Growing herbs in your kitchen adds color, life, and fragrance to your home, and makes it easy to add fresh flavor to your cooking. An indoor herb garden requires little space or time to maintain. These planters are cute, made from materials I already had on hand (so they were practically free) and they are self-watering!
I love DIY projects that repurpose used items. Instead of sending something to the trash, I get a brand new thing to enjoy. Perfect. I was inspired by the clever design of the self-watering container here, but I didn’t care for the look of the plastic bottle. Since I have access to a few wine bottles (thanks to Smashing Tomato’s wine night on Thursdays) I modified the design.
Beware, this is not a DIY project for the faint of heart! There was fire, ice, and broken glass.
These are the materials I used. You may need to experiment with what you have or try alternate methods.
• Wine bottles • Cotton string
• Glass scorer • Kitchen torch
• T-shirt scraps • Herb plants (or seeds)
Step 1: Cut the bottle. My bottle was about 14” tall and I determined that about 4.5” would nestle inside the bottle when it was inverted. To allow for this, I cut 5.5” up from the bottom of the bottle.
Cutting the bottle was no simple task. I tried the string and acetone trick I’ve seen on DIY blogs and videos like this, but it did not work for me. Perhaps my bottles are too thick? If anyone has experience with this method or another one, I’d like to hear your tips. Then I tried the first method seen on this page because I just happen to own a glass scorer and a kitchen torch. I scored the bottle all the way around, heated the score line with the torch, and then dipped the bottle in a sink of ice water. The two halves simply fell apart at the score line. After some practice, I had a beautifully broken wine bottle.
Step 2: Dull the edges of the broken glass. You can smooth the edges with sandpaper to make sure nobody gets cut. I covered my edges in copper foil tape.
Step 3: Create a wick. Braid a length of absorbent cotton string. It needs to be long enough to reach from the planter portion of the glass, past the neck, and rest in the water reservoir.
Step 4: Prepare the planter. Invert the bottle top and line with screen, paper, or fabric to keep the soil from falling through the neck opening. I used a square cut from an old t-shirt. I beleive that its absorbency aids the wicking action and helps keep the soil moist. Make a hole in the middle of the lining and pass the wick through it so that one side is in the planter and the other hangs out the neck.
Step 5: Plant it! Add potting soil and seeds, or a small live herb plant. Choose herbs you use often. Chives will regrow from kitchen scraps when planted. Basil, rosemary and thyme smell great in addition to being handy in the kitchen.
Step 6: Add water. Add water to the reservoir and refill as needed.
Step 7: Add sun. Place your plants in a sunny spot. Now you have garden-fresh herbs at your fingertips!
Do you already grow herbs in your kitchen? I’d love to hear your tips or comments.