Sunday, April 15, 2012

Soda Bottle Terrarium

My son has been learning about plants at school, so we decided to do a few of our own planting projects here at home.  The first project we decided to do was to make our own terrarium out of a soda bottle.  I found some great instructions on this from the Terrarium Man.


I first took my kids to this cute little garden shop and let them pick out their own plants.


The kids saw some cute garden trinkets that they wanted, so we grabbed a few of those too.



Supplies:
-2-liter soda bottle
-Soil
-Small plant or seeds
-Sharpie
-Rocks, pebbles or marbles
-Sharp scissors
-Water
-Garden trinkets (optional)

Directions:
Turn a coffee mug upside down and rest your sharpie pen on top.  This will help you draw a straight line around the 2-liter bottle.  As you place your bottle next to the sharpie, spin the bottle around slowly to draw the line.



Take some sharp scissors and cut along the line.



Later you will be putting the top half  of the bottle back onto the bottom half of the bottle, so to make the top part fit better we cut a little over 1-inch slit down the side of the bottom bottle.



First we filled the bottom of the bottle with some small rocks (we didn't have any pebbles).   The purpose of the "pebbles at the bottom allow excess water to flow to the bottom of the bottle. This will prevent it from soaking the soil and making it muddy".


We then added some soil.  How much soil you put in depends on if you are planting a plant or seeds.  Since we are planting small plants, we didn't put much in.  If you are planting seeds you will want to fill the soil so that there is about an inch of space left to the top.


Next add your plant, and add some more soil to fill in the spaces.  If you are planting seeds...the Terrarium Man recommends planting "6 to 10 seeds and later as they grow you can pluck out some of the weaker ones and leave the 2 or 3 best ones".


Next water your soil so that it is moist.


The kids then decorated their terrariums with the garden trinkets that they purchased.  After that, just place the top half of the soda bottle back on.


The Terrarium Man offered this advice on how to care for your terrarium:

There are two important factors you have to consider when it comes to your terrarium: the amount of sunlight it gets and the amount of water that is inside.

Once the plants have sprouted you should make sure it gets sunlight but do not leave it in direct sunlight for the entire day. It is a closed environment and it can get very hot inside.

Water - Look carefully at the soil in the terrarium. It should look moist but not soaked or too dry. Beads of water should form on the top inside near edge and these will drip down the sides and continue to water the soil. If it appears to be too wet you can take the top off and leave it uncovered for a day or two.

Visit the Terrarium Man's website for more ideas on different ways to build terrariums.