Using “trash” to grow plants just makes sense. It’s the absolute best way to recycle your plastic bottles. It’s good for our human habitat to keep this stuff out of the oceans, and it’s good for your bottom line because this building material is as free as free can be. You might even be able to make money hauling it away for people.
Today we’re discussing 3 different types of plastic bottle greenhouses, some more appropriate for greenhouse farming than others.
First, a mini greenhouse made of a plastic 2 liter pop bottle which houses tiny seedlings and keeps them warm and safe during those first few weeks of growth.
Second, larger planters made of plastic bottles that side behind a window for protection, and are ingeniously self-watered.
Lastly, a real walk-in greenhouse created from hundreds of plastic bottles!
So let’s begin, starting with the smallest and working our way up to the largest.
Mini Greenhouse out of Plastic Bottle Tops
These tiny terrariums use the top 6-10 inches of a 2 liter pop bottle to very quickly and easily create a removable greenhouse top.
When creating one yourself, cut the top of first and shop for the pots second if you want a snug fit like in our example.
Plastic bottles can range in height from about 6 inches all the way 18 inches for large 2 liter bottles, and you can customize your mini greenhouse height based on the size of the plant you are protecting.
Your bottles have built in ventilation in the cap, which you can seal off at any time – as long as you remember to save your lids!
As in the picture above, these would make a neat and thrifty gift. For the right sort of person anyway.
Plastic Bottle Planters
Here’s a family who quite literally turned the plastic bottles from above on their head. Instead of growing up into, they grow up out of their plastic bottle home.
Notice that these guys are using their bottle bottom nested in such a way with their bottom top that saves excess water for later. This creates what’s called a sub irrigated planter. It’s a fantastic way to give your plants some insurance against days you might forget to water them – without ever over-watering them!
But is it a greenhouse? Absolutely! Since it sits indoors on a window ledge, all of our defining greenhouse features are met – sunlight comes in, heat stays in, and wind stays out. Greenhouse, check!
This method would work great for a larger greenhouse farming operation too. Plastic bottles are so numerous that we’re actually filling up our oceans with them. Why not take a few – or a few hundred – out of the waste stream and turn them into simple, elegant seedling trays?
A Greenhouse BUILT From Plastic Bottles
I’m not sure how practical this one is, considering that walling a greenhouse with partially opaque white poly plastic sheeting is one of the best ways to design a greenhouse, in addition to being dirt cheap and low labor.
But at the same time you’ve got to admire the chutzpah of a homeowner who erects a greenhouse made of garbage in his back yard in what seems to be a middle class suburb. More power to him!