Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The blackest of thumbs

So, I can kill plants really really well.  The only plants I can keep alive are succulents, because they seem to like neglect.  

In a fit of insanity, I decided I was going to grow food plants for the rabbits in my care.  They like things like basil and parsley, and I figured I could handle such a thing.

I have killed many many herbs, usually because I forget to water them.  Enter the SUB IRRIGATED PLANTER.

I drink an unhealthy amount of diet soda, so I switched to 2 liters for a while to gather materials.

My first attempt was a basil plant that the rabbits had eaten down to the nubs.
Sad, sad, sad.
So far, so good.  They have grown a few new leaves since being plopped into their soda bottles, so I am optimistic.
Pretty good for benign neglect.

Here's how it's done.

Get a 14 oz can of something and use it as a guide to make the cutting line on your soda bottle.
Like my photo studio?
Cut some V shaped vent holes in the top of the bottle (will be the dirt-holding part).


 Slice that sucker in half.

 Add a wick.  Mine's made of polyester batting material, because that's what I had.  Seems to work.
Cheap, too.

 Get some starter plants from Home Depot or Lowe's or Trader Joe's or something.  You could use seeds, but I'm way lazy about this.  If you use seeds, use potting mix instead of potting soil- it's more absorbent, and will allow the wicks to work better.
I need to divide these, but I didn't have any potting mix.

 Set your little plants in the sun.  Add water to the water reservoirs.  Refill the bases when the wick isn't touching the water anymore.  I went about a week and a half before having to refill the basils.
Damn, that's cute.
There are plans online for SIPs made from 5 gallon buckets and 18 gallon Rubbermaid totes, but I'm starting small, to see if I can keep herbs alive before I make much more of an investment.  So far, so good.  I'll keep ya posted.

Hate the "planted this thing in the recycling" look?  These things fit nicely into decorative containers.  LAZY GARDEN.


  1. I'm really good at the beginning, but after a few weeks I forget I have a new plant to water and it dies. So then I just go buy a another new one. That's my idea of gardening. :o)

    1. I just divided all my mints into new pots, to see what would happen. I also planted some carrot seeds in one. Nature, do your thing.