Saturday, September 8, 2012

POW! Episode 2 (Window garden)

As I mentioned, these "POW" moments tend to be few and far between.  BUT, I implore you to take advantage of the bursts of energy and enthusiasm that You may get in your day to day, and instead of looking up what you could do, or designing something to do, or googling where you could go - just do it!

POW #2 - Window starter garden (from Pinterest)

Now, if any of you are Pinterest fans, you'll know how addicting it is, and also how it makes everything seam possible, easy, and true.  You can make Mountain Dew into a glow-stick-esque lamp? What?  (you can't by the way, according to a Pinterest Fail blog I found).  At any rate, you have to take things with a grain of salt on there.

But I found something I wanted to try, and thought - no harm, no foul if it doesn't work, as I have all the items here anyways.  This one was about self-watering window gardens made from pop bottles cut in half.  Once I managed to find the actual tutorial (why do people pin photos that go nowhere?) I got started.

Check out the step-by-step for yourself on the Skruben website:  Self-Watering Seed Starter Pots

Day 1:  Oops, didn't take a photo, but cutting a pop bottle and tying a knot in string isn't too exciting

Day 3:  I planted beans (left), peas (centre) and candy lilies (right).  I didn't have much hope for any of them, but look at the beans go!  The secret truly is that they water themselves.  So helpful when my natural tendency is to overwater something to the point that I kill it . . . with love of course, not intentionally!

Here's our set-up.  Easy-Peasy!
Close up, you can kind of see the beans on the left
peeking out.  I put in three, hoping one would live.

Day 6:  Are you kidding!?  These beans mean business!  As you can see, they've quite enjoyed this process.  At about Day 4 you could see one of the peas peeking out, but I still didn't hold out much hope.  I was wrong!  Now all 3 of them stand up in their coke bottle, enjoying their window seat.  Hunh.  I guess I better start figuring out what to do with everything now that the Fall seems to be here (hmmmm).

Alas, still no love from the candy lilies, but I'm going to wait and see.

Go Beans Go!  And yup, Peas are trying too!
One thing I've noticed, is that the water evaporating off the top (after being taken by the plants from below) is leaving a bit of a white tinge to the soil; much like sodium residue from road salt after a good winter melt.  I'm sure purified water would be a good fix for this, but I just used good ol' tap water.

On Day 7, I started to introduce the beans to the outdoors.  I've read that you have to do it gradually over about a week or so, which would explain why the last batch I started inside didn't work out so well.  Day 8, I forgot the beans outside for an extra hour and a half, oops.  Day 9, they didn't look like they wanted to go outside.  Day 10, beans AND peas went out, and came back in looking like this...

I'm going to actually put them outside for good now, because there's no sense in them staying in here as the beans are starting to get their second set of leaves - eek!  That, and the soil is looking pretty 'salty' on the top which can't be good for them.

So, what have I learned?  This is a GREAT way to start seeds!  It's not necessarily suited for use with tap water.  And you should be planting them In The Spring.

I guess I know what I'm doing next April!


  1. I actually did something similar in my classroom and the plants developed blossoms, and later beans, right there on the windowsill. It helped that the classroom had tall windows, with lots of room to tie strings for the plants to climb. The beans were huge (Scarlet Runners) but the harvest was modest.

    1. Nice work! Did you end up with the sodium-esque film on the top of the soil too? Maybe your water is purified differently where you are.

    2. The school was on well-water - that probably made a difference.

  2. WOW! The beans especially look great! I will be trying to start some seeds in the spring and will DEFINITELY be using this method! :)

    1. Start saving your bottles! That was the tricky part, as we don't drink pop in bottles. Don't forget!