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Elderly Care Activities: Soda Bottle Tomato Planter

Elderly Care in Wake Forest NC

Elderly Woman With Basket Of VegetablesActivities, whether your senior does them with you or with her referred caregiver, are a wonderful way to enhance her elder care routine. Through these activities you can stimulate your parent’s mind, trigger her memories, strengthen her cognitive processing and critical thinking centers, and give her the emotional boost of feeling like she has accomplished something that is useful.

This particular project is perfect as the weather starts to warm up and your loved one wants to start spending more time outdoors enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. With just a simple recycled soda bottle and a few basic tools that you likely already have around the house, you can create a planter that will nurture a tomato plant without it needing to be planted into the ground and without taking up any valuable lawn space. Just build the planter, hang it up off of a roof or porch, and wait for the delicious, nutritious tomatoes to grow.

Because of the structure of the planter, the roots get the ideal amount of water while the plant receives full sunlight, promoting strong growth and a bountiful harvest. If you are on a multigenerational care journey with your parent and your children, this is a wonderful activity for you all to do together. Talk about the growth cycle of the plants, evaporation, and other applicable scientific principles to stimulate the minds of everyone involved, and encourage some personal expression in the project such as using markers to decorate the outside of the bottle before filling with the tomato seedlings and hanging up.

What You Will Need

  • Aluminum foil
  • An empty 2 liter soda bottle
  • A utility knife
  • Masking tape
  • Twine
  • A young tomato plant seedling
  • A roll of paper towels

What to Do

  • Wash and dry out the 2 liter bottle completely
  • Use the utility knife to cut off about one inch from the bottom of the soda bottle
  • Cut four long strips of twine about twice the length that you wish them to hang down
  • Using the masking tape, tape off the edges where the bottom was cut
  • Either using the utility knife of a heavy duty hole puncher, punch 4 holes in equally spaced intervals along the taped end of the bottle
  • Thread the twine through the holes one at a time, stopping halfway
  • Make sure that when holding the twine up, the bottle hangs directly upside down and not at an angle
  • Line the inside of the bottle with aluminum foil, preventing the sunlight from drying the soil out while still keeping the roots warm
  • Pull some of the foil down to cover the inside of the spout of the bottle
  • Wrap the tomato seedling roots in the paper towel
  • Carefully insert the seedling roots into the bottle and through the spout
  • Place a few cotton balls near the spout around the seedling
  • Add the potting soil into the bottle from the bottom of the bottle
  • Make sure not to pack the soil too tightly
  • Hang the planter where it will catch a lot of sunlight
  • Regularly water the bottle from the top (bottom of the bottle)

Modified from these instructions.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Raleigh, NC, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (919) 229-8944