Water Bottle Hacks For Your Garden
Shannon King, Charity Director
One thing that the planet has way too much of is plastic trash. On the most remote and uninhabited islands around the world you will find trash on the beach. Man leaves his dirty mark pretty much everywhere. It’s up to us to be personally responsible and do our part each day to minimize our waste and to clean up our environment. One way we can do this is by regularly practicing the 3 Rs – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
One thing you can find pretty much anywhere is a discarded water bottle. There are so many neat ways to re-purpose plastic water bottles. If you aren’t going to use you bottles or the ones you rescue your environment from PLEASE throw them in a recycle bin somewhere. Today let’s look at some fun and creative ways to utilize those bottles for your garden.
Self-Watering Seed Pot
Plastic water bottle, 2 Liter is best
- Potting soil
- Thick string or yarn
- Phillips screwdriver
- Sharp blade or scissors to cut the bottle
- Cut the bottle in half.
- Use the hammer and screwdriver to punch a hole in the cap.
- Cut a length of string or yarn 1-1.5” long, double it over and tie a loop in one end. Thread the string through the underside of the cap so that the knot and loop are on the underside of the cap with the ends going up through the top. This acts as a wick pulling water up into the soil. The plants will soak up the needed amount of water so your soil moisture stays regulated.
- Place the lid back onto the bottle and insert the top half of the bottle into the base with the cap end down.
- Add potting soil and seeds into the open end of the top ½ of your bottle. Hold the string up while you add the soil so that it extends up through the soil and isn’t in a lump at the bottom. Be sure to label your bottle so you remember what is in which pot.
- To begin you will need to water the soil from the top to be sure it is evenly moistened and that the string is also wet or the surface tension of the water will prevent the mechanism from working correctly.
- Add a small amount of water to the base of your pot so that the loop of the string is sitting in a pool of water. When you need to add water simply add more here.
- Place your pot in a sunny area and watch for your seeds to sprout.
- *Extra! If you desire a greenhouse effect simply cut another water bottle in half, remove the cap and place it over the top. You may need to secure it in place with tape.
Plastic Bottle Drip Feeder
- Large plastic bottle
- Something sharp to cut the bottle
- Something to punch or cut small holes in the plastic
- Optional: cut the neck off of the bottle so filling it is easier. Personally, living in California I like the tapered neck as it reduces evaporation. You could even cap it off if you really wanted to.
- Punch or cut holes all over the bottle as shown. I have used a screwdriver and heated the end over the stove to melt the holes in mine.
- Place the bottle completely into the ground next to your plant. On another personal note, I would place the bottle when planting your seedling so that the root system isn’t disturbed by adding this after the plant is established. You could use a larger bottle and add plants around it in a large pot.
- Fill your bottle with water and let the drip watering begin.
- 2 Liter water bottle
- Something to punch holes in the plastic
- Garden hose
This one is as simple as it looks! Punch holes in your bottle however you want it to spray and screw it on to your hose. I have not tried this one myself. Some pictures I saw show the bottle duct taped on but most references say that the bottle should screw onto the end of the hose.
- ¼” copper tubing (I’m curious if this would work with a plastic bendy straw. I have also seen photos using the liquor pouring stoppers)
- Water proof sealant, preferably food safe
- Plastic water bottle
- Wire or string
- Hammer & Philips screwdriver
- Bend your tubing at an angle as shown above.
- Punch a hole in your cap and insert the tubing.
- Seal the tubing in place.
- Add hummingbird feed to your bottle & screw on the lid.
- Use string or wire to hang your new feeder.
There are so many fun things to make with water bottles. Kids love fun and easy crafts so this is a great way to engage their creativity and use up some trash all at once. Have fun exploring ways to re-purpose items that may otherwise end up in the waste bin.