Every year I start my seeds, indoors, about 6-8 weeks before the plants go into the ground outside.
Last year was the first year I tried starting my seeds in a pop bottle. Sound kinda weird? Not really if you think about it. A pop bottle is just like a mini greenhouse. It keeps the warm sunlight in and the cold temperatures out. Even in my cool basement the seeds are warm and snug in their individual little bottle greenhouses. The results I got were fantastic! I grew things like never before. Cilantro, basil, celery, and watermelon just to name a few.
I don’t have expensive lights to grow my seedlings under and I don’t have tons of space either. What I do have is a sunny 8′ basement potting bench that has 6 hours of direct sunlight a day and a bottle garden works perfectly in this scenario.
For the next 6 to 8 weeks I will report back each week on how the seeds are germinating and let you take a look inside the bottles to prove that you don’t need expensive lights and fancy heating mats to grow strong, healthy seedlings.
Here are the steps to start using a 2 liter plastic pop bottle for a mini greenhouse.
Cut two clean 2 liter pop bottles in half with a sharp knife by poking the tip of the knife into the sides of one of the bottles and slicing around the side of it until it is in two pieces.
Each “greenhouse” uses 3 pieces of bottle to create a complete unit.
When you have the first bottle in 2 pieces invert the top half, which has the cap, upside down into the bottom half of the bottle. Now you are ready to plant some seeds in it!
Fill the top about half way full with starter soil, which is lighter than traditional potting soil. Drop a few seeds on top of the soil of whatever you are planting such as pepper seeds and cover them with more soil to finish. Water well until the water runs out the bottom. Note: if there is water in the bottom after a day or so dump it out because it will start to mold and could kill any plants starting.
Finish the greenhouse by putting another half of the second bottle on top. If you have the cap, put it on. If not, cover it up with a piece of plastic or tin foil.
Put the bottle into a sunny window and see what grows! Once the seeds germinate and start to grow into plants, take the cap or plastic off to get some air into the bottle.
Let me know what you think. Have you ever tried growing in a pop bottle? -MM