I want a garden this year and I don't want to pay a fortune for already started plants. I have usually just bought the plants already started, but this year I want to try to start my own.
I have read a lot about "earth boxes" which are pretty cool. You take two containers and cut the sides of one so that upside down it fits inside the other. It splits the container into two distinct spaces where the water can go in the bottom half and the soil can go in the top half. You put a pvc pipe down to the bottom layer and cut a hole in the shelf and use some smaller container with small holes in it to allow the soil to be in contact with the water. The theory is that the soil in contact with the water will wick the water up into the soil where the plants are planted. This way the plants get just the amount of water they need, you can fill up the bottoms and not have to worry about over or under watering them. Look here for a better understanding:
So, I thought the same thing could be done with starting pots. My mom gave me a great idea of using 2-liter bottles, and I also did it with smaller pop bottles as well.
All you need to make my earth pots is a 2 liter bottle, some panty hose and scissors. Oh, and soil, water and seeds.
Start by cutting the two liter in about half. It took a bit of playing with the dimensions, but I eventually ended cutting it into three pieces so the top piece will fit nicely in the bottom. I had about 1 1/2" of scrap when I was done.
Cut the pantyhose into short strips:
You use the pantyhose to cover the neck of the bottle so the soil doesn't fall out. I twisted each side then pulled tight and tied them on:
Then I filled the top with soil:
and the bottom with water:
and then put the top into the bottom. The soil will contact the water, and the soil will wick the water up into the top part. Here is one I did last week, with the little spaghetti squash already up:
I did a few more today, this time with smaller bottles:
Hope this works. If not, I'm out a few seeds, I guess.
I have spaghetti squash, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers getting started now. When I get some more bottles I'll start eggplant and cucumbers.