Soda Bottle Garden

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About: I like to tinker and experiment with electronics, robotics, programming, and photography. Along with my latest interest in Steampunk.

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.

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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.
Aluminum foil.
match or lighter to seal cord ends.
Seeds to plant. Try peas,tomatoes,peppers.

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    13 Discussions

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    alexandiria.baker23

    Question 1 year ago

    Does the plant survive in a 2-liter bottle.

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    bazalaz

    6 years ago on Step 10

    Great hanging garden! I have an idea. Search "Hempy Buckets". Basically prepare the bottle as you did however, instead of drilling the cap, leave it on. Melt a hole in the bottle 4" to 5" from the cap. Fill the bottle with rinsed perelite (spelling)? or plain pea gravel. The bottom acts as a res. if you mix in some vermiculite it will need less frequent watering. Water with any hydroponic product that has micro-nutrients included. ie General Hydroponics Maxi Grow Maxi Bloom series. Great Instructable! Thanks for sharing

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    pravs2k

    7 years ago on Introduction


    I stitched little coloful bags with the top and bottom open but with draw strings and pushed the bottle in upside down. The lid has a couple of holes in some;some have no holes but have a few small pebbles at the bottom.The strings at the top function as handles which are tied to the balcony railing.The bottom drawstring is pulled tight round the neck of the bottle and forms a frill.The bags are ten inches long and fits round the bottle snuggly. I also decoupaged two which hang one on top of the other.I water only the top one.The plants in both are doing well- have had them for almost a year.My railing looks very bright and colorful .

    2 replies
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    pravs2k

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Am sending the pictures-hope it works this time.Please let me know if it does not work.Tried once earlier today.Don't know if you got them.

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    Totysheep

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome instructable by the way! Why didn't I think of this??? I'm always looking for ways to plant my own veggies. Nice job!!!

    1 reply
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    TotysheepTotysheep

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I put my sodabottles on the ground and used the bars to tie up my tomatoes last year!! Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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    tim_n

    9 years ago on Introduction

    You could always run the excess water tubes to the bottom into a reservoir to conserve water and have a small pump on a switch to pump the excess back to the top again (perhaps on a timer?)  perhaps outside the scope of this project!

    2 replies
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    Totysheeptim_n

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Or you could let the water drip down into another planter under the hanging ones! That's how my mom used to water her plants :p

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    botronicstim_n

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I'm a little afraid of salts build up if I recycle water.  I am using Miracid to feed the plants. I hear that tomatoes are an acid loving plant.