Monday, April 22, 2013
Marvelous Mondays #43
Time for my first link party with Julie from This Gal Cooks!
I've been promising for a long time to let you know about our creative solutions to fast growing seedlings for our seedling sale, and seeing as the garlic was the first to need a new container, it only seems right that those little stinkers get to be featured on a DIY post! I'm basically going to turn this into a tutorial, because Adam and I have found that the more people who know what we've done, the more people want to do it themselves. Now if you plan on coming to our plant sale (and I really hope you do!) I'm begging you to hold out on doing this project yourself and come save these plants from me instead. Adam says, with good cause, that I could kill a cactus in a desert.
I must admit, it's a pretty spiffy idea. I can't claim all the credit though - I did find a post on Pintrest (and I honestly cant remember where now, but the general idea is all over Google.) about how to get the top off of glass bottles and Adam came up with the original idea of putting the plants in. So I guess really, I'm just the biographer here.
First, you gotta have your garlic! Or, seeds. Or other started plants... you get my drift here. For our purposes, we've got garlic. Separate your cloves but don't cut anything! We take the skins off, just because I've found otherwise you run the risk of the skins molding as the plants grow. Apparently that's OK, but I've go a thing against mold. Yucky.
Now for the fun part. You've got to have an empty glass bottle. Adam worked at a cafe for a while that allowed people to bring in their own wine, and I had him bring home all the bottles for a different project. This one became a bit more important simply because the garlic was starting to get root bound in their little plastic Jiffy pots and no longer fit in their plastic green houses, which in turn caused problems for other, slower growing plants that the cats seemed to think were super tasty. I'll make an actual tutorial complete with pictures for removing the tops another time, but I'll run through it all quick right now for a fair assessment.
To remove the tops, you need yarn, acetone based nail polish remover, a full kitchen sink of cold water and a lighter, as well as the obvious bottle. Make sure the sink is full enough to submerge the bottle and fill a small bowl with the nail polish remover. We've found that the Equate brand works well, but the Up and Up brand is kind of sucky. It also has to be acetone based. Don't ask me why - I don't know. I just know it needs to be, which is fine because I was worried enough as it was about blowing up the kitchen and I didn't want to experiment outside of everyone elses parameters in my own space and run the risk of meeting the fire department. Anywho, tie off a circle of yarn thats big enough to go around the bottle where you want it to separate and then soak that in the polish remover and put it back on the bottle. My advice right here is to quickly wipe off and remover that may have dripped on the counter or down the bottle as well as on your hands. Light the string and tip the bottle so that the mouth is down and slowly rotate the bottle in circles, allowing the fire to fully circle it. Just before the fire extinguishes itself, submerge it in the water. You should hear a pop and a tinking sound, which will be the top popping off and the glass cooling.
You can do this with any bottle, but again, we have wine bottles on hand here.
You're going to need to sand down the new rim of the bottle at this point so you don't don't cut yourself. Any sandpaper sheet will do. It doesn't take too long - just make sure you do it over a garbage can or something to catch all of the glass dust and be careful not to breathe it in or run your eyes. (That could really put a damper on this whole project.)
Obviously the next part is the the last one - planting! We took our potting soil and mixed it with water in a plastic grocery bag first to make sure everything was well dampened. Because we didn't drill drainage holes in the bottles (that a whole other mess, I mean project, we really didn't wan to get into with our precious bottle planters.) we really wanted to make sure that the dirt was wet so the roots would be able to grow and sustain a happy plant. We filled the new container up about an inch or so shy of the top with our now wet potting soil and stuffed the garlic clove down in until it was halfway covered. Now the work it done! All it took after this is checking up on the container to make sure the top layer of soil was still damp and if it wasn't, a splash of water cured the problem. Because everything was dampened before hand, the rest of the dirt below the top layer stays that way and we don't need to worry too much.
Happy planting! Please link back and let me know how your adventures have turned out!