The Q&A Archives: Experiment Growing Plants in Bottles

Question: I'm growing asparagus, tomatoes,and squash for a Biology project. I'm growing them in a bottle environment (it's a project from a book). I would like to know the best environment for each of these, and any tips for growing each of them.

Answer: Let's see...I'm wondering if you are growing them in plastic 2-liter soda bottles--there's a wonderful book called "Bottle Biology" that has lots of interesting experiments. <br><br>I'm concerned that these are pretty big plants to try to grow indoors, especially if they are contained in a bottle terrarium. <br><br>Asparagus is commonly grown from roots rather than seeds; for best seed germination, soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting. Plant the seeds, then thin the seedlings so there are only one or two in the bottle. Outdoors, asparagus likes a rich soil high in organic matter. Try to imitate this using organic soil amendments such as peat or compost.<br><br>Tomatoes and squash are fairly easy to grow indoors; however they, too, like lots of room to spread. Growing any leafy plant in a confined, humid environment is likely to encourage disease problems. <br><br>All three plants need full sun, or they can be grown under fluorescent lights. Keep an eye on soil moisture, andwater as necessary to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy. Remember that the smaller the container and the more light/heat, the quicker the soil will dry and the more often it will need watering. All are heavy "feeders" and will require frequent fertilization to grow well. Good luck with the experiment!

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