Life Science: Brassica & Butterfly System
Bottle Growing System
- One one-liter plastic bottle (provides a deep base unit and top unit)
- One bottle cap
- One 20 cm length of nylon craft cord (for wick)
- China or non-permanent marker (for making marks)
- Safety razor or utility knife (for starting bottle cuts)
- Scissors (for finishing bottle cuts)
- Soldering iron or drill (for making wick hole in bottle cap)
For Stocking and Maintaining
- One package of Fast Plant (Brassica rapa) seeds (can be ordered from Carolina Biological Supply Company (1-800–334–5551) or www.carolinabiology.com
- Potting soil mix (Jiffy-Mix™, Scott’s Redi-Earth™, or 1:1 peat moss and vermiculite)
- Fertilizer solution (Peters Professional TM Fertilizer™ or
- Following the instructions for making cuts in Bottle Basics, make a top unit and a deep base. Note: You may wish to make two to three Bottle Growing Systems at the same time because they are used in many systems.
- Melt or drill a hole in the bottle cap and screw onto the top unit.
- Insert the wick through the hole in bottle cap with approximately 10 cm on either side.
- Invert the top unit over the deep base.
- Moisten the potting mix.
- Fill the top unit with potting mix to about 5cm from the rim.
- Apply water gently to the mix until it is dripping from the wick below.
- Add more potting mix until settled but being careful not to pack heavily.
- Distribute 20–25 seeds onto the potting mix.
- Cover the seeds lightly with a thin layer of potting mix.
- Fill the deep base about 3/4 full with fertilizer solution (follow instructions on fertilizer container).
- Place inside a Light House and follow instructions for maintaining.
- Keep the deep base supplied with fertilizer solution.
- Thin seedlings so that each is at least .5 cm from the others.