Beer Bottle Herb Garden

LoreD

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I have the AeroGarden Herb Garden because I live in an apartment. Each of the pods had 3 or 4 plants, which they told me to discard.

Heck, No.

I thought that if they could grow in water in the AeroGarden, then they would grow in water in beer bottles. I chose beer bottles because the dark color would prevent bacteria from growing, and also because I had a bunch of them in my recycling. Sprecher's pop bottles work even better because they are bigger.

I put some water, plant food, and the extra plants in the the beer bottles; and they just took off. I have to keep a close eye on them because the water goes down fast, but the herb plants are growing like crazy.

I pulled some mint plants out of a friend's front yard. They are invasive and she didn't even know they were there. I took some spaghetti jars out of the recycling and wrapped them in aluminum foil. Water, plant food, and the mint plant. Growing like crazy.

About every 2 weeks, I replace the water and plant food in the beer and pop bottles. I think wine bottles would work really well, too.
 
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silva

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Why would the apt care about an aerogarden?
That sounds wonderful,but I never had that kind of luck! I can't do farther than bean sprouts, or growing green onions in a jar!
 

Lou

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Why would the apt care about an aerogarden?
That sounds wonderful,but I never had that kind of luck! I can't do farther than bean sprouts, or growing green onions in a jar!
I don't think it was that apartment the told her to throw out the herbs that came with it. I think was the directions on the AeroGarden. they probably just include the cheapest things in their starter kit. then you get to buy the plants you like and also spend more money.
 

LoreD

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Why would the apt care about an aerogarden?
That sounds wonderful,but I never had that kind of luck! I can't do farther than bean sprouts, or growing green onions in a jar!


The AeroGarden directions were to thin out the seedlings and then discard the extras.

Sorry for the misunderstanding.
 
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Tom L.

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I've always wondered about why you're supposed to sow seed thickly and then thin them out. I know how to recognize the things I plant, even when they're quite small.

About water gardens: I wonder if plants would grow better if they were planted in coarse sand or gravel, and watered with a VERY dilute fertilizer solution instead of water? I think a lack of trace elements might be a problem, but I suppose you could alternate dilute fertilizer with a sort of cold tea made from soaking dead leaves in water, and that would provide trace minerals?

I once had a small barrel of wood chips from a tree that was being taken down in my neighborhood (I asked for some, and they let me take them). I tried growing cuttings and offsets from some of my most out-of-control, fastest-growing houseplants in this, but the chips dried out very quickly and it was hard to keep them watered properly.
 

Lou

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I've always wondered about why you're supposed to sow seed thickly and then thin them out. I know how to recognize the things I plant, even when they're quite small.

About water gardens: I wonder if plants would grow better if they were planted in coarse sand or gravel, and watered with a VERY dilute fertilizer solution instead of water? I think a lack of trace elements might be a problem, but I suppose you could alternate dilute fertilizer with a sort of cold tea made from soaking dead leaves in water, and that would provide trace minerals?

I once had a small barrel of wood chips from a tree that was being taken down in my neighborhood (I asked for some, and they let me take them). I tried growing cuttings and offsets from some of my most out-of-control, fastest-growing houseplants in this, but the chips dried out very quickly and it was hard to keep them watered properly.
Yes. some hydroponics designs do use gravel. coarser than fish tank gravel but finer than driveway gravel.

and some systems can use wood chips too. I think the species of tree the wood chips come from is important. Are orchids still grown in wood chips?

There is also some new-fangled synthetic stuff. its very unreactive. but very good at remaining moist.

the water in a hydroponics garden IS a dilute solution of nutrients.
 

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I've always wondered about why you're supposed to sow seed thickly and then thin them out. I know how to recognize the things I plant, even when they're quite small.
If sown too thickly, it's only wasteful and promotes plant diseases. But otherwise, growing indoors or in a greenhouse in modules or trays before planting outside makes the growing season longer and enables more abundant crop.
I don't know if I understand correctly what you meant, but this is what came to mind.
 
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Lou

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If sown too thickly, it's only wasteful and promotes plant diseases. But otherwise, growing indoors or in a greenhouse in modules or trays before planting outside makes the growing season longer and enables more abundant crop.
I don't know if I understand correctly what you meant, but this is what came to mind.

I'm not sure if this is true in this case but in general you sow thickly in order to eventually get regular evenly spaced rows. Some seeds don't germinate so by planting more than you need you get to thin the row to get evenly spaced seedlings.
 
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StrangeOtter

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I'm not sure if this is true in this case but in general you sow thickly in order to eventually get regular evenly spaced rows. Some seeds don't germinate so by planting more than you need you get to thin the row to get evenly spaced seedlings.
That makes sense.
But there is a trick on how to reduce the waste and make sure that most of the seeds germinate. After sowing the seeds, cover them with a wooden plank if they are sown in a raised bed. When sown into modules or trays, use cardboard. This helps with keeping them moist. The plank or cardboard will be removed when you see the first growth peek from the ground. If I have understood it correctly...enough, but not too much, moisture is the key. The seeds don't even need nutrients at first, because the seed already has nutrients within.
 
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StrangeOtter

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Are orchids still grown in wood chips?
Yes, they are. Potting mix for orchids is comprised of loose and chunky wood chips, which forms efficient air circulation and good drainage, but still holds some moisture. Orchids thrive best in log cabins for some reason. I'm not sure why. In my home the wood chips got moldy so I had to get rid of the plants.
 

Tom L.

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If sown too thickly, it's only wasteful and promotes plant diseases. But otherwise, growing indoors or in a greenhouse in modules or trays before planting outside makes the growing season longer and enables more abundant crop.
I don't know if I understand correctly what you meant, but this is what came to mind.

I was just wondering why the instructions for sowing flowers and vegetables outdoors advise to sow seed so thickly. I know it will make it easier to see the row when the plants start germinating. Maybe I'm a bit too obsessed about not wasting seed.
Yes, they are. Potting mix for orchids is comprised of loose and chunky wood chips, which forms efficient air circulation and good drainage, but still holds some moisture. Orchids thrive best in log cabins for some reason. I'm not sure why. In my home the wood chips got moldy so I had to get rid of the plants.
(in response to @Lou 's question whether orchids are still grown in wood chips)
First, a disclaimer: I've never grown orchids. Having said that: as I understand it, many (if not most) tropical orchids grown as houseplants are epiphytes- meaning that they normally grow on other plants with their roots clinging to the bark of whatever plant they're growing on. They manage to absorb the moisture they need because the jungle is so humid, with frequent rain- and if they were potted in anything like most houseplants (begonias, geraniums, or African violets for example) are usually grown in, their roots would rot.

Another disclaimer: About 30 years ago, I started getting houseplants which weren't commonly available in local garden supply stores. One plant I really wanted was Reinwardtia indica, a small shrubby plant in the same family as Flax, which has deep yellow flowers which look something like morning-glory flowers in late winter; another was common passionflower (Passiflora caerulea). For a number of years, I eventually had about 25 different kinds; one favorite wasn't a difficult or rare plant at all- Sanseveria (sp?), or Snake Plant- but it had belonged to my maternal grandmother, so it understandably had sentimental value to me which it might not otherwise have had. But for some reason, shortly after I started adopting animals such as cats and rabbits, they started dying off. Originally I couldn't help wondering if I was neglecting my plants because the animals (admittedly) required more care. I don't think this happened, but it was strange that I started losing plants which had been in my family for something like two decades or more.:iiam:

EDITED TO ADD: About growing plants in beer bottles: That surprises me. I would have thought the dark glass would not let enough light in for the plants. Maybe that would work for mushrooms? OH- maybe you meant to put the cuttings in the bottle with just the bottoms/roots actually in the bottle, but the leaves and stems growing out of the mouth. I had been visualizing a sort of small terrarium affair, with everything growing inside.
 
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Lou

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OH- maybe you meant to put the cuttings in the bottle with just the bottoms/roots actually in the bottle, but the leaves and stems growing out of the mouth. I had been visualizing a sort of small terrarium affair, with everything growing inside.
Yes. that is it.
 

StrangeOtter

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But for some reason, shortly after I started adopting animals such as cats and rabbits, they started dying off. Originally I couldn't help wondering if I was neglecting my plants because the animals (admittedly) required more care. I don't think this happened, but it was strange that I started losing plants which had been in my family for something like two decades or more.:iiam:
Could it be that the pets peed in the planting pots? Too much nutrients and moisture can also cause harm.
I'm sorry if my question is really dumb. But that's the only thing that I can come up with. It's so strange that your plants died for no reason.
 
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Tom L.

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@StrangeOtter I'm quite sure that my animals were not directly responsible for my plants dying off- except maybe for one. The Snake Plant I mentioned above was used as a scratching post by my cat Riley. But I tried to revive it by taking leaf cuttings and rooting them. Sanseveria can be propagated with just a slice/section of a leaf: put the bottom end in water (or preferably some moist rooting medium like sand or vermiculite), and soon roots will start growing from the bottom. I did this after Riley had been damaging it and some time before the plant finally died. It should have struck root easily, but it didn't.
 
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