I was reading some furniture blogs (doesn't everyone?) and noticed this post. It's a great idea and something like the earthboxes my mom grows tomatoes in, but the cost?!!? $55? That seems a bit much.
I decided to make something like that using a 2 liter bottle and a rag from an old t-shirt. Much lower cost and a nice weekend project.
My original idea was to cut off the top of a 2 litter bottle and put a standard terra cotta pot inside. The 2 liter would be the water reservoir and a scrap of a cotton t-shirt could act as the wick. Then I realised, well, if you turn the top of the 2 liter upside down you have a very nice cavity to put the potting mix in and a hole in the bottom (the original neck and opening) to run the wick through. After thinking it over we were off to the races.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- 2 liter bottle. Clear is good, other colors will work.
- rag from a cotton t-shirt. About 8" x 8" or so.
- Spray paint. I've read a few things that say planting containers should be darker colors to block light from damaging the roots. Fair enough. So you need to paint the top of the 2 liter once it's cut off. I used a black primer as a base coat and then a red gloss as a top coat.
- Potting Mix. Important: It's potting mix, NOT potting soil. From what I could find online, potting mix will "wick" the water to the roots of your plant and potting soil will not.
- Utility or xacto knife
- Medium or Fine Sand Paper. I'm using a fine grit sand sponge thingie - I love these things.
- You need to be able to cut a 2 liter bottle in half and while it can be a wild and wavy cut, nice and straight and flat is a good thing. I decided to do multiple planters so I set up a production tool. It's a 2x4 cut to 5.25" tall. On top of that I drilled pilot holes and screwed down a utility knife blade. By spinning the 2 liter around the blade I could get an even mark and most of the cut done. It would start to bind up for the last bit and for that I used the xacto knife.
- Sharpie, used to mark the fill line so a quick glance is all it needs.
- SOS pad for scubbin' off the last of the paper and glue from the 2 liter label.