Plant and go away propagators for cucurbits
These are my favourite toys, for three reasons:
1. They recycle an otherwise single use bit of rubbish
2. They allow us to plant seeds and go away for a week, without worry
3. They are fun to make!
The wick conveys water so you can be quite reckless about going away and leaving your plants, and as long as you don’t fill to the top, the clear plastic rim creates a nice warm, breeze-free micro-climate that supports squashes, pumpkins and cucumbers for their first few days of growth – after that they crawl out of the planter and take over the windowsill, so hearty are they!
Take a 1.5 litre or 2 litre pop bottle and cut it in half, ensuring the bottom half is slightly taller than the top half
Drill a hole in the lid, big enough to take a doubled cotton-rich string about 40 cm long
Make a knot in the string, so that a couple of inches stick up through the lid and the loose ends hang down beneath
Put the lid back on the bottle
Fill the upper half of the bottle with soil, pulling the loop of string to the centre so it runs up through the compost/potting medium. Fill the bottom of the bottle with water
Sow two cucumber, pumpkin or squash seeds in the soil, edge on – it’s best to label the planter at stage 2, but I always forget until this point!
Water each planter well from the top, on the first occasion and give it a nice tap to ensure any air pockets inside the soil collapse so the ‘wick’ can convey water easily Set in a sunny place and watch them thrive!
Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Thursday, April 26, 2012