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Top 10 Ideas for Using Plastic Bottles in Your Garden

April 02, 2020

Our garden is supposed to recreate a piece of nature - plastic should not be visible anywhere. Or should it? As gardening beginners or even veterans, we are continually looking for ways to reduce the environmental impact of recycling, reuse and recycle. There are also more and more people who are creating their own gardens even on the balcony to reduce the environmental impact of chemicals and minimize chemical residues. Not infrequently they come up with brilliant ideas and transform everyday objects into practical garden helpers. 

Plastic bottles have found a lot of versatile ways to sustain in the garden and on the balcony. We gathered a few of these to show you how you can use your plastic bottles in an eco-friendly approach, apart from recycling them.


How to Use Plastic Bottes Ecofriendly in Your Garden

1. Build mini greenhouses

Tender plants, especially seedlings, thrive particularly well in transparent plastic bottles. Cut the bottom of the plastic container, put the bottle over the plant and press it into the ground. The small greenhouse protects the plant from frost, rain and wind.


2. Bottle water system

You do not have to install complex, expensive irrigation systems to water your plants. Simply drill or pierce a few holes in the sides of a large, clean bottle and bury them next to a plant so that the bottleneck is still above the ground. Fill the bottle with as much water as needed. This process allows the water to spread underground and water your plants simultaneously. 

Our tip: On midsummer days, especially with balcony and tub plants, water quickly becomes scarce. Here, too, the plastic bottles do an excellent job of storing water. Stuck upside down in the earth, it provides the plants with the necessary moisture for several days. 

There are different approaches to preparing the bottle. For example, a 0.5 litre PET bottle was filled with water in its original state and stuck upside down between the geraniums. The result: The first bottle filling was literally sucked in and disappeared in seconds. The second bottle put in a few minutes later worked right away. The soil in my window box had reached a certain degree of saturation and was only slowly absorbing the liquid. 

Conclusion: Use this bottle water system, especially for long weekends or a short vacation a practical method of irrigation. If it works correctly, the soil in the box or bucket should be well moistened.


3. Watering can

Why buy a watering can when you have an empty plastic bottle left? Rinse them thoroughly and use a fine drill to drill a few holes in the lid. Fill the bottle with water, screw the lid back on and your homemade watering can is ready.


A plastic bottle covered with some string is home to my favourite plant. from r/succulents

4. Wasp trap

Some sources recommend garden owners to let wasps fly around freely to keep pests away and promote pollination. This tip focuses mainly on people with a phobia or allergy: If you do not want to challenge your fate and be stabbed, you can quickly turn a plastic bottle into a wasp trap with a utility knife or scissor:

  • Cut the bottleneck and about 1/3 of the bottle, which will leave an open bottle bottom
  • Put the top piece upside down into the bottle bottom
  • Fill the trap with sugar, apple juice or something else sweet that comes in your mind 

The wasps can easily get into the bottle, but can no longer find their way out easily.


5. Plastic scooping

Even a regular shovel can make gardening much more comfortable - whether when planting new plants or distributing mulch. Take a vinegar bottle, a detergent bottle or another sturdy plastic bottle and cut out the bottom and sides and your new scooping tool is ready.


6. Fill the plant tub

Planters can be heavy if you fill them with stones or gravel so that the water can drain off more easily. Fill them with empty, clean plastic bottles (with lids) and cover them with any amount of soil. This makes them much lighter and easier to move.


7. Hanging gardens

Have you ever seen a hanging garden made of plastic bottles? Cut out the bottle bottoms with a sharp utility knife or scissor. Decorate them with ribbons, put a few holes in the bottles and fill them with your favourite flowers.


8. Snail protection

Cut a 2-litre plastic bottle in half (2 litres because of the diameter). Remove the screw cap and place the top half over the plant with some distance. It is best to push it few centimetres deep into the ground so that the bottle is not blown away by the first gust of wind. Now your plant is protected from frost, rain, wind and even insects. The plastic hood serves as excellent protection even against snails until the plant is robust enough to assert itself.

Find out more tips about protecting your plants in an eco friendly manner from snails here:


9. Let creativity play a role

With these efficient and simple tricks, you can not only reduce waste but also conjure up practical garden helpers. There are a lot more practical ways to improve your gardening experience. Grab a couple of empty plastic bottles and make something useful for your garden.

Want to share your own experience or any tips? Feel free to write a comment and show the community what has been helpful to your garden.


10. Your birdbath support

In high heat and sunshine, birdbaths dry out very quickly. So that the feathered garden residents can still drink and splash around, garden owners have come up with something: a birdbath with water storage from empty plastic bottles. Our feather friends can play a beautiful, harmonic role in the garden. Imagine watering your plants and seeing this:


Somewhat clumsy Black-crested Titmouse fledgelings learning the joys of the birdbath from r/birdpics

In a birdbath in a garden is a large, transparent plastic bottle filled with water
Smart bird bath: Only so much water runs out of the slot in the bottle until the small opening is below the water line again. In the high summer heat, the birdbath in the garden is quickly empty. A simple trick helps to prevent drying out: Place a large plastic bottle with water in the bathing area, which has a subtle opening at the bottom.

With the tip of a sharp knife, a slit is drilled in the lower area of ​​a plastic bottle. To do this, cut the filled bottle with a knife so that water can run through the slot into the potions. Only so much flows in until the opening in the container is below the waterline. Additional water only runs out when air can get into the bottle through the slot.

With this simple principle, you can bridge a more extended period in which you do not fill up the birdbath. The feathered garden residents can still drink, bathe and splash around extensively. The larger the vessel, the longer the potions can give water. Perfect for vacation days or a weekend! Just make sure to place the birdbath out of the reach of curious cats.


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