In honor of Earth Day, we’d like to share this simple do it yourself, homemade self-watering seedling and herb planter idea. This is an easy way to recycle plastic water and soda bottles.
We like to find new ways to recycle or repurpose items that might otherwise end up in landfills. While plastic bottles can be recycled, it never hurts to use them for other things prior to recycling them. Here’s a fun way to start seedlings indoors and not have to worry if you happen to have a brown thumb and forget to water things in your care.
Soil-Less Potting Mix
Empty Water or Pop Bottles
Mini Paper Cupcake Liners
Seeds of your choice
Most water bottles are about 8 inches high, cut the bottle in half, at about 4 inches. You want to have enough room to have plenty of soil to get your seedlings started.
Poke a hole in the center of the paper cupcake liner.
Feed the Cotton string through the hole and tie it into a knot. It is imperative that you use 100% COTTON string, failure to do so will prevent water from getting to your seedlings.
Alternatively, if you want to keep lots of water in you can also poke a hole in the plastic bottle cap and slip the string through the hole, knotting it on the other side.
Slip the cupcake liner and string into the neck of the cut bottle, with the string hanging out.
Without the Cap:
With the Cap:
Fill it with soil-less potting mix. Dampen it with water, plant seeds of your choice and cover them lightly with “soil”. Water again.
Fill the bottom half of the bottle with fresh water and place the planted half inside to rest, ensuring that the string is fully submerged.
Water from the top daily until the seeds sprout and then they should be able to stay moist on their own with the water from the cotton string.
This is a wonderful way to have a small herb garden in your kitchen windowsill with minimal effort.
If you’re concerned about BPA’s and other potential chemicals from bottles, use recycled beer and wine bottles and make your own GLASS self-watering planters instead. Simply follow this tutorial here.
Please note, it is imperative that you don’t use compost or regular potting soil as they do not offer moisture wicking capabilities that soilless mixtures offer.