How to build an urban garden using common household materials
Plastic bottles and rain boots can be the perfect home for your leafy greens
Apr 17, 2020
With most people cooped up inside their homes, starting a new project can be something to look forward to. For those stuck in concrete jungles, especially ones living in apartments and condominiums, adding some natural greens to your household verandas or backyards can prove beneficial not only for aesthetic purposes but also for nutrition or clean air. Urban gardens are easy to set up–simply gather some pots and plant some seeds or transfer grown plants into pots! However, there’s a more resourceful way to create an urban garden by making use of existing household materials as gardening tools.
Instead of these bottles ending up in our oceans, a better way to make use of them is using them for a gardening project called “window gardens,” which position potted plants in a vertical manner. To use plastic bottles for this, simply cut out its bottom half, drill a small hole on the lid, and then place the soil with the seeds inside it. Hang strings of rope or nylon horizontally against a wall, and hang the bottled plants on it by attaching pins, nails, wires or malleable coat hangers as hooks.
If you’ve got wine bottles stacked up somewhere in your kitchen, then it’s time to bring them out and put them to good use. Bottle gardening is a visually appealing type of urban gardening, although the setup may be a bit risky. First, you must cut the bottle cleanly in half. It’s possible to do this safely with a few techniques that make use of fire and glass cutters. Check out the tutorial below for more details.
Throw out the bottom half of the bottom and sand the edges of the upper half. Tightly knot a string around it and leave some excess string at each side for hanging. Use damp moss and stuff it into the bottle and place in any small plant and wrap more moss around it until it’s tight around the bottle and will hold once you hang it from the ceiling or a wall.
A little more commonly used for gardening are cans. However, it’s important to remember that you must puncture holes at the bottom in order to drain the water. You can also add a mix of charcoal and pebbles at the bottom of the jar, which will help in absorbing the water to prevent spillage from forming in your urban garden. Cans can also be used for hanging gardens–simply follow the same procedure for hanging plastic bottles.
Rainboots aren’t exactly trendy and functional especially during the summer, so it’s best to upcycle them if unused. Their wide opening is perfect for growing flowers and shrubs. Make sure to poke some holes at the bottom parts of the shoes for drainage. They can be placed on your flat garden spaces or as hanging planters.
One of the most frequently used recyclable materials is mason jars. Other than serving as kitchen containers, they can also be used in the garden. Glass jars are best for growing herbs as the roots can take in more moisture within the container. Place pebbles, gravel or marbles at the bottom of the jar, add potting mix or soil, then place the seeds on top and add more soil.
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