There is so much we can do with all the items that we normally throw away. With this project we reduced our carbon footprint by turning an old 5l bottle into a garden. We have tons of these gardens hanging on our back wall, and it is possible to grow almost anything in them, making them ideal for those with limited space.
If you live in a flat, why not turn your patio into a hanging herb garden? We're growing chillis, tomatoes, mint and basil in ours! Follow our easy step by step instructions and see just how easy it is to make your own recycled hanging garden!
Read through all the instructions first before starting this craft.
Remove the label and any dirt from your 5l bottle.
Using a craft knife, make a small slit in the bottle just before the bottle tapers to the top. Insert your scissors into the hole and cut all the way around.
Make three holes equi-distant apart (to form a triangle) about 1-2cm from the top of your cut bottle. Use a spiker, nail or a small drill to make the hole. Do NOT make a cut, when the garden is hanging the weight will cause the plastic to tear.
Cut three equal lengths of trace wire (or sturdy string). The length depends how high or low you want your garden to hang, we recommend anything from 50-100cm.
Fold one of the wire lengths in half and thread it through the washer or button. Thread the two ends of wire through the loop of wire so it "locks" onto the washer/button. This acts as a stopper, preventing the wire from ripping or pulling through the plastic.
Thread the two ends through the hole in the bottle and pull up.
Thread the crimp onto the loose ends of wire, fold it over to make a loop and pass the ends back through the crimp (don't crimp yet!).
Repeat Steps 5-7 with the other two pieces of wire.
Once you are sure that all three loops are the same length and your garden will hang evenly, firmly flatten the crimps.
Your three strings should now be crimped at the same length. Trim excess wire if necessary and fit a keyring to the three loops.
Make a hole in the lid of the bottle, just big enough to pass your wick through doubled over. Fold wick in half and thread through the hole, from the inside out, so that the loop sticks out the top of the lid with the ends hanging down.
Adjust the wick so that the lid is in the middle and replace the lid.
Turn the top part of the bottle upside down and place it into the bottom part of the bottle.
If necessary, adjust the wick so that the two ends will stop just underneath the top of your soil line (approx. 2cm from the top).
Your pot is now ready to use, but we suggest using some rust paint to give it a rustic feel. Paint the outside of the bottle, but be careful not to get any paint on the inside of the bottle - this will contaminate your soil, not good for anything you plan on eating!
Once your rust paint has dried, it's time to fill your pot with soil and the plant of your choice. Once the plant is in, water until the water reaches the halfway mark of the bottom of the bottle - and there you have it, your very own Upcycled hanging herb garden!
NOTE: These gardens are super low maintenance. Excess water drains to the bottom chamber, while the plant can suck as much water as it needs through the wick. No water is wasted - I haven't watered my hanging gardens in three months (the rain has topped them up though).
If you live in a high rainfall area, it is a good idea to knock a small drainage hole halfway up the bottom chamber, just to be sure the roots don't flood after a lot of rain.