Last Updated on February 15, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Got some plastic bottles but unsure what to do with them? These accumulated plastic things can come in handy in the garden so don’t you throw them away!
Instead of dropping those plastic bottles in the nearest recycling bin, try one of these tips to reuse them in your garden!
10 Ways To Reuse Plastic Bottles In Gardens
1. Drip Irrigation
You can reuse your old plastic bottles and turn them into Drip Irrigation. Begin by removing the bottom from a plastic container. Next, poke holes in the neck or cap of the bottle. Place the bottle upside-down close to a plant, so that the holes are about 4 inches (10 cm) below the surface.
It makes watering much simpler as you only need to fill the bottle and then move on to your next plant. It’s also easy to refill the bottles again if the soil has drained completely. This method is especially great for thirsty warm-season crops such as tomatoes and squashes that need consistent moisture at the roots.
It is possible to slow down the rate that the water drains by not drilling holes into the bottles. Instead, remove the cap and insert a piece of sponge inside the neck.
2. Watering Can
Even with a rose attached, the spray from watering cans can sometimes be too heavy for delicate or just-sown seedlings. You can use water bottles to provide a gentler alternative. To get a straight flow, pierce holes in the lid of an empty drink bottle at regular intervals with a drawing pin. Push the pin in at ninety degrees from the lid.
3. Seedling Protection
Bottles are great miniature greenhouses that keep transplanted seedlings protected from harsh winds and plunging temperatures. They can also be used to acclimatize them to the outdoors, or to get a jump start on the next growing season. They can also be used to keep birds away. You can simply remove the label from a clear plastic container, cut off the bottom, and place it on your seedlings.
For individual plants, narrower bottles work well. To prevent them from bursting, push them into the soil. Then, for a belts-and-braces approach, push a cane through the middle of the bottle to keep it in place. For clusters of seedlings, larger bottles such as five-liters are ideal. A bigger water dispenser bottle will offer more options. If it is very cold, leave the lid off to allow for ventilation.
4. Garden Scoop
Sturdy plastic bottles can be used to make some very useful tools. To make an all-purpose scoop, use a bottle that has a handle (e.g. a milk bottle). Draw a diagonal line along both sides, so that the top of each line is within an inch (3 cm) of the handle. The scoop is created by joining the diagonal lines together and cutting along them.
5. Fruit Picker
Another option is to cut a circle from a bottle at the bottom and mount it on a pole or cane through the neck. This is a simple but effective way to pick up high-value fruits.
6. Recycled Planter
You can also use plastic bottles as containers. You can cut them in half and drill drainage holes in the bottom before filling them with potting mix. The top half could be used too, drilling drainage holes in the cap to allow for drainage. Finally, secure your bottle planter to a fence, post or trellis to create a unique feature.
7. Self-Watering Container
You can use it as a self-watering container by making a hole in the lid by cutting a bottle approximately two-thirds up. A strip of cotton fabric, such as a t-shirt or sock, can be used to tie the knot and thread the other end through that hole. Place the top of your bottle upside down. Fill it with a potting mix, and then place it in the bottom. The fabric should dangle down to the bottom. Fill the bottle with water until it reaches just below its cap. The fabric strip acts as a wick and draws moisture from the water reservoir. This will keep your plants happy and the potting mix above constant damp.
8. Seed Trays
Plastic bottles can be used to make seeds and trays. You can either cut the bottles to create a shallow tray, but make sure to also pierce the drainage holes. Or you can slice open two-liter bottles vertically and poke holes in the bottom.
9. Plant Labels
The pieces you’ve cut off should not be wasted. You can cut them into strips for plant labels. You can write on them with a marker pen. When you are done, either wipe them off or let them dry in the sun.
10. Bottle Greenhouse
You will need hundreds, if not thousands of bottles. This will require hundreds (or even thousands) of bottles. Start collecting them now and get your neighbors and friends to save theirs. Make a greenhouse by threading bottomless bottles on garden stakes or canes. Then, attach each bottle to a wooden frame to create your roof and wall panels. Corner brackets can be used to attach the panels to each other. Although it will take some time, this is an eco-friendly and original way to create a greenhouse.