When I was at home, I would grow a garden every year. As I was sitting at my desk eating an orange and drinking out of a bottle of water, I had an idea.
I happened to think "Hey, why can't I have a garden here?" After thinking it over, I realized that my dorm wasn't large enough for a decent garden, and I really didn't want to spend a lot of money on seeds.
I started trying to find ideas for a plant that produces fruit or vegetables in a dorm that would be long lived, have readily available seeds, and didn't cost too much top start and maintain.
Thinking this over, I was spitting my orange seeds out into the garbage can, I started thinking "what good are those going to do going to a landfill?"
For me orange seeds seem to fit the bill:
~Orange trees might produce the fruit I want***.
~Orange trees live for years.
~Oranges are covered under my school's meal plan, so I have an almost unlimited supply of seeds.
~Most of the items needed are recycled and are free or low cost.
~I'm already paying for my meal plan, so why not?
***NOTE: This is a big "might". Most indoor fruit trees never produce fruit. Most don't get enough light and don't get large enough to fruit. Your chances get better if you put your plants outside during the summer (and maybe winter if you live somewhere insanely hot).
Step 1: Items Needed
-a water bottle- The thick ones with straight rings around it are better, but almost any plastic bottle will work.
-Soil- I suppose you could use soil from outside, but the ground was frozen and something tells me the campus officials would have my head if I took any of their dirt. The first time I did this I used peat pellets. They retain water and don't have much nutrition. I went out and bought top soil from a local big box store.
-knife- to cut the bottom of the bottle off. Remember cut away from yourself. Knives are sharp. Don't maim yourself. I'm not liable if you do.
Step 2: Eating... Just Like You Do (hopefully) Every Day
Make sure to save the seeds. If you don't, you'll have to eat another. That isn't a bad thing, but I found that each one I ate had between 1 and 7 seeds in it. The average was about 5 seeds per fruit. You don't want to waste all of those trees do you?
Step 3: Husk the Seeds
Step 4: Seed Soaking and Sorting
Take the seeds that sink and proceed to the next step.
Step 5: Germinate the Seeds
Check them every few days. When you see a root on a seed (I wait until the root gets to about 1/8", but you don't have to), take the seed and proceed to the next step. I've waited up to three weeks for the last seed to sprout. If they don't look like they're going to sprout at three weeks, I chuck them.
Step 6: The Greenhouse
Step 7: Cut the Bottle
Step 8: Fill the Bottom Half With Dirt
Step 9: Plant the Seeds and Put It Somewhere With a Lot of Light.
I put 3 seeds in each bottle. I intend to let them all grow up a little then pull out the weakest ones to leave 1 strong plant. I'll probably end up replanting the ones I pull out though.
Cover the seeds over with soil.
Put the top part of your greenhouse on and set the whole thing in a sunny window. Sometimes I tape the top of the greenhouse to the bottom so it doesn't fall off. Sometimes I don't.
I water the soil whenever it dries out (about 3 times a month). If the soil dries out too often, I just put the cap on the bottle. That keeps the moisture and heat in, but it needs to be removed for a little while each day so your plant can breathe.
Step 10: Final Results
I guess this isn't really worth it if your only goal is fruit, but they make really interesting plants, and are a great conversation starter. The trees are actually really attractive when they're full grown and they have a nice scent.
I had to plant some for my friends that live on the floor, so I must've done something right. I hope you enjoy this instructable as much as they did.