Introduction: Soda Bottle Garden
I saw how others were growing tomatoes upside-down in soda bottles. That gave me the idea of using soda bottles to grow other vegetables right-side-up that like to climb supports. Growing peas this way seemed like a good idea. The supporting lines for the bottles would support the growth of the peas. So start digging out those bottles from your recycling bin and lets get to work.
Step 1: Cut the 2 Litre Sized Bottle
Rise out an empty 2 litre bottle, take off the label and cut the bottom off. Cut just beyond the mold line of the bottle. You can start the cut with a box cutter, then finish with scissors.
Step 2: Add 3 Holes
Use a hot nail or soldering iron to melt 3 supporting holes in the bottle. Make them about 3/16 inch in diameter.
Step 3: Make a Hole in the Cap
You will also need a hole in the cap for drainage. I used a 3/16 drill bit to bore a hole in the cap. I then used a reamer to adjust the hole big enough to accept plastic tubing for drainage (optional, see next step).
Step 4: Add Tubing
If you are hanging the bottle on a porch rail, you may want to add a short piece of tubing to divert drainage off to the side like I did.
Step 5: Add Support Ropes
I got some utility line (paracord) at Walmart for use as support lines for the bottle. Cut three cords each 2 feet long. Seal the ends with a flame from a match to keep them from fraying.
Step 6: Tie on the Supports
Slip the cord through the hole and tie a knot. Do all three and tie a knot at the top.
Step 7: Add Soil
Before filling the bottle with garden soil, place some Perlite or pebbles at the bottom for drainage. Fill with soil such as Miracle Grow or Supersoil. You can add Perlite to help lighten the mix and add extra drainage.
Step 8: Shade the Roots
Roots don't like the sun. Cover the bottle with aluminum foil to keep out the sun. This will also keep the soil from getting too hot in the sun.
Step 9: Add Your Seeds and Grow
Water the soil and add your seeds. I planted peas in mine. As you can see they are growing well and starting to climb the ropes. I'm also trying tomatoes and peppers. I tied the top of the support ropes with another piece of rope about 12 inches long to the top of my porch railing. I added a tie wrap to the line to keep the bottle steady when the wind blows (see photo). You can also use a plant food such as Miracid to increase growth. This may be important because of the limited soil volume.
Step 10: Material and Tools
2 Litre soda bottle
Utility cord (Walmart) or paracord. 3- two feet lengths and 1 one foot length.
Nail or soldering iron to melt holes.
Optional drill bit and/or reamer for drainage holes.
scissors and box cutter.
Soil for bottles and optional Perlite.
Plastic tubing 1/4 inch from Home Depot.
match or lighter to seal cord ends.
Seeds to plant. Try peas,tomatoes,peppers.