Indoor Vertical Garden With Recycled Bottles




About: live in belgium

This is my first instructable. Enjoy it and I am always open for feedback.

I saw this great Instructable and since I don't have acces to the outside I wanted to make one that fitted on my windowsill. It turned out to be quite easy and fun.

Please read everything before you start. Otherwise you might make mistakes and that will cost you money and time.

Step 1: Collect the Supplies/What You Need...


Ask people around you to collect plastic bottles and scrap wood.

(I got my wood from my neighbours' leftover-terrace-roof-project.)

A lot of fabric (preferably the thick kind)

Spray paint (if you don't want to use fabric)

metal Wire thread (if possible the non-rust kind)


planting Soil


Tools you will need:

1x wood saw

And assortment of drill bits.

1x Dril

1x hole-saw 7-8 cm (depends on the bottles and the size of the wood you use)

An assortment of wood screws. (this depends on the size of your wood.)

Woodglue (Wich I didn't use but you should.)

Sewing machine

Knife and/or scissors

Step 2: Measure Up...

Take a trusty measuring device and measure up your window sill.

Step 3: Construct Your Rack.

Sadly enough I already made the 2 stands before I started to take pictures. I apologize for this. But watch at the picture. It's not that complicated.


Vertical Stand: 165x4x4 cm

Feet: 45x6,5x4 cm

Support: 9x4x4 cm

Shelves: 9X70X1,8 cm

I used very long and/or very thick screw so I drilled a small hole first.

Be sure you apply wood glue to each bond. This makes a much stronger bond.

Step 4: Drill Your Holes

Measure up the position of the holes and pre-drill them.

I got 5 on a shelve.

(I messed up the measurments. So some holes where a bit close to the edge.)

Step 5: Garden, Assemble!!!

Put your sides on the windowsill and assemble everything.

Be very careful because it can be a bit wonky at first. It might help to pre-drill the shelves.

Step 6: Sewing Sunprotection (or Spraypaint It)

Now comes the sewing part. You will need to protect your plants roots against sunlight.

I used some cheap nylon I had laying around and some kind off black garden plastic. (I don't know what's it called)

Sew a sort of tube for the outside and a sort of sock for the inside.

You can spray paint this but you will at least need 3 layers of paint.

Step 7: Get a Good Night Sleep and Find a Problem

I got a good night sleep. The next morning I put my bottles in my rack for a "dry-run".

As you can see on the picture you see that the top row has not much place to let anything grow.

After a simple breakfast I had found the solution.

I will fix this in the coming days, It isn't really vital for the moment.

Step 8: Drill Holes and Attach Tubes

For better drainage and less mess you can best fit the bottles with some simple tubes.

Drill holes and insert the tubes.

Now this next thing is very important: DO NOT cut the tubes before you insert it. This makes sure it is long enough.

Update: Use superglue to glue the tubes in the caps. Otherwise you will have major leakage.

Step 9: Keep the Wild Tubes in Line

Because I bought a bit thicker tube it is more prone to bend an curl.

So I made a simple holder out of some wire thread.

Step 10: Start Planting.

This can get complicated. Follow this simple steps.

1) Fill the bottle with a 4-6cm Hydrokorrels (I don't know it's english name)

2) Put back the inner fabric (if you didn't paint the bottle)

I forgot to do this with the first bottle. Created a big mess.

3) Add soil.

4) Add plant.

5) Add more soil

6) Give water

7) Repeat with new bottle

Be sure to put enough soil under your plant. Otherwise your plant will fall to deep and will be lost forever.

Step 11: Conclusion

This project took me about a week. But mostly I had to wait to get tools from friends and it wasn't always easy to contact them.

It was more challenging than expected. Especially the the sewing was a giant mess. I made about 20 different test pieces before I got it right.

Please enjoy and let me know what you guys think about it.

Step 12: The Future of This Project.

I will make some nice additions to this. Most of them will be separate projects.

  • I want to make a cheap automatic watering system.
  • Modify the top bottles (Made it!!)
  • Add a side rack for tomatoes
  • Add a Strawberry tower
  • ...
  • ... (Now one knows what the future will bring.)

UPDATE: After some experience with this I can tell that this only works if you use small plants. When the plants start to grow and are to big they won't hold enough water and it is much more work to water them.

I also am about to move and it doesn't fit in my new apartment so It's been disassembled and is on it's way out...



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    6 Discussions

    Akin Yildiz

    4 years ago on Introduction

    very cool stuff. but looks like your apartment doesn't get full sun just like mine. i have been prototyping to overcome this problem. check it out..!

    Screenshot 2014-05-15 at 20.58.03.pngIMAG0479.jpgIMAG0481.jpgIMAG0484.jpgIMAG0492.jpg
    1 reply
    dmoonenAkin Yildiz

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    That's really nice. The hanging system is quite ingenious.

    I was considering growlights for in the winter.
    In the Summer I'm ok since my windows are oriented SouthWest. They are growing nicely.

    Thanks for the pictures.