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Bottle Container Growers and Gromats

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Joined: 27 May 2007
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Location: inishowen Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:00 pm    Post subject: Bottle Container Growers and Gromats Reply with quote

I found some carrot seeds in the kitchen drawer just now so am out in the garden planting them into a large pot. It's not a difficult task as these seeds come implanted onto a roll of tissue like paper like toilet roll and all I am doing is unrolling it onto the soil. Job done and there's another container for the dogs to dig into. There seems to be quite choices with seeds stuck to tissue, especially small vegetable seeds that require spacing. These packs cost more but I suppose there's less wastage as they don't need to be thinned out after a few weeks. I'll watch with interest but I'm not holding out for a bumper crop as the seeds have probably been in the drawer for three years and are probably a bit past their best.

Even Easier
This isn't the easiest way to plant things by any means. I spotted a company called Grobox the other day who sell boxes pre sown with seed . All the time strapped gardener has to do is take off the lid and splash the soil with a drop of water then sit back and wait for the display. We can choose from a mixed vegetable box which includes French Beans, Runner Beans, Peas, Spinach, Beetroot, Tomatoes, Lettuce and Spring Cabbage or a herb box containing Chives, Mint, Parsley, Oregano and Thyme. Which is pretty impressive stuff considering the boxes are only about 60cm by 30cm in size. After the plants have grown Grobox advise planting the box into the ground. Grobox also have a roll out lawn called the Gromat, the large one measuring about 30cm by 270cm and contains approximately 60,000 luxury grass seeds. The growing membrane ensures the seeds are evenly spread, won't wash away or be eaten by birds. After parting with 10 euro to buy the mat just water it and watch it grow, there's also a 3x0.5 metre mat filled with wild flowers for 14 euro.


I came across a great idea for using old plastic bottles this week that would be great for anyone with a courtyard garden or limited space who wants to grow flowers or vegetables. The idea is also perfect for conserving water. Willem Van Cotthem, Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium) and Gilbert VAN DAMME (Zaffelare, Belgium) have come up with some really interesting 'recycling in the garden' ideas mainly using plastic bottles, pots and buckets.

This idea is for a tower of 5 bottles and also a watering system on the top. You could go a lot higher with more bottles, it just depends how securely they are fastened to a fence

For this example of a stack of 5 we start off with one bottle upturned and with the lid still attached. Cut the bottom off and make some drainage holes perforated at 2-4" (5-10 cm) from the top of the lid.

Fill the bottle with potting compost and leave a gap of about 3 cm at the top for the next bottle to fit onto. Fit the upturned bottle securely onto a wire fence, trellis or similar.

For the next 3 bottles (No. 2, 3 and 4, without the 2 drainage holes) take the lid off and cut the bottom part off. After filling the 3 bottles (No. 2, 3 and 4) with potting soil, stack them on the bottom bottle of the tower. Wire the bottles to the fence and secure.

Watering system.
Cut another bottle in half, take off the lid and invert into the top of the tower securing it into the compost. This will be the funnel for the water.
Cut the bottom from another bottle and leave the lid on. Make a small hole (1-2 mm) in the lid to allow water to drip out really slowly into the compost. This is a really effective way of both watering and saving water as nothing is wasted; even the surplus water that comes from the drainage holes at the base can be reused. Adding a handful of sharp sand into the water bottle also helps to filter out any impurities.

Planting pockets
To make planting pockets for young plants use a sharp knife in each bottle to create a 'flap'. This is achieved by cutting through three sides of a square but leaving the bottom line uncut. Fold this plastic flap down to reveal the soil where the plant can be pushed into. You can cut these in any place but not too many as it could weaken the structure.
There is no end to the inventiveness of things to do with old plastic bottles. I have also seen greenhouses and boats build out of them. There is also an island in Mexico made from 250,000 of them.

bottle stack 240.jpg
Thanks to the wonders of Photoshop I have transported myself to Willem Van Cotthem's bottle tower garden!
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bottle stack 240.jpg

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