I’ve had some old lolly bottles kicking around at work for some time, waiting for a chance to reuse them in the garden. I was initially thinking cloches for little seedlings but I saw a YouTube video on Facebook of some guy’s hanging garden, made of waste water bottles and was inspired to do some planting in them.
I was thinking of doing something like the hanging system in the link above but don’t really have anywhere stable enough outside to erect it, so I had to rethink.
I decided to keep the principle of turning plastic bottles into pots for salad leaf and set to work with a stanley knife.
I first knocked some holes in the lids with a hammer and nail. This was tricky, as the plastic lid was very brittle and the holes became cracks. If I had a drill, it would have been very useful at this point! I then turned the bottles upside down (lid down) and cut D-shaped windows in each side with the stanley knife.
I filled the bottles about half full, to two inches below the bottom of the D-shaped windows, with home made compost and vermiculite. I then sowed some rocket and baby leaf salad mix in them.
Three of the bottle planters are used like normal pots and stand on my table in the garden. I had a bit of wire kicking about in my tool box, so I made a handle for the forth planter, making it an individual hanging version, which can hang on the trampoline frame.
Finally, to protect the roots of the salad from sunlight, I painted the bottom half of the bottles with some blue tile paint that I had kicking around in the shed.
With the remaining plastic above the soil level acting like a mini greenhouse, the seeds germinated really quickly and all four of the planters are already getting full of little seedlings.