Bottle gardens are a cute little addition to any home, giving you a great way to create tiny gardens that you can place around the home with minimal effort. They do not take much effort to put together, but knowing what you need is the important part, especially if you are not good with plants.
Here are five straightforward steps that can help you create a bottle garden in almost no time at all, as well as some suggestions on how to personalize the end result.
Gather Your Tools
Bottle gardens are easy to create, but they can still take some time and effort to actually construct. First of all, you need to grab everything that you might need for the project, which will obviously vary slightly depending on how you plan to do it.
Always start with the bottle or container itself: this will dictate how you approach the rest of the project. From there, you will also want:
- Tweezers, chopsticks, or other fine tools for moving small items.
- A hole puncher.
- Activated charcoal (no specific amount, but make sure you have more than enough).
- Seeds to sow inside the bottle garden.
- A collection of pebbles.
- Healthy soil.
- Peat moss.
Of course, if you have any tiny decorations or other things that you want to include, you can gather them up too. Be sure to have everything ready since bottle gardens can’t easily be ‘taken apart’ once you have put the basics altogether.
Choose a Bottle
The bottle that you choose makes a big difference to how the end result will turn out. For example, a larger opening makes it easier to maintain and water the garden, but a larger bottle means more weight. Two-liter plastic bottles are often an ideal size, but some people choose much smaller options.
Be sure that you choose a material that you are happy working with, too. Some people are hesitant to use glass due to the high chance of it breaking or chipping if they drop it, while others will prefer glass due to the extra weight and structural stability it offers.
Everything about the bottle can influence the garden that you end up with. For example, a tinted bottle might react to light differently and appear different from the outside, and a bottle with a flat bottom is likely to be far more stable than one with a smoother edge.
Add the Pebbles
Start adding the pebbles to the bottom of the bottle. These are meant to create space where water can pool, allowing plants to easily gather more water without needing to be constantly fed and cared for.
This can also add a bit more weight, which might help if you are worried about the bottle toppling over if you bump it. More weight at the bottom of the bottle garden reduces the chance of it tipping or falling.
Add the Charcoal
Activated charcoal helps hide the smell of anything decomposing in the bottle, which means that you can add peat moss (or other sources of nutrition) without creating an awful stench. This will ensure that the garden can grow properly and quickly within the confines of the bottle.
Be sure to add any other nutrients that you want to include, too. This varies depending on what you are growing, but some plants may grow best with certain kinds of nutrients.
Create the Graden
Now you just need to plant the garden. This seems like it would be harder than the other steps, but it is actually not that hard. Add the soil to the bottle and then start sowing seeds, making sure to place them in whatever way they will grow best. This is where the tweezers are most useful.
You always want to make sure that you are planting the seeds properly, so do not just drop them into the bottle and leave them there. Try to push them under the soil if you can, since this enables them to sprout very quickly and gather nutrients faster.
Again, this all depends on the kind of garden you are making and the types of plants that you are growing. Take it all one step at a time, and do not rush the process, especially with fragile seeds.
Seal the Garden
When the garden is all planted, seal it up (if you want to) and make sure that it is placed somewhere that gets direct sunlight. Plants obviously need air and moisture to live, so you will want to punch at least one hole in the lid with your hole puncher or a similarly sharp tool.
Be sure to punch a hole properly – you want a visible hole for air to flow through. You can also forgo the lid entirely if you just want to use the bottle as a container, which is a perfectly valid way of constructing a bottle garden of your own.
Whether or not you actually seal the garden, all you have to do now is just watch it grow. Take care of the garden and make sure to deal with any problems that you notice, like a lack of water and nutrients or potential issues with the amount of light that the plants are getting.
You only ever need to water a bottle garden when the condensation disappears from the bottle, so do not over-water it immediately. If you break any bottles during your experiments, then feel free to use one of our dumpster rentals as an easy way to clear out all of the debris, as well as any other trash you have lying around.