Sunday, January 29, 2012

Message in a bottle - Terrarium Idea Photos


This is my take on the ship in a bottle. Now how did those potted plants get inside that tiny hole! Amazing. If you act now... *rattle rattle*

  • Take a 2 Liter bottle and cut off the bottom (they have a nice line to show you were already on them!)
  • Remove the Label
  • Take a dixie cup, plastic in this case, drill 5 holes in a star pattern (one center, one all points)
  • Fill with your favorite soil mix
  • Insert as few or many seeds as you want - I've done 5 seeds per in a star pattern to give me an idea on germination rates/success
  • Place cup on the bottom of the removed 2 Liter bottle bottom, which conveniently is the perfect size for a party cup (Lets water drain away and insulates it from a cold surface its sitting on - neat!)
  • Slide over the main bottle and push the bottom until its back into one piece - voila!
  • Adjust cap on or off to maintain your desired humidity/heat ratio

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Decided to take a household shop light fixture with its two 40 Watt fluorescents (which put out a combined 6400 lumens) to ramp up production on this under the stairs urban farmstead. These terrariums do a nice job at holding in a bit of heat. The temp probe clocks them in at 70F. 

As of the 27th I'm trying to get a huge jump on some of the main crops. I want to be able to transplant large well established plants in the garden by the time last frost rolls around. Who wants to wait til the end of summer to eat something. So far, broken down as follows :

  1.  The two tomato varieties - Polish Linguista and Brandywine
  2. The various peppers, hot and sweet - Jalepeno, Jwala, red/gold marconi
  3.  The eggplants - aswad and ping tung
  4. Cherokee corn (Seen some positive results online with people transplanting. Experimentation is good)
  5. Okra (Same mentality as with the corn)
In the lettuce flat There were 20 garlic bulbs planted. They are doing amazingly well. When I went to pull one out and transplant it to its own cup.... my my, it has the hugest root system ever! Oh my, it is so profusely garlic stinky as well. Subsequently I have decided to just let them stay in there and be happy. There are two transplanted in dixie cups that the plan is to see if I can get them to tolerate going outside as if planted back in the fall. I'll let you know how it turns out. Started another seed flat using a paper plate filled with soil. This one has a combination of Red and white onions and lettuce in the center. The onions in the other flat have managed to finally come up. Originally they were struggling to bury their root in the dirt so I put a bit more soil over them. They are a lot happier now emerging. 

Hmm, what else. Planted a store bought onion that had sprouted. It was yellow to begin with. After just setting in on top of the soil in the lettuce flat it turned green and sprouted roots within a day. It wants to live. Gave it a nice home with dirt and shop light.

Anybody in the habit of growing full plants before placing them outside to cut off a few months of growing season?


  1. What an excellent reuse of 2 liter bottles and cups. I confess I've never been very successful with my early starts. Once the kitchen gets put back in order, I hope to designate a place for seed starting. Fortunately I can sow most things directly into the ground. :)

    1. Thanks. Theres something lively about colored party cups isn't there? Its like having Swiss chard all over the place! *ha*

      Kitchens.... When we bought the house 2 years ago we brought it back up. That is a lot of work installing cabinets and what not. The first tile job I did was the dining room and kitchen when everything was tore out. 250 SF. At least it was 20" tiles.

      Sadness though, a day or two ago I was using the pressure cooker to make chili, aka beans from scratch. The pressure cooker was being a butt. Had it only half filled but it still wanted to froth out of the top when it got to pressure. Opened it up, emptied a bit of liquid out. Cleaned the seal etc. It did it again, however, the fun happened the second time when it frothed and liquid poured over the lip of the oven creating a nice colorful mix of zaps and sparks of blue and orange. Me screaming bloody murder as I am running to the breaker. Turns out I toasted the entire range. Melted electronics. *damn* Thats an expensive diner!!

      Hope your days go a lot more smoothly!!

    2. We did our dining room first too, but not tiles, hardwood!

      Good grief that scares me about the pressure cooker! My grandmother cooked with hers all the time, but I only use mine for canning. Seems there's a trick to pressure canning that type of bean(?)

    3. Sounds nice. We did it all the same because of the way the rooms are directly joined in a rectangle with the dividing line being the counter with a range and hood. Figured while everything was out completely, it would be easier to just consider it one connected room. We removed the view blocking upper cabinets over the range to give a more entertaining type flow.

      Good grief Charlie Brown is right! That is a costly mistake....