Tuesday , December 12 2017
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Plant a Garden in a Bottle

End of summer is the right time to create a mini garden in a big glass bottle, although you can do this at any moment of the year as the plants you are going to use are grown in containers, so the roots will not be disturbed too much. Use clean, plain or slightly colored glass bottle. Avoid colored glass bottle as they will stop the light to go in and also disturb the solar spectrum. Make sure the neck of the bottle is wide enough to allow plants to be insert easily. If the neck is too narrow to fit a hand than you should use a special tool made from split canes, loops of wire and common household utensils such as a desert fork and teaspoon to help you with planting and routine care.

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With the aid of a wide funnel or cardboard tube pour clay balls on the bottom of the bottle to obtain a 3 cm layer of material for a good drainage. Add few small charcoal pieces or a handful of horticultural charcoal for antiseptic effect. Cover it with a 5-7 cm layer of dampened, peat-substitute-based potting compost. If the bottle is positioned in the way that is to be viewed from the front, then use a widger to bank up the compost at the back of the bottle. If the bottle is to be viewed from all sides, then level the compost all over the bottle.

Start arranging the plants from the margins to the middle of the bottle. Remove the plants carefully from their pots and shake off any excess compost. Carefully place each plant into its planting hole. Make sure you space the plants at least 3 cm apart to allow room for growth. Cover the roots with compost, firm it gently, then add some gravel or sphagnum moss over the soil in bare areas to keep it moist. Water the whole arrangement by letting the water falling on the walls of the bottle. Clean the inside of the glass with a sponge fixed to a length of cane or stiff wire.

 

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Maintenance consists in watering the plants when needed if the bottle is not sealed, cleaning the walls occasionally with a sponge to remove dirt from splashes or any algae that might appear on the glass surface and cutting plants that became too big.

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