Stacked Bottle Gardens

Overview: Stacking bottles on top of each other and filling them with soil creates a very water and space efficient place for plants to grow. The question is what are the optimum conditions for plants to grow?

Task: You are to create a vertical bottle garden to grow the highest crop of spinach (or other)  plants in as tall a stack as possible

Equipment Provided: Plastic Bottles, scissors, compost/soil, seeds/plants, string,

Health and Safety: You must carry out your own risk assessment (Rubbish Science accept no liability)  Note: Be careful when cutting, wash hands after handling soil/compost

Things you might need to know / Questions you might ask:

  • What size bottles would be best?
  • How high can the stack be?
  • How will you ensure that the water is evenly spread through the bottles?
  • How many holes should you cut in the bottles to grow plants?
  • How could you include a self watering system/drip bottle?
  • Could you collect the water that seeps through to the bottom of the bottle garden?

Prototyping: Try to answer the questions above using small scale experiments

Modifications:How might you modify your designs based on what your preliminary results look like? What have others done and what can you learn from them?

Prediction: What do you think will happen and why?

Do it: How are you going to see if your garden is successful?

What happened?: Was your bottle garden effective?

Tell Someone: Explain what you did and why you felt your plant growing was effective. Listen to others do they have any good ideas?

What did you learn? What do you know now that you didn’t know before you started this investigation?

Extension/Modify/Do it again: How could you extend this to produce a commercial plant growing business

Possible Model – How can you optimise the design?