Monday, March 19, 2012

Sub-irrigation Planters From Soda Bottles

I ran across an interesting planter last week and decided to give it a try. They are called Soda Bottle Sub-irrigation planters. The pdf file I used is here.

There is a good photo tutorial here.

This link has SIPs with deli containers on top to make a little greenhouse.

I have 7 soda bottle sub-irrigation planters sitting in my south window. Most have tomato seeds planted in them.
I ran across this idea, too. Planting the base of the celery stalk in dirt and letting it grow new celery stalks. We'll see how that works! I'm going to plant some green onions in another.
You can see the water sitting in the bottom of the bottle. The 'wick' draws up the water into the dirt, but the dirt doesn't sit and soak in the water so the roots of the plants don't rot.
Here's a quick step-by-step to what I did. If you want drawings, download the file at the beginning of the post.

1. Take the label off a 2-liter soda bottle.
2. Make a cutting line 4" (approximately) from the base of the soda bottle
3. Cut along the line. I used a serrated knife. It worked better than scissors or an xacto knife for me.
4. Cut or drill holes in the neck (top) of the bottle so water can drain out
5. Put a piece of polyester batting or cotton rag in the neck of the bottle to keep the dirt in the bottle
6. Place the bottle with the neck pointing down into the base of the bottle (see the photos above)
7. Make sure the original opening of the bottle (where the soda came out) touches the bottom of the base. If it doesn't, then trim the bottom shorter than 4" until the top fits inside the bottom and the soda hole touches the bottom.
8. Fill with potting soil, not garden dirt. Potting soil wicks moisture better than garden dirt.

Water the planter before planting seeds so the seeds stay where you put them and don't get washed around by the water.

Sit the soda bottle sub-irrigation planter (SIP) in a south window and {hopefully} the seeds and plants will grow.

You can use 1, 2, or 3-liter soda bottles.  Global Buckets has directions (and videos!) to make an SIP from 5 gallon buckets.

If you want a photo tutorial, please leave a comment. I'll be happy to put one together.

3 comments:

Marie said...

What a great idea! Thanks for sharing! I may have to try this this weekend.

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

Thats a neat idea!!!

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

This would be a neat idea for a 4H project!! Thank you for sharing!