Number of bottle gardeners growing

Having seen the excellent results of my experiments with vegetables and young trees growing in plastic bottles (a special type of container gardening), I hope more and more people will give it a try and show other people around that “indoor” or “outdoor” gardening in bottles or bags offers some interesting advantages.

flowering strawberries
Very promising growth of strawberries in plastic bottles. Bottles can be re-used for other vegetables, or herbs, or tree seedlings. Eventually, one should bury the “old” bottles or bags.

In particular, I invite all teachers and educators in the drylands to set up a project in their schools, offering their pupils or students possibilities to grow vegetables and young fruit trees in plastic bottles or plastic bags at school. If every kid would only have one or two plastic bottles or bags, one with a vegetable, another with a tree seedling, a huge quantity of plastic would be used (recycled). Instead of littering the dryland environment and having the trees decorated with “blue, white and black flowers”, the plastic bottles and bags would be buried after having served to produce fresh food or young trees at school. At the end of every school year, an impressive number of young trees would be taken home by the kids, who “proudly” would plant “their” fruit tree at home and take care of it.

Reforestation or afforestation would be promoted when using plastic bags and bottles at school. The children would attentively observe “their” plants growing and, from the educational point of view, learn a lot about gardening, the importance of soil and saving of water.

Who says more ?

Here is an encouraging message from Laurene H., confirming that we are on the right way:

It sounds fascinating. We tried some indoor container gardening last year with not much luck. The plants grew, but didn’t produce much. I think perhaps the way you did the perforations and cones would have been much more successful than the stones in a solid bottom that we used. If I can find something to use as drainage trays I will try your way this year. We are trying to make indoor gardening work because the grasshoppers eat everything planted outside. My goal is to build a small greenhouse, but it’s just not in the budget yet. Your success is inspiring.

Thanks, Laurene, I wish you full success.

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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