Thursday, May 3, 2012

Visual Guide: Make your own Hydroponic Wine Bottle Planter

Can you say: Upcycle? YAY!!! It's my favorite thing to do. I love finding junk and turning it into something cool. In this case, the enjoyment doesn't have to end when the wine is all gone...

What you'll need:
  • Wine bottle (Empty and cleaned)
  • A bottle cutter -- I used this one from Amazon $22 Generation Green g2 Bottle Cutter
  • Clay Pellets -- Amazon $17.99 Hydroton Hydroponic Rocks (This bag will last FOREVER!)
  • A candle (and a lighter, says Wonderful.)
  • Ice Cubes
  • A felt wick (or you can make one like I did out of an old hemp cloth diaper insert)
  • Cellophane wrap or a plastic bag
  • Rubber Band
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Herbs

Hydroponic herb planters made out of recycled wine bottles. 

Cutting: First you want to cut your wine bottle. 1. Using the wine bottle cutter, you want to make a score line. Just go around once or twice with medium pressure. 2. Run an ice cube around the score line until cold. 3. Hold the score line about half an inch above the candle's flame and rotate until warm. 4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the bottle splits. 5. Sand the edges of the bottle until smooth.

Making a wick: You can just use felt strips, but if you want to make your own wick, I used the hemp from one of my old cloth diaper inserts because I knew that they were super absorbent. Using my sewing machine, I folded it over and over until it became skinny and tight. I'm not very skilled with a sewing machine, so you can use my example below or if you have a better idea, do that.

Planting: Once you have the wine bottle cut and a wick, it's time to put everything together. 1. Take the top half of the wine bottle, the planter section, turn it upside down and place inside the other half, the reservoir. 2. (Presoak your wick so that it is wet) Feed the wick down the tube till it hits the bottom. 3. Slowly add the clay pellets to allow the wick to circle up the inside of the bottle. (The wick will keep the clay pellets moist by drawing up water from the reservoir.) 4. Pour water over the clay pellets until the lower reservoir is three quarters of the way full. 5. Spray water with spray bottle to make sure that all of the pellets are moist. 6. Add seeds. (I think I always add more than you need, but to each their own.)  7. Cover with plastic and keep it sealed with a rubber band.

Growing: Keep in a dark, warm place with the plastic on and spray water with the spray bottle everyday until the seedlings are an inch tall. Then, you can remove the plastic, and I would continue spraying the seedlings until you can see that the roots have worked their way down the neck of the bottle. When your done using your herbs, wash off the clay pellets and start over. Enjoy!

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