On the Arrival of Spring

Every year, since I’ve lived here, when Spring arrives I’m all about being outside. I find it hard to stay indoors when the sun is out and it’s 55 or so degrees. Then I want to think up ways to be more “green” in my garden.

Last Year’s Garden

So this year, I felt the need to share with you some of the things I do. Mr. AuntMayme has been drinking a lot of diet soda, as he thinks he’s getting his water intake from that. (This is another topic which might be addressed later, when I’m feeling arrogant and snotty, but I won’t deal with it now). So what to do about the many plastic bottles? Of course, I can take them to recycling, and have done so. But what about folks who don’t have recycling? So watch along with me and you’ll see what to do with them.

Lines on bottle indicating cuts
Lines on soda bottle

This is your standard soda bottle. Note where the marks are: One is just above the “bubbled” bottom, there is a dashed line about 2″ above that and this area has a vertical solid line, finally there is a solid line about 2″ above that or just where the bottle smooths out. (I don’t want to mention the brand of soda here, because I don’t want to advertise, but let’s just say it’s dark, begins with a P and you can go from there.)

The lines you will cut on. Cut the solid lines going around the bottle first, using a cutter or very sharp knife. Then cut on the dotted line and then cut the vertical solid line. What you will have when you are finished are four pieces: the bubbly bottom, two sort of “collars” with an opening on the side, and the top, which looks like a funnel. SAVE THAT CAP!

These are handy for your garden. Let’s break them down into three uses. First the bubbly bottom. Invert that over seeds you have just planted and you have a really cool cloche/mini greenhouse for starting those seeds early. The sun will warm the inside, creating moisture (think greenhouse here) and will keep those seeds well hydrated during the sprouting.


Inverted bottle bottoms for mini greenhouses
Mini greenhouses

Next, we’ll jump ahead to the top with the cap. Do a search for the word, “olla”. This is a great watering device used for many centuries to water plants in dry areas. You bury a ceramic vessel with a hole in the top next to your plants and fill the vessel with water. The water dissipates in the soil to water the plants that are near it. This bottle top with a cap is going to be an olla of sorts. The cap is used to keep bugs and debris out, and the bottle top is buried up to the neck.

Garden ollas
Bottle necks buried in soil

Because the upper part of the bottle is cut off, you can get more water under the soil, where it is needed and won’t evaporate. How to water? Well you can use a funnel, insert the garden hose in the bottle neck, or take the sprinkler part off your watering can and insert that in there. Easy peasy.

Lastly, let’s talk about those middle pieces; the “collars”. Well, that’s just what they are: cutworm collars. Cutworms are nasty little devils that like to wreak havoc with you. They come like thieves in the night and chomp off any unsuspecting new seedling, just to have a taste or mess with your head. Their preferences are cabbage, eggplant, peas, and cucumber. But no seedling is without danger. So what do you do? You take those little plastic collars and bury them about 1″ in the soil, surrounding your seedlings. And the opening on the side, the vertical line part, makes it easy to slip them around your seedlings

cutworm collars
Cutworm collar on eggplant

Okay, now here’s a modified photo of the dissection of the bottle:

So there you have it friends. Another gardening tip from Aunt Mayme’s Attic!

2 responses to “On the Arrival of Spring”

  1. Thanks! I’ve done two of these, but the collars are new to me, and now it’s been pointed out, so useful and obvious.

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