This blog entry has been brewing for a while now. The plants that I grew with these planters are long gone, but the planters are still around and I will use them again soon. I learned to use pantyhose as a wicking medium from my grandmother who grew African violets all through my childhood. These easy seedling planters are a great way to reuse water/soda bottles and keep your seedlings' soil nice and moist.

The materials that I used were:

10 1-liter Smart water bottles
4 pack cheap nylon pantyhose
sterile seed starting mix
plastic tub
tin snips (or other large scissors)
seeds
marker

Wicking PlantersWicking Planters

First I cut the water bottles in half using the tin snips. The Smart water bottles were fairly flexible, so this was pretty easy to do. This might be a little more sketchy with a rigid bottle, so be careful.

I then cut the pantyhose into foot long tubular sections and tied a knot in the middle of each of them. The pantyhose then fits over the cut rim of the top part of the bottle so that the knot dangles through the pour spout. The top part of the water bottle then sets into the bottom part of the bottle so that the loose end of the pantyhose hangs into the bottom section from the top.

In a large plastic tub mix your sterile seed starting mix with water until it is moist but not soggy. The mixture should feel wet but water should not pool when it is pressed down. Fill the pantyhose lined bottle tops with the seed start mix. Mark the outside of the planter to indicate what seeds you will be planting. Fill the lower half of the planter half-way with water and set the top half onto it. You are now ready to plant your seeds.

Wicking Planters_finishedWicking Planters_finished

Follow the directions on your seed packet to determine planting depth, and light/water requirements. For seeds that must be kept moist, refill the lower reservoir when it looks low. Set planters on top of a warm appliance if warmth is required for germination, then move to a bright window or place under shop light once plants emerge to make sure they receive plenty of light.

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