The best DIY projects are the ones that take materials that we already have lying around not really serving any purpose, or things that are considered used up, and give them a second chance. By using re using materials, we are diverting them from landfills, while saving a bit of money along the way, which is always nice. A win/win for thrifty gardeners and mother earth alike!
The little bottle greenhouse is an ideal environment to help your seedlings to thrive, and it is very simple to make. The greenhouse effect created within the plastic container will require minimum watering (if any!) as the condensation is trapped inside.
- A seed (nearly any kind will do). The one in the picture above is an egg plant seedling.
- A small piece of cardboard (a toilet paper roll cut in half)
- Some soil (preferably potting soil)
- Fertiliser (I use a few pellets of organic chicken manure, but you can use any kind)
- A plastic see through bottle (Any size will do but the bigger the bottle the more space the seedling will have to stretch out its leaves before needing to be re-planted)
- Optional/ Permanent marker (like a sharpie) to label the bottle if planting more than one type of seed to identify type.
STEP ONE. Cut plastic bottle in half. You might find it easier to cut, if you take the cap off and slightly flatten it (without bending it out of shape). Remove the top half and put aside.
Pierce two or three holes at the bottom (you might need to use a sharp knife if the scissors you are using are not pointy enough to pierce the plastic.
STEP TWO. Place small cardboard square at the bottom, then fill bottom with one or two scoops of soil (without filling to the top). Make a hole in the middle of the soil and sprinkle a pinch of fertiliser. Add a few drops of water over the fertiliser and fill in the hole with more soil.
STEP THREE. Add seed/s pushing only slightly below soil surface (about half a cm), and replace top. If you have trouble fitting the top half of the bottle back on, make a small vertical cut (about 2 cm) on the edge of the top half of the bottle. This is not necessary as the point is for the top to fit snug, so it won’t be knocked over by strong wind.
If you are leaving your little greenhouse out in the rain, you will not need to worry about regularly watering it. You can leave the cap off when it rains, and replace on sunny days to contain the moisture.
The holes you made at the bottom will drain any excess water, to avoid flooding the seedling.
Make more than one, and proudly watch as your seeds become little sprouts before your eyes!