For when recycling just isn’t green enough. For all of these DIY projects, start with clean 2-liter bottles.
Throw away bottle cap and label. Poke several holes along ¾ of the bottle (the side with no holes will rest on the ground). Using duct tape, and lots of it, tightly connect the bottleneck to a garden hose. Turn on hose.
Vertical Garden Tower
I used Tropicana orange juice bottles in this picture, but it’s the same idea and will work just fine with soda bottles. You will need at least 2 soda bottles for this project. The idea of this is that you will water the top plant and the water will drain out and rain down onto the lower plants.
(1) Cut off the bottoms of the soda bottles and discard, but keep the bottle labels intact (this is to prevent sunlight from reaching the roots of the plant).
(2) Remove the bottle cap, punch several holes into it (using a nail or screwdriver, and be generous with the holes), and replace.
(3) I used screws and washers to connect my bottles to a long piece of scrap wood, but secure the bottled however you wish. You can even directly secure them to fence posts if you wish. Just be sure they line up so that water will drain from the bottle cap into the next planter. Also be sure to leave a good 12-16” of space between the vertical planters to allow the plants to grow.
(4) Fill with dirt and either transplanted seedlings or plant a seed. This planter is good for smaller plants like herbs, lettuce, spinach, beans and flowers. Water the top planter and allow the water to drain down into the lower planters.
Self Watering Garden Pot
(1) Cut bottle in half and discard the bottle label and cap.
(2) To prevent sunlight from reaching the roots, either spray paint or duct tape the outside of the top portion of the bottle, or add a liner of newspaper to the inside.
(3) Force some cotton cloth through the bottleneck so it seals the hole and so that there is 2-4 inches of the cloth sticking out of either side of the bottleneck. This will be your wick. You can use a cut up old T-shirt or an old rag.
(4) Invert (put upside-down) the top half of the bottle into the bottom half of the bottle. You should now have a bowel.
(5) Fill the bowel up with dirt and transplant seedlings or plant seeds.
(6) Fill up bottom half with water (you will have to remove the top half to do this). Replace water at least weekly and keep filled.
(1) Remove and discard bottle label.
(2) Cut two holes on opposite sides of the bottle just large enough to fit wooden dowels, wood spoons or sturdy sticks all the way through the bottle. This will be where the birds perch. You can have one or many perches (one perch would go all the way through the bottle, so really it would be two perches each). Try to make one of these perches as close to the bottom as possible, so that only a little bit of seed gets trapped at the bottom. You may even want to consider filling the bottom with sand or pebbles up to the first feeding hole.
(3) Cut a small hole, just a little larger than the largest seed in your mix, above each perch. This will be how the birds get to the seed.
(4) Tie sturdy string, small rope, rawhide ties or whatever you want to use around the bottleneck and hang outside.
(5) Fill with birdseed.
Potted Plant Dirt Saver
Those extra large patio planters look nice and are very popular, but most plants do not need that much dirt, and wasting topsoil is expensive. This is an easy solution, for which you will need several bottles.
(1) Remove all bottle labels and discard.
(2) Toss several capped bottles into the bottom of your planter. Keep adding bottles until it reaches the level you want—generally at least halfway full.
(3) Fill the rest of the planter with dirt, and add plants.
Plant Drip Feeder
(1) Remove bottle label and discard.
(2) Punch several holes into the sides of the bottle, from the bottom of the bottle to about halfway up, using a nail or screwdriver.
(3) Before you plant your garden, bury the bottle near where your plants will be. I like to place mine between two tomato plants. Keep the top of the bottle and cap above ground.
(4) Unscrew bottle cap, fill with water and replace cap. Water will trickle out of the buried holes without getting your plant’s leaves wet. This is also a good watering supplement during hot weather.
Bird Seed Scooper and Funnel
(1) Remove bottle label and discard. Cut the bottom of the bottle off and discard.
(2) Use the bottle to scoop up bird seed and carry out to your bird feeders. Remove the cap and use as a funnel to refill your feeders.
Seedling Frost Protector
If you are expecting a late frost, or just want to get an early start, this is a great way to keep your seedlings protected.
(1) Cut off the bottom of the bottle and discard. Also discard the bottle label.
(2) Place the top portion of the bottle over your seedling, slightly burring it to create a seal.
(3) Leave the bottle capped or uncapped to regulate the temperature and humidity inside the mini greenhouse.
Plastic Bag Dispenser
(1) Cut off bottom of soda bottle and discard.
(2) Cut a hole around the bottleneck and discard.
(3) Attach to where you want the dispenser to go. I use screws and washers but however you want to attach it is fine. Fill with old plastic bags from the grocery store and when you need a bag, just grab one from the bottom of the dispenser.
Upside Down Planter
(1) Cut off the bottom of the soda bottle and discard it and the bottle cap. Keep the bottle label intact (this is to prevent sunlight from hitting the roots of the plant).
(2) Wrap a layer of duct tape around the newly cut bottom of the bottle, and fold it to also stick on the inside (this adds stability).
(3) Use a hole puncher to punch four holes through the taped portion of the bottle, as close to the middle of the duct tape as possible.
(4) Very carefully insert your plant into the bottle and work the leafy portions through the bottleneck. Press the root ball firmly to seal the bottleneck opening, but at the same time try to spread out the root ball (gently!) to keep it from becoming root-bound.
(5) Fill the rest of the bottle up with dirt, leaving a small gap at the top. Thread small rope, rawhide ties, or whatever you are going to use through the holes you punched, and hang the planter somewhere sunny.
(Thank you www.instructables.com)
(1) Cut bottle in half, making the bottom part a little bigger than the top part. Discard bottle label and cap.
(2) Invert (put in upside-down) the top half of the bottle into the bottom half. Duct tape around the cut edges to seal them.
(3) Add a 1:1 mixture of sugar and water to the trap, leaving a 1” or so gap between the opening of the bottleneck and the sugar water.
(4) Add ½ tsp of yeast to the sugar water and place outside in the shade, preferably near some bushes. The yeast will eat the sugar water and give off CO2, which attracts mosquitoes. The mosquitoes will fly in through the bottleneck but will not be able to fly out. Add more yeast as needed (every other day or so), and once a week empty out the trap and start again.