Get down and dirty in the garden
Three of my current obsessions are bottle cutting, container gardening and creative repurposing, especially glass. So you can imagine my abundant glee when I came across these self-watering planters by Potting Shed Creations comprised of cut, recycled wine bottles.
Truly a marriage of form and function, growbottles are as sustainable as they are stylish. Each one is made from a reclaimed restaurant wine bottle, and each kit includes everything you need—seeds, clay pebbles and vermiculite to retain moisture, wool wick to evenly distribute moisture, and plant nutrient mix—to start your own miniature hydrogarden as well as easy-to-follow directions to get you started.
I usually keep my growbottle near the window in my kitchen that gets the most sunlight, but if it’s a particularly beautiful day out, I set it outside for some fresh air. Photo By Dani Hurst.
I started my hydrogarden a little more than a month ago, and after some trials and tribulations, I am the proud caretaker of a family of thriving basil plants. Here are a few tips I learned along the way:
- Regardless of how vigilant and careful you are, you are going to lose some of your sprouts. That’s just how it is. The kit includes more seeds than you think you need, but you should plant them all because you never know how many will survive.
- When you’re first dispersing your seeds, make sure they fall between the clay pebbles so they stay as wet as possible.
- If your sprouts look droopy, place a plastic bag over the top of the bottle.
- Because this is a soil-less gardening container, you must take extra care to ensure your seeds and seedlings stay moist, which means daily spritzing and constant care, at least until the roots are well-established.
- Don’t move your grow bottle around any more than necessary at the beginning when the seedlings are small and delicate. Once your plants are more established, though, you can set your grow bottle outside for some fresh air.
Another great thing about growbottles is that they are meant to be used again and again. Once one crop has run its course, all you have to do is wash out the bottle, rinse off the clay pebbles and start over again. Potting Shed Creations sells replant kits ($6 each) that include seeds, plant nutrient, wool wick and vermiculite.
You can buy these amazing growbottles ($35 each), as well as view the many other Potting Shed Creations products, on the company's website.