Instructables

Making Your Own Home Garden Containers From Plastic Bottles

Picture of Making Your Own Home Garden Containers From Plastic Bottles
2-liter-soda-bottle.jpg
If you're like me, you start your garden while there's still snow on the ground. You probably also have plants that never actually go into the ground and stay in your house. Kitchen herbs and so forth are prime examples. Spinach is another favorite, since you can pick young leaves and eat them at just a few weeks from seed.

Rather than buy a lot of pots to put those in, or purchase a bunch of high-dollar planters for seed starting, I like to just collect containers throughout the year and then use them in the early spring to get my garden going. I live in the north-central U.S. (Wyoming), so getting a head start on my garden is important.

Until you start collecting them (I have a shelf in the basement that these end up getting stacked on), you never realize how many plastic containers of various shapes and sizes you end up with over a year's time. Dozens upon dozens if you have a fairly normal lifestyle. Hundreds of thousands if you're a soda addict.
 
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Step 1: Cutting the Bottle To Size

Picture of Cutting the Bottle To Size
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For this demonstration, I've chosen a simple 2-liter soda bottle. The kind that Coke, Pepsi, 7up, and all the rest come in. I've removed the label and rinsed the bottle with soapy water. You can wash it after you've cut it, which is actually easier, if you'd like. It's all the same.

First, take the bottle and select a spot roughly between halfway and 2/3 of the way up the bottle (in height). How high you decide to cut it is up to you, but the deeper your bottom portion is, the more dirt you'll need and the more roots you'll have for transplanting. As a rule of thumb, I cut them in half for seedlings to starters that will be transplanted and deeper if I plan to use it as a semi-permanent growing pot.

Press the bottle fairly flat and cut it with scissors. A knife will work too, but it's easy to slice yourself instead of the bottle, so I prefer scissors. I still have all ten digits on my hands, so that's proof in the puddin'.
nice idea plz share what can we plant in these ?explain more about plants ? thanks
C18H21NO44 years ago
Just curious....What do you plant? I bought 4 tiny clay pots today to put in my windowsill, and I'm not sure what to plant in them. What's something that won't outgrow the pots for awhile? I'd like to plant something useful, but I mainly want pretty ones. I like cacti, but they don't grow very fast here, and I want something I can watch grow.
Aaronicus (author)  C18H21NO44 years ago
Well, most of these went towards seed starting for the garden box outside.  The larger ones, like the coffee cans and (not pictured) repurposed 3-gallon buckets (used to have cat litter in 'em) are great for herb gardening. 

Even now in winter, we still have cilantro, basil, etc. all growing in our buckets indoors.  Makes cooking much better when you can just snip some off when you need it. 

We tried to grow catnip, but the critters got to it before it was high enough to start clipping.  :/ 

A friend also trains cherry tomato plants up a vine (she rigged the bottom drain train to include a stick coming up).  This setup allows the tomatoes to grow straight up and she clips the side branches off so it's a single vine.  Pretty cool setup.

The possibilities are almost limitless. 
I think I'll start with some cherry tomatoes. Thanks.
pretty sweet i did one with beans in a jar
mas97795 years ago
paint clear containers. light hurts roots.