Use Soda Bottles for Pots: start seeds & cuttings in plastic bottle-bottoms

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Use Soda Bottles for Pots

By Horntoad
December 21, 2011

Use the bottom of soft drink and water bottles as cheap pots to start seed and cuttings. Just remove the label, cut off the bottom, and punch a few holes for drainage. For seed I usually cut them about 4 inches high and for cuttings that need to be stuck deeper I cut them much taller.

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 20, 2011 7:56 PM CST
I use those bottle-bottoms, 2-3" tall, for beer saucers to drown slugs.

I've been saving the tops to use as flimsy plastic "cloches" or hot caps to start seedlings a few weeks earlier - or rather, to nurse them through the weeks or months of hovering right around freezing that we usually have.

My hope is that such hot caps will also keep rain away from a tiny pinch of slug-bait, so the rain doesn't dissolve it in a day or two.

My experience with early seedlings and slugs, when slugs don't have much else to eat, is that either the slugs are VERY efficient at mowing seedlings off at ground level, or my neighbors pluck them with tweezers every single night.

I like the idea of using plastic bottles for cuttings!
Do you see the roots when they reach the edges?
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Dec 20, 2011 8:29 PM CST
RickCorey said:

Do you see the roots when they reach the edges?


Yes, that is one of the advantages. Especially when doing cuttings, I can see when it is time to re-pot or transplant.

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Dec 20, 2011 8:31 PM CST
Cool!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
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kqcrna
Dec 21, 2011 6:03 AM CST
Here are some cuttings rooted in a 2 liter pop bottle. If you look closely you can see the new roots
Thumb of 2011-12-21/kqcrna/603d33

I use 16 oz. clear plastic cups for wintersown tomatoes
Thumb of 2011-12-21/kqcrna/436a2e

You can see rooting through those, too
Thumb of 2011-12-21/kqcrna/6621aa

For most of my wintersown stuff I use gallon milk jugs.
Thumb of 2011-12-21/kqcrna/e772e9

Karen




Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
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Onewish1
Dec 21, 2011 11:39 AM CST
all great tips!!
Name: Becky (Boo)
Phoenix, AZ 85022
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Boopaints
Dec 21, 2011 3:12 PM CST
Green Grin! Great Tips!

I use the liters for creating custom painted pots. Green Grin!
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Name: Allison
NJ (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hummingbirder Region: New Jersey Dog Lover
Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Onewish1
Dec 21, 2011 9:10 PM CST
you are so good!!!
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
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lovemyhouse
Apr 23, 2013 8:32 AM CST
Have used all of these and like the results. For several reasons, I look for containers with easy-grip and a bit of substance first. Found that 1liter Gatorade bottles are nearly perfect for me. Thumbs up
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 23, 2013 11:46 AM CST
Are the ridges a problem when you push the root ball out? The sturdiest bottles I find are "Sobe", but they have deep, square-edged grooves that I think would mess up a root ball.

My plan was to put the large bottle cap in the bottom of the bottle, so it would serve as the head of a plunger when I push the root ball out with a pencil or dowel.

Or, the Sobe bottles are so stiff that I could cut a slit down the side with tin snips before adding potting mix. The stiffness would hold it closed.


[Last edited by RickCorey - Jun 5, 2013 4:25 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #395131 (9)
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Apr 23, 2013 12:16 PM CST
A bit, but the security of the more sturdy container was better for me.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Apr 23, 2013 1:22 PM CST
I understand. I'm thinking that if I do use the Sobe bottles, I had BETTER push them out before they get root bound!

Of maybe being squished and scraped would unravel the circling roots, as a good thing.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Apr 23, 2013 2:46 PM CST
Hilarious! Thumbs up
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Apr 23, 2013 5:17 PM CST
I've also thought of putting give-away seedlings into paper coffee cups.

It doesn't help to tell people that they HAVE to transplant seedlings into the ground or into a bigger pot before they become too root bound.

But maybe they will, if I tell them: "You HAVE to transplant out of this PAPER cup before it disintegrates and dumps mud all over your rug!"

[Last edited by RickCorey - Aug 28, 2013 5:11 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #395271 (13)
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Apr 23, 2013 5:58 PM CST
Hilarious! Hilarious! Yep, I can see where that rationale would work.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'

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