Summer is here! If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to get outside in your garden. I don’t have a ton of yard space, plus I rent the house we live in, so I tend to do a lot of container gardening. If you’re priced pots, you know they can get pricey fast. I have good news for you though, they don’t HAVE to be! I’ll prove it with today’s project, Recycle a 2 Liter Bottle into a Self Watering Planter! All you’ll need is a plant (or seeds). I used a Rosemary plant I found on clearance. You will also need some Miracle-Gro potting mix. Not only is gardening fun and rewarding, but it’s good for the environment too! Let’s get growing!
I know a lot of people out there think that gardening projects are difficult. “Heather, I don’t know anything about gardening!” You don’t have to! I will tell you though, that if you’re going to do container gardening, pick a quality potting soil. I learned this the hard way. There’s nothing worse than opening up a bag of cheapo soil and getting tons of rocks and sticks. Yuck. That is definitely not what your plants need. It gets hot here in Missouri during the summer, so I like to use Moisture Control Potting Mix. It holds extra moisture in the soil and releases it when the plants need it! Not to mention that if you over water, it can help your plants from getting too soggy and having root rot. Not pretty when that happens.
What You’ll Need:
- washed out, empty 2 liter plastic bottle
- Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
- A plant or seeds
- If you haven’t already, wash out your 2 liter bottle.
- Take your scissors or use an exacto knife (BE CAREFUL) and starting out at the top of the label and cutting across in a straight line, remove the top of the bottle from the rest of the bottle.
- Unscrew the cap so that it still stays on, but it’s loose. You do this to make sure that water can seep in, but the cap won’t fall off completely
- Remove the label from the bottle as best you can.
- Turn the top of the bottle, cap side facing down and push it into the bottom of the bottle. You want to make sure the cap is almost touching the bottom of the bottle.
- If you’re having trouble getting the top inside the bottle, just take your fingers, push the sides of the top of the bottle in and it will slip easier into the bottom of the bottle. Did that make sense? Good!
- Now all that’s left to do is put the soil into the top of your new container. Make sure that some soil gets pushed into the neck of the bottle too.
- Plant your seeds or plant as normal (dig a hole the depth as the root cluster, put in the plant, cover with soil, pat firmly)
- Water your plant. The excess will pool in the bottom of your new container. When the soil is dry, it will absorb water from the excess that has collected in your container. This means that you will need to water it less and it encourages roots to grow DOWN instead of just at the surface.
- To make mine “fancy pants”, I used some patterened Duct Tape to cover the outside. I left the bottom visible, so I know how much water is left in the bottom. If it gets low, just water your container and the excess water will again collect at the bottom. If you want, you can cover the brown water portion, but it makes it harder to monitor your water level. If you’re so inclined, you can cut a piece of another 2 liter bottle (like making a short sleeve), cover it with duct tape and slip it over the bottom to hide it. Then, when you need to check the water, you can slip it off. I didn’t do this, because the brown water didn’t bother me much. I”m cool like that ;)
You can also make these with smaller bottles for plants that don’t need lots of room like small succulents. Maybe the 2 liter bottle container isn’t your style, but you still want to garden? MiracleGro has you covered! They have a page full of fun garden projects for all seasons and all skill levels too, plus tips, videos and online tools to help with any common garden problems you might run into. If you’re planting in the ground, I’d also recommend Shake’n Feed All Purpose Plant Food. It’s as easy as it’s name implies. Just shake and feed. Can’t get too much simpler than that, am I right?
Want more gardening info and fun? Go over and like The Gro Project on Facebook. I did it months ago and I’m glad I did. I love getting new ideas. If I don’t use them this season, I can have the ideas in my mental file folder for next year.
Until next time, happy crafting!