Saturday, April 24, 2010

Some container gardening, the new old fashioned way

I don't have a rosemary plant. I live in Texas and there are rosemary bushes EVERYWHERE. Giant ones, unattended 'we belong here' plants. I'm feeling a little left out. I also am one of the top worst gardeners in Texas, I'm pretty sure of that. I try though and that ought to count for something.

I have been doing the eco container gardening and am having great success with it. I used to do this sort of thing because I was a poverty stricken student, now it's cool and 'eco', who knew.

Today I'm making another pop bottle (I'm from up north so it's pop, soda for the rest of you!) garden to plant my rosemary seeds, WHEN it's a lush beautiful plant (I'm nothing if not confident) I'll transplant it outside and let nature have it. Until then, it'll be under my tender loving care.

My supplies: empty soda (ok ok have it your way) bottle, seed packet, cotton string, potting soil

Cut a piece of string about foot and a half long, take the cap off and dig a hole in the center, I used a old metal bottle opener to make a hole, it only needs to be big enough for you to thread your string through. I made a second smaller hole beside the big one for drainage and because two holes are always better than one.

Then I stripped my bottle and cut it 7 1/2 inches up from the bottom. Ultimately the top will sit inside the bottom upside down and you want a few inches of clearance.

Soak the string in water while you plant so the string has a 'water memory' and will wick up the water for you. After it's soaked, put the lid on and pull the string most of the way into the bottle, leave about 1/3 that'll dangle down into the water. I weave the string around the outside of the neck of the bottle then drop some potting soil in, then am sure some string is in the middle portion of the soil... then load her up to about an inch of the top. Sprinkle your seeds on, cover with a light coat of soil and give it a good water.

Pour enough water into the bottom portion of the bottle to come within an inch or so of the capped neck that you will sit in upside down. Put it in a sunny spot and wait... Watch that the top doesn't dry out, only a little watering is needed intially. After there's some roots going, there's no need to water it directly at all, just check the string is always sitting in water underneath it and you're good!! It's a self-watering, self-babysitting system.

I'll update it's progress in a week, happy recycle gardening!

While I'm here, I'll show you some of the other recycled container gardens that are going gangbusters in my laundry room window!

Thyme and Basil (12 days old) These are planted in the plastic 'clamshell' containers from the grocery store. I cut the top off the bottom, knifed a few holes in the bottom and used the lid as the saucer underneath it. These work great and you can reuse them. They are easy to transplant out of because they're shallow and flexible. A quick rinse and you can reload which is great because I'm bad for snacking on shoots.

Eggshell container - I saved my eggshells, rinsed them out and put a little soil in each one and one pea seed (I love pea shoots most of all and eat them as quickly as they sprout up - delish in an egg salad sandwich instead of lettuce) These are about a 2 weeks old I am going to drop each eggshell in a larger container - each transplants. I may do another popbottle garden with one and see how it goes.

Find stuff around your house you don't want to go into the landfill, punch holes for drainage and plant stuff!!

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