Intro: Spiral Garden With Recycled Bottles
Do you want to have some gardening spot in your house and reuse that bottles from the last party?. Well this instructable might be just what you are looking for. I always store the bottles and most things that come across and shouldn't be spendable, or at least can be reused. Recently a friend of mine showed me a Spiral Garden: http://permaculturenews.org/2015/04/17/the-magic-and-mystery-of-constructing-an-herb-spiral-and-why-every-suburban-lawn-should-have-one/
I don't really know whether Spiral Gardens have all the benefits that some posts claim on the internet, and I won't discuss it; but here are my thoughts so far:
· They take advantage of small spaces, you certainly increase the amount of soil in order to make the spiral
· Some plants do need shade and other need the most amount of light possible, the last ones can go on top of the spiral
· Maintenance and harvesting is easy as you can reach any point of the spiral by just extending your hand
· It just looks nice!
Step 1: Gather the Materials
Before I start this list, you should note that materials will vary with the diameter and height of the spiral (sorry if I get mathematical here, I just love to mess around with numbers).
When I started this I wanted to make concentric circles instead of spirals, I even started the construction of this in that way, but my friend told me she wanted Spiral.. so we did an spiral at the end, nevertheless the construction started both in paper and physically with concentric circles.
For the number of bottles use this approach:
Number of bottles=1,2x(Number of floors)x(Diameter of spiral)/(Diameter of bottle)
For example we used 6cm diameter bottles, made 3 floors, and the base of the spiral was 110cm diameter. This computes into 66 bottles which is approximately the number of bottles that we used. Of course this number may vary, but you can get an estimation of how many bottles you may use.
The soil however occupies a circular area, that means that the bigger the diameter the soil you should add increases quadratically! I won't bring more mathematics here as this is not exact, just imagine filling the first circle with soil and duplicate the number, expect to use a lot of soil. I will list the materials used in this particular approach
· 66 bottles
· 27 flat rocks (14cm large)
· 6 sacks of soil
· Steel wire 8 meters
· Different kinds of herbs
· Shovel, and gardening tools
This materials can be found in a hardware store, gardening stores, and maybe in an excursion to the countryside. If you don't have that many bottles they can be found after some friend's party, or maybe you can ask for them in a bar.
Step 2: Build the Concentric Circles
Yes, I know that the final goal here is a Spiral, but first construct concentric circles, it will be easier to manage and will give an sturdier construction.
First you must define how much area are you willing to occupy, and then cut a string with the length of the radius. Fix one end to the center and then draw and mark the circle with the other extreme of the string.
Use the shovel to get rid of the grass inside the circle, dig a little , something like 10cm beneath the rest of the terrain. This will help water to be collected at the base.
Put the rocks in the perimeter of the circle. This will create a barrier that prevents grass to grow back into the circle
Build your circles!
Measure 22cm from the outer circle and start placing the bottles into the inner circle, a quick way to do this was laying down the bottle (whose length is 22cm), and then pushing the neck until the body was half underneath the ground. Repeat until a circle is completed. Stomp with your foot next to the bottles, make sure the ground is compact. Fill the inner of the new circle with soil until it reaches the top of the bottles, then stomp the newly added soil, apply some water to compact the terrain. With the steel wire tie the circle of bottles from its outermost side, the pliers will be useful to tighten up the wire and to cut it.
Repeat the process with a new inner circle of bottles, place them, stomp a little, fill with soil and tighten up.
Reach the desired height, in this case we used 3 circles.
Now in order to make the spiral you should remove one third of the circular section and rearrange it to touch the outer circle, see the diagram. Add soil to keep the bottles in place. If you are concerned in how steep the slopes should be, just look at the inclination of the mountains in your area, your spiral now resemble a little mountain, the erosion in your place shouldn't make the soil slip, the whole construction should be sturdy, if not it will crumble, but don't worry too much, roots of the herbs will help to hold the soil in place
Step 3: Final Touches
Once your spiral is done you may water it, this will help the soil to compact, will test if your construction can endure the additional weight of the water, and will make it easier to plant the herbs later.
Let it dry for 10 minutes or so, take a break, from this point rain shouldn't destroy your construction and you should feel happy..! Think of the actual plants that you wish to put in and how do you want to arrange it, most of the spirals there have herbs, they are small and won't grow a big root system, but there are other plants that could be planted as well like broccoli, onions, small tomatoes, strawbeerries, yerbabuena, oregano, cabbage, etc. Take the plants you want and transplant them into the spiral, this is better done at sunrise or sunset, the reason is that sunlight might be too stressful for the root, avoid to expose the roots to the light. And now... this is the end.. my only friend the end..Have some fun and make a nice garden for you or your friends, seed different things! If you liked this instructable, you may also want to check out what to do if you get some spare bottles:https://www.instructables.com/id/Poormans-Bottle-cutter/