Thursday, June 12, 2008

Grow a Garden in a Bottle - wikiHow


How to Grow a Garden in a Bottle


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

A bottle can be recycled to function as a miniature greenhouse. This is a great project for class or a home craft during vacation time. It is creative, easy and fun to make. The result can make for a unique decoration and a way to keep your green thumb busy through the wintertime.

Steps


  1. Select a good bottle or a jar. The bottle should be large enough to allow room for plants to grow. Clean it and allow the bottle to dry thoroughly before using it. The larger the opening, the easier it'll be to maintain the garden.
  2. Turn the bottle onto its side. This will form the base of the bottle garden.
    • If the jar or container has a large enough opening or is not stable on its side, you can keep it facing up.

  3. Place pebbles and sand on the base of the bottle. You can use a small spoon through the mouth of the bottle to add the pebbles and sand and move them around. This will provide a good drainage base for the plants. Wet the sand before putting it in place. Do not underestimate the importance of good drainage, as the bottle does not have drainage holes and wet substrate can lead to fungus issues.
    • Adding a thin layer of activated charcoal on top of the drainage layer will minimize any smell caused by decomposition within the bottle.[1]
    • An additional thin layer of sphagnum moss will prevent the soil from settling into the drainage layer.[2]

  4. Cover the sand and pebbles with soil. The soil should be good quality and pre-dampened. If you accidentally get soil on the sides of the bottle, obscuring the view, you can tie gauze or cotton to the end of a pencil and reach in to wipe off the soil.
  5. Plant the garden. Choose seeds of small indoor plants. Place the seeds in the soil using tweezers, a long, thin stick (if you have a steady hand) or chopsticks. Put the seeds in different spots to make it an interesting arrangement.
    • Bottle gardening lends itself well to plants which require a good deal of humidity (e.g. tropical plants) because the bottle will trap moisture.[3]
    • Do not mix plants with different requirements, especially in terms of water. Growing a thirsty plant next to a cactus will make for difficult maintenance.
    • You can also make an aquatic bottle garden (shown in a previous step).

  6. Watch the plants grow. Tend to them as they mature. The plants will need air and moisture. Be sure to perforate the lid or cap of the bottle or jar, or don't put it on at all. Use a water sprayer to put moisture into the bottle. Only water when no condensation is observed on the glass--it's always better to under water than over water to prevent the growth of fungus or mold.[4]


Tips


  • You may choose to cover the bottle or jar to prevent evaporation. If you are doing this as a class project, test what happens to bottles that are covered and bottles that are uncovered.


Warnings


  • Do not place the bottle in full sun. This miniature ecosystem can heat up too quickly and burn the plants or your fingers! (Don't leave it in the dark all the time either.)
  • Be careful what sorts of bottles or jars you use. Be mindful of the environment that you get them from. A discarded bottle (i.e. one you find on the side of the road) may be toxic, poisonous, or otherwise harmful to you. Always exercise prudence and caution with waste materials. Be sure to clean reused materials thoroughly, and sanitize anything the bottle or jar may have come into contact with, including yourself.


Things You'll Need


  • Bottle or jar; decent size to allow the miniature garden to grow
  • Sand and/or pebbles
  • Rich soil
  • Seeds
  • Tweezers or a long, thin stick
  • Sprayer


Related wikiHows




Sources and Citations


  • Adapted from Marguerite Ickis, Handicrafts and Hobbies: For Pleasure and Profit, (1948); text in the public domain.

  1. http://www.thegardenhelper.com/terrarium.html

  2. http://www.thegardenhelper.com/terrarium.html

  3. http://www.thegardenhelper.com/terrarium.html

  4. http://www.thegardenhelper.com/terrarium.html



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Grow a Garden in a Bottle - wikiHow

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