Introduction: How to Create a Self-watering Seed Starter

Picture of How to Create a Self-watering Seed Starter
It is the time of year to get your seeds up and going in your homes, to prevent late frosts from doing damage if you plant them directly in your garden.  Also starting the seeds indoors means that they will produce (flowers, produce etc.) sooner.  Keeping the seeds, then seedlings moist enough to sprout can be a challenge until I came across this idea on Pintrest (  So I have created one to see if it works.  So here is How to Create a Self-watering Seed Starter.

Step 1:

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Empty 2 liter soda bottle
Potting soil
Box or craft knife
Water (not shown)
Piece of paper towel (not shown)

Step 2:

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If you haven’t already, remove the label from the 2 liter bottle.  It doesn’t have to be perfectly clean.
Pour some bleach into the bottom of the bottle. 

Step 3:

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Fill the bottle about 1/3 of the way full of water.  Put the lid back on the bottle.  Shake the bottle vigorously so that the bleach can kill any molds, fungus, etc. that might be in the bottle.  Empty out the bottle.

Step 4:

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Cut the top 1/3 of the bottle off (eye ball it).  Put the top 1/3 of the bottle mouth down into the bottom 2/3’s of the bottle.  You want the mouth of the bottle to almost reach the bottom.  Notice how it doesn’t do that.

Step 5:

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So you will need to cut about 2-3 inches off the bottom part.  Reinsert to see if it fits.

Step 6:

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Use the box cutter to poke some holes into the slanted edges of the neck of the bottle top.  This will help the potting soil absorb more water.

Step 7:

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Fold the piece of paper towel and stuff it into what will be the bottom of the soil holder.  The paper towel will prevent the soil from shifting down into the water below.

Step 8:

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Fill the top of the bottle with potting soil.  Wet it down. 

Step 9:

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Fill the bottom with water and put the potting soil filled top, mouth down into the water. Plant your seeds. I planted Pansy’s for my front yard.  I put a little chalkboard (Instructable found here: on the edge, so that I would remember which seed I planted in this seed starter.  Now place it in a sunny window and wait for the seeds to sprout.  I think that this will work.  Enjoy!


ClareBS (author)2012-06-07

Seed starting mix drying out is one sure way to kill seedlings and it isn't always easy to remember to keep them watered. This is a great idea and very simple, I'll try it for sure.

About This Instructable




Bio: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.
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