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How to Make Soda Bottle Greenhouses

If you are like me, you are forgetful.  And if you are forgetful, sometimes you forget to water the seedlings.  And when you forget to water the seedlings, they die.  So I was pretty excited when I experimented with making simple recycled soda bottle greenhouses to start seedlings in.  

You can use these to plant seeds in the winter right into the garden (check out Winter Sown for more information on that), for seeds that need to experience a cold period before sprouting, or you can use them indoors to create a humid environment ideal for fragile seedlings.

Soda bottle greenhouses are an easy way to start your seeds indoors, or even winter sown seeds outdoors.  They are cheap and easy to make!

The first time I tried to sprout seedlings indoors the only thing that wasn’t a horrific failure was cilantro.  After making these soda bottle greenhouses I was actually able to sprout tomatoes!  The tomatoes were especially exciting because I had learned how to save my own tomato seed.  Try it!

I have a terrible time remembering to water things, and invariably I forget to water, then well meaning, but misguided, I tend to over water and drown the poor things.

Make Your Own Soda Bottle Greenhouses!

Fortunately, soda bottle greenhouses retain some of the moisture longer, meaning if you forget to spritz some water on your plants three times a day (or however often they need it), it’s a little more forgiving.  

They also retain heat, which means you don’t need to be as reliant on a heat mat, especially if you keep your house on the cool side.

They are so super simple to make and keep up with.  The hardest part is finding soda bottles!  Here’s how to do it:

  1. Wash the bottle
  2. Remove the label
  3. Cut bottle 3/4 of the way around it’s middle
  4. Add soil, seed, and a bit of water
  5. Add water if soil becomes dry

Easy, simple, and cheap is perfect!

How To Make Soda Bottle Greenhouses

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Frances Wiltsie

Monday 18th of January 2021

I love it. I get my neighbor's empty soda bottles since we don't drink soda much. We use the the empty bottles for a variety of things like breaking down large bulk-purchased cleaning products and other staples into more manageable amounts before eventually recycling them. This is another great use I want to try this week! It's time to start tomatoes and peppers here. Another idea for spring gardening and empty milk or soda bottles is to use them to protect tender plants in the ground outdoors from an unexpected cold night. Fill the bottles with water - warm is best but not necessary - and place them in a circle around the plant. If the plant is tiny or fragile, you can lay the bottles on their sides but it is best if they reach up about as high as the plant to act as a wind break. Then place something like a t-shirt or used plastic bag down over the top of the bottles with the plant in the middle. The bottles of water will act as a "heat sink", preventing the plant in the middle from getting as cold as the air around unprotected plants. The fabric or plastic helps hold the heat in, like a blanket. If you have a group of plants, you can actually put a sheet, light blanket, old shower curtain or similar over a bunch of plants. Just be sure not to crush the plants. When it's warmer, the water can be used on the garden or whatever, the bottles can go on to their next use or be recycled and the covering can go back to whatever it was being used for originally. Remember: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle.


Tuesday 19th of January 2021

Awesome! Thanks for the tips!

Carol L

Monday 18th of January 2021

Soda is not healthy, nor are the plastic bottles that soda and water come in. This would be great if not for the plastic! Not trying to be negative or bitchy or preachy.😬


Thursday 1st of December 2022

@Carol L, Exactly!


Tuesday 19th of January 2021

It's true, the plastic is not great. If you have a friend or relative who drinks it anyway this is one way to upcycle the already existing plastic before it gets recycled.

If you don't have anyone you could get bottles from, then newspaper seed cups would be a better option. Here's the link to how to make your own biodegradable newspaper seed cups: https://farmingmybackyard.com/how-to-make-newspaper-seed-pots/

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