16 Aug How to build a hot bed out of recycled glass bottles
Earlier this year I designed a wine bottle bed for the 2010 Northwest Flower and Garden Show display we created in partnership with Seattle Tilth. After the garden show I moved it into a spot in our garden and grew our very first RIPE pepper, before any of our tomatoes ripened!!!
The idea is simple: the sunlight warms up the air inside the glass and expands. The heated air is pushed through the bottle neck into the soil warming it, and the plant growing in the soil.
Because of the limited size of the garden show display we made it small and in a circle large enough for one plant. This concept can be used for any size bed – just keep in mind the size or length of your bottles, which can be valuable growing space.
Follow these steps:
- collect bottles (wine, beer or soda) that is the fun part!
- place in an area for raised bed(s)
- concrete the necks, one row at a time – leaving the necks open for air movement (we used half cobb in this mixture)
- stack at least 3 bottles high
- fill with good growing soil
- plant inside of the raised bed a plant that thrives off of heat (peppers, tomatoes, melons, etc)
This is a great way to grow warmth loving crops that don’t normally thrive in a limited growing season. Here in the Pacific Northwest I live in one of those cold microclimates that is nearly one month behind the warmer maritime microclimates of Seattle. I plan to build many more of these, and much larger… so, I’d better get to emptying those bottles!