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Old March 14, 2009   #1
ContainerTed
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Default Self-Watering Soda Bottle Planters

Got to thinking about what to do with those 2 liter soda bottles. Didn't have a huge laser to cut nice edges, but I'll solve the cosmetic problems later. Anyhow, here's my version of a soda bottle SWC.

Materials include: One 2 liter plastic soda bottle, one soda straw (bendable), one 12 inch long section from the leg of a pair of pantyhose, one seed-bead funnel, some duct tape or a hot glue gun, and your favorite potting mix.

Pix1 shows the initial cut and holes to drill. Make this cut using the top of the label as a guide. Drill several holes in the shoulder area for aeration of the mix. Pix2 shows where to drill two holes all the way through the neck (about 90 degrees apart - one that breaks the edge.

Pix3 shows two holes drilled in the main bottle and a soda straw pushed thru the upper one. The top piece has been covered with the piece of throwaway pantyhose and pushed down into the main bottle. I wrapped the pantyhose over the outside and then back down into the inside. Now take a small amount of prepared potting mix and tightly pack the neck area. Then fill'er up.

Pix4 shows the small funnel (sold where hobby beads are found) used to help fill the water reservoir. Pix 5 shows one that was set up a few days ago. The tomato plant has doubled its size sitting on a window sill.

I've delayed painting these yet so that I could get photographs that let you see inside.

Thanks to Raybo for the idea of some kind of cloth-type barrier to keep the potting mix from getting into the water reservior area. Took me about 15 minutes from start to plant in place. The soda straw can be routed inside (Pix5), but his requires a hole thru the top piece and pantyhose so that the straw ends up in the water reservior. I found that routing the straw outside (Pix3 and Pix4) to be easier and, for me, preferable. Make sure the soda straw hole is located ABOVE the overflow hole (Pix3). Pix5 shows some duct tape on the sharp edge where the bottle was cut in half. This is to keep from cutting the plants.

Ted
Attached Images
File Type: jpg SodaSWC1.JPG (51.7 KB, 165 views)
File Type: jpg SodaSWC2.JPG (47.9 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg SodaSWC3.JPG (43.6 KB, 161 views)
File Type: jpg SodaSWC4.JPG (48.2 KB, 158 views)
File Type: jpg SodaSWC5.JPG (70.9 KB, 217 views)
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Old March 14, 2009   #2
newatthiskat
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That is a really good idea! Way to go Ted
Kat
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Old March 15, 2009   #3
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Where's the duct tape? Those are clever but I would need quite a few of them to plant my tomato starts in and I don't have near the quantity that you grow out Ted.
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Old March 15, 2009   #4
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I am thinking Tiny Tim.
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Old March 15, 2009   #5
amideutch
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100 mph tape. The variety of uses for this tape is unbelievable. Good work Ted. Ami
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Old March 15, 2009   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akgardengirl View Post
Where's the duct tape? Those are clever but I would need quite a few of them to plant my tomato starts in and I don't have near the quantity that you grow out Ted.
Sue
I used duct tape in two places - around the top edge to help prevent the sharp plastic from cutting any leaves or branches that may "lay" out there, and also used it to "tack things into place until the potting mix could hold things in place.

And, Sue, I can put 6 of these on a 36 inch wide window sill.

Now, for some paint. I figure some Krylon or Valspar's spray paint for plastic and then decorate to your heart's content.

Ted
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Old March 15, 2009   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newatthiskat View Post
I am thinking Tiny Tim.
Kat
Yes, Kat, and Totem, Red Robin, Microtom, Yellow Canary, and a few that I got from Andrey, and others. There are some super-small peppers.

I also thought that this would work well for rooting cuttings from tomatoes and other plants. My brain is on overdrive about how many uses this can serve. Primarily, you can create a "micro soil environment" for any plant with unusual pH or fertilizer needs. I'm going to make a cluster of them for an indoor herb garden.

It also lets you leave for a few days and not worry about watering the plants.

Ted
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Old March 15, 2009   #8
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Looks the right size for an indoor strawberry plant, too.
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Old March 15, 2009   #9
dcarch
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Instead of duct tape, another way to avoid sharp edges is to do the following:

Use a table knife, or something similar, heat it up to very hot on you gas range, but not red hot.

You can then cut the bottles easily using the hot knife. The edges after the cutting are very smooth, no need for duct tape.

If you use two knifes, have one always on the fire while the one you are using is cooling down, you can do a lot of bottles quickly.

You can also use a soldering iron with a cutting tip.

Hot cutting will not require a pilot-hole to be made first.

dcarch
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