Reusing Our Plastic: Vertical Hanging Garden

The vertical garden is a great way to utilize hanging space and conserve water at the same time. All garden pots need holes poked through the bottom for drainage. Usually, water passes through the soil and drips out of the holes along the ground. The vertical garden stops water wastage by allowing the water to drip out of the holes and fall straight through to the plant below. This project is best for families with an outdoor space as there is likely to be mess and water dripping all over the floor.

Liz has lots of space in her garden and plenty of room for a hanging feature. She shows us how to make a hanging garden reusing three plastic bottles:


  • 3 plastic bottles – try to use bottles of the same shape
  • Cardboard – reuse some cardboard boxes
  • Seedlings – we used lettuce, spinach and flowers
  • Needle/Skewer or any sharp object to poke small holes
  • String
  • Potting soil – we like Organic Mechanic


REMOVE the labels on either side of your bottles.

KEEP the lids on the bottles to stop the soil from falling straight through the side.

Hanging Garden Instructions Step 1

POKE small holes in the bottom of your container using your needle or skewer. These holes are for drainage.

TIP: Heating the edge of your needle will make it easier to poke through the plastic.

CUT a rectangle in the middle of your bottle opposite the side with holes. This is an opening for your soil and seedlings.

Hanging Garden Instructions Step 2

LINE the inner sides of your bottle with cardboard strips, leaving the holes at the bottom clear. The cardboard acts as insulation for your soil, just like they would get underground.

MIX the potting soil with sand: two parts soil to one part sand. The sand helps to thin the soil and allow the water to drain easier.

FILL the containers with the potting soil and sand mix.

Hanging Garden Instructions Step 3

TRANSPLANT your seedling into the soil. We were able to fit three plants into one bottle- but don’t overcrowd! You want the roots of your plant to have room to grow!

Hanging Garden Instructions Step 4

WATER your seedlings.

CHECK that the draining system works and water falls through the soil and out the holes.

Hanging Garden Instructions Step 5

MEASURE the length of your desired vertical garden.

DETERMINE the length of string needed to attach each bottle in your vertical hanging garden.

TAKE the first string and tie it in a loop.

WRAP the loop around one side of the bottle. Do the same with another piece of string for the other side of the bottle.

Hanging Garden Instructions Step 6

HANG the bottle up on a high surface with the loops hanging off stable hooks. Keeping it stable and straight.

REPEAT for the other two bottle, attaching the appropriate length of string and looping it around the sides of bottles.

ATTACH the strings to the bottles above until you have your vertical hanging garden.

Hanging Garden Instructions Step 7

Hanging Garden Instructions Step 8



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