Introduction: Vertical Gardening in a Bottle!
Open spaces are every gardener's dream. The limitless area to grow trees and plants is indeed exciting. But, enter the city and there's not an inch to spare. Plants takes a back seat as steel and concrete reign supreme. Then, in order to bring back the greenery in the city, there came the garden pot. Though still popular, it has one drawback. The area available for sowing seeds is lesser than the total area of the pot. The area on its sides is going unused.
Thus, I decided to make a vertical garden where not an inch of soil is wasted.
Here is what we will need to make it:
- A plastic bottle (the wider the better)
- Seeds of your choice
- Something to make holes with (I used a heated iron rod)
- Something to cut with (a knife, perhaps)
Let's get started!
Step 1: Sprouting the Seeds
In order for this method of gardening to work, we need the seeds to grow sprouts. I have used lentils here as they grow faster and look quite good as well. Feel free to experiment with different varieties. (I suggest you use dicots as monocots are quite cumbersome to grow!)
First, soak the seeds(as many as you want) in water for 5-6 hours. Then, cover the seeds in a damp piece of cloth and leave it undisturbed for 10-12 hours. You will see that the seeds have grown sprouts. The longer the sprout, the better it is.
Now that our seeds are ready, let's move on with customizing the bottle!
Step 2: Setting Up the Bottle
I have used a 1 litre bottle for this purpose. First, cut off the top of the bottle. Then, make holes on its sides! Remember that no two holes should be on the same vertical line. Try making holes in a random fashion. This helps all the seeds to get equal amount of sunshine and water.
Ensure that the holes are big enough for the seeds to fit in without getting squished! Also make sure that you have more seed than holes!
Finally, fill in the soil. I suggest you put the soil layer by layer and with a generous sprinkle of water between each layer. This ensures that all the layers remain moist. Also make a hole in the center so that the water reaches the bottom of the bottle as well.
Step 3: Placing the Seeds
First, place the sprout in the soil. Then, carefully put the seed halfway into the hole. Do this for all the holes. Once you notice that the leaves are going to grow, slowly pull back the seed such that it is suspended from the bottle. Let the sprout stay in the soil. The sprout will become the root and the seed will be the shoot part. Water regularly through the hole in the center. You might notice that the water flows out from the holes, but that's no issue. If some soil goes along with the water, top up some soil every few weeks. The plants may also require a bit more watering due to this unusual way of planting them.
Step 4: Done!
A few days later, you will see that your plants have grown! And they have grown vertically! How did that happen? These plants were attracted towards the sun and they grew upwards! That's how. Now we have a true vertical garden! Sure looks beautiful!
Note: This unusual way of growing the plants means that not all of them will grow. Some might die even before growing stems. Make sure you have plenty of reserve seeds :)
Please comment if you have any suggestions or queries!