Self-watering bottle towers are used across the world as a cheap and easy way to garden vertically. Best of all, you can re-use old plastic bottles while growing your own! Here’s how to make one this National Children’s Gardening Week…
You will need:
- 7-10 1litre plastic drinks bottles
- Sharp scissors
- Garden twine, or wire and wire cutter
- Hammer and nail, or drill
- Sand or gravel
- Craft knife
- Small plants such as herbs, lettuce, wild strawberries or edible flowers
- Using your scissors, cut the bottom off your first bottle keeping the lid on, and get mum and dad to help pierce drainage holes at the tapered end – one each side.
2. Fill with compost, almost to the top and tie onto a fence, trellis or wall using garden wire or twine.
3. Grab another bottle and do the same, this time taking the lid off. Insert into the first bottle and fill with compost, and attach to the fence. Repeat with the other bottles, stacking them up – leaving two spare.
4. Cut one of the spare bottles in half and insert this at the top of your stack, but don’t fill with compost – this is your filter.
5. Cut the bottom off the last bottle and get your parents to drill a hole in the lid, or knock one through with a hammer and nail. Place into the filter bottle and fill with a handful of sand. This is your filling bottle.
6. With mum and dad’s help, use a sharp craft knife to cutthree lines into the centre of your bottles to create envelopes for the plants.
7. Use your fingers to push the compost down and make a hole so you can pop a plant inside, roots first. Experiment with different plants.
8. Water from the top and have fun watching the water trickle down into your tower!
Like this? You might also like to try making your own garden planters.