I can’t entirely remember what brought about the idea of doing the bottle greenhouse but after seeing one online thought it looked like it would be a bit more resilient to possible vandalism than soft plastic sheet, acrylic sheeting or the corrugated sheet, but also the idea of recycling rather than the bottles going into landfill. I had a look on the net for plans and this seemed the most suitable one … http://www.reapscotland.org.uk/reports/greenhouse%20v1.pdf
To get the bottles I put an email out at work and thought about an advert on ‘freecycle’ but as it turned out I didn’t need to as people at work got really into the idea.
The frame is about 6ft x 8ft took about 350 bottles in all, though would be more if the walls were all bottles but when I tried that they seemed wobbly, having some sheet given I used that on the bottom instead and included more supporting bars than the plan on the net. The corrugated sheeting (inc. roof) would have cost about £50 to buy, timber possibly the same (there is the argument about treated or not) but the bottles were free! I was lucky and most of the materials were donated, scavenged or had been left on the plot by the previous holder.
The building took about 2 days to put up the frame, fit the roof on, put the bottles in. The easiest way to fit the bottles was to use bamboo through the middle and ‘u’ nails to fix the lengths to the frame. getting the bottle ready took ages, taking off the labels, cutting off the base and washing them out and I would recommend recruiting help for this!
I need to finish the plastic wire across the bottles to tighten them into the frame and fit a gutter to collect water into the water butt, the only problem so far is the kids coming in at night and leaving the door open so it gets cold and could also cause problems with the wind, if I locked it then it would get broken into so I leave it unlocked but have fitted a bungee as a door closure which so far seems to work.
Anyone who is interested in it or making one is more than welcome to pop over and have a look, if they could pull a few weeds on the way through I would be grateful!”