in a bowl with water coming a little above the hole on the side. Water will seep in through the hole .

    I did sent an instructable with pictures explaining the method but it doesn't seem to have gone thru. Will try once again.Meanwhile I hope this makes sense.Please read my comment given on April 3,2011.

    Nice instructible, simple screw mount idea. Great!

    Regarding decoupage, is polyurethane expensive to use as a coating? Would something like a soda can or other canned food can be cheaper or better in any way?

    It's a good idea and easy too.Do you decoupage ?Here's what I did - decoupaged the bottles -with fabric and also paper napkins. Only problem is,if left out in the sun, the fabric ones fade esp. the blue ones. Recently I got some mod podge that is made specially for out doors. Haven't tried it yet .The ones inside are fine. Have had them for about six months or more and the plants are doing well .I used bright printed cotton handloom and they look beautiful.Am teaching friends how to decoupage them now - sold some too. Also Decoupaged plastic pots to match the decor .If using paper napkins be sure to seal it with podge- give it at least a couple of coats. Dont know how to send pictures- don't have a camera either!!! I'll try and get a friend to do it for me perhaps. Am sure you'll enjoy doing- all the best

    Leaving the soda label intact, spray the top of the bottle (becomes the bottom when you invert bottle) with flat black spray paint... This will solve your problem easily.

    Sweet! Excellent Instructable. Love the drain-down.

    i made one of these but with six 2 liter soda bottles and 3 32 ounce poweraide bottles in the middle. made out of some pieces of wood i had from a patio covering i tore down. i made L brackets out of an aluminum rod i had, by hammering it flat and bending it. I also made an a frame to support it because mine is a free standing unit for my patio.i can move it easily when need be.

    Cool idea, but the soil in the top layers will soon loose all its nutrition because of the constant over-watering. The water will transport nutrition down to the bottom layers of bottles. It could still work in long term though if you plant plants who need less nutrition in the top and more nutrition-demanding plants in the bottom. For how long have you'r "wall" been up and running? Thanks for the instructions!

    3 replies

    You don't just pour a ton of water in the top and let it pour down... You pour a little bit to hydrate the soil, and then the excess will drip out the bottom if there is any. My grandma, bless her zombie bones, did this for decades with no issue at all. She also did a modified tshirt trick as mentioned by 'CWW' which works very well... However, she went and sewed little 'socks' out of them so that she doesn't have a bunch of extra shirt and it would roll over the top lip of the container.

    Why bother sewing socks? What a great use of old men socks, just cut to size and slip over the bottles.

    Plants need fertilizer anyway for best results, so you simply add more to the top pot than the rest, or use granular fertilizer which is slow to dissolve and migrate through the soil when watering.