PLASTIC BOTTLE HERB PLANTERS
With its smart use of recyclables, this modular, self-watering garden is green in all senses of the word. Cut up a few bottles for your kitchen windowsill to help kids cultivate their gardening skills and perhaps try a few new fl avors in the process. (Plus, if you plant parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, you’ll have the perfect excuse to introduce Simon & Garfunkel to the next generation.)
- Sturdy 1-liter plastic bottles with caps
- Utility knife
- Label remover or vegetable oil
- Potting soil
- Herb seedlings (often found in supermarkets’ produce sections)
For each planter, mark a line 5 inches from the bottle’s base. Use the utility knife to puncture the bottle at the mark (an adult’s job), then use scissors to cut all the way around the bottle at the mark. Remove the label, using the label remover or vegetable oil to get rid of any extra adhesive.
With the cap in place, invert the bottle’s top portion and insert it into the base. Fill it partway with soil. Transplant a seedling, adding soil and pressing it gently until the seedling is secured in the planter.
Lift out the soil-filled top portion and remove the cap. Add about an inch of water to the planter’s base, enough to cover the lip of the inverted bottle top when you replace it. Give the seedling some more water to help it get established, then place it in a sunny spot. Following the care instructions that came with the herb, add water as needed to the planter’s base.