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Beer bottle SFG

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Beer bottle SFG

Post  OahuSFG on 12/9/2010, 7:27 pm

I want to use green beer bottles as the borders for a SFG.
In Hawaii there are a lot of termites and this will not attract them, plus it's almost free!

The only way I've come up with so far is to put some green plastic coated chicken wire upright, as a foundation to wire or tie the bottles together. If any need to be replaced in the future, it would be simple to re-wire a new bottle in the place of the broken one without too much trouble. Stakes would be placed at certain intervals for extra support.

Anyone have other ideas how this could be done or a better way to do this?


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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  walshevak on 12/9/2010, 8:07 pm

I understand your concern about termites, but would worry about broken glass in my Mels Mix. Have you considered composite plastic lumber?

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  staf74 on 12/9/2010, 8:24 pm

I might also be concerned with the sun's rays penetrating the bottles, possibly even getting magnified/concentrated and getting to the roots (possibly fill with dirt /sand). Of course, kudos for being "green" (pun intended Very Happy ) and perhaps the darker color of the bottle will help and therefore it might only pose a problem for plants on the perimeter. Things might also heat up very quickly through the glass under the strong Sun in Hawaii making it difficult to keep the rootzone cooler (a different but similar problem to light getting to the rootzone.) I hate to PooPoo the idea though as being creative is what SFG is all about, so good luck with the project and keep us posted !

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  OahuSFG on 12/9/2010, 9:29 pm

Good points!

I didn't think about glass going into the Mels Mix, and thought it would be rare or very minimal to have the bottles break.

The heat could be a problem. If the bottles were filled with sand or water, would that cut down on the temperature?

I have a bunch of Perrier bottles saved with the caps and was going to fill it with water mixed with Borax to discourage algae from growing inside. The tops would be wax sealed to prevent the water from coming out. (This was for a different project to keep my neighbors tree leaves from blowing into my yard). But I guess this may not work too. thinking

In Hawaii, a lot of people put glass gallon jars filled with water on their front lawns to discourage dogs entering their lawns. I'll have to go and check how hot the bottles get.

Ok, so much for that idea.

So, does anyone know how I can make glass mulch? Thought of heating it up in a BBQ and then bringing the temp real low into a barrel of very cold water. BUT haven't tried it yet as I know it can be dangerous and the bottle will explode.


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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  LaFee on 12/10/2010, 12:43 am

Glass isn't biodegradable -- all it will ever become is sand (which takes hard-core industrial processes), but it will never break down into anything you could spread on your garden.

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  Odd Duck on 12/10/2010, 12:58 am

There's at least 1 company that is partially crushing, then tumbling glass pieces to use as mulch, nowadays. It seems to be the latest craze. I suspect you could make it in a small, rented cement mixer, but don't have any idea how long it would take and you would probably have to buy some kind of grit to round the edges. Or the tumbling might be enough on it's own, I don't know.

The stuff I've seen and handled was still a bit sharp, if you ask me, but fairly attractive. I saw some blue used in a fountain to nice effect at my favorite nursery. I could definitely see it used in a hardscape type situation, give a "river" effect among gray or brown gravel. Definitely not walk barefoot type material.

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  LaFee on 12/10/2010, 1:14 am

I agree with you, Odd Duck - the prospect of scattering glass shards over where I'm going to put my hands to garden seems a bit daunting...and glass can and will cut young plant stems and leaves.

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  acara on 12/10/2010, 5:44 am

Ohau ...

I've done this in traditional and aquatic gardens, both with bottles & with really expensive glass block.

"Disappointing" would be a kind way to describe the results. I even have some remnants of the failed attempt & will grab some pics for you over the weekend.

The "easiest" way to attach the bottles is with a bead of outdoor clear adhesive silicon, either on the bottles, or to attach to a baseboard (I've even used clear acrylic sheet).

Expensive, short-lived in your weather & quickly deteriorates/discolors.

There are some ways to do this that yield better results, but they involve using concrete/mortar, with the bottles laid on their side. However, the effect is lost without a light source on the inside.

Have you considered something like using glass tile mosaic kits? you can buy them at any arts/crafts store & apply to mortar/concrete (or glue to wood/PVC) in your own patterns/design, or you can actually but them in 12 x 12 fabric-backed sheets that are easy to attach to larger areas;



There are a lot of neat ideas and pics on THIS site too.

You can even go ...."Organic" with 100% certified recycled glass products.

Actually ... I though there was someone on this forum who was a glass art expert & could give you better advice. I can't remember who it was for the life of me, but someone else may

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  happyfrog on 12/10/2010, 6:59 am

you know, i really like the idea of using the beer bottles as border - but i also concur that using water as the filling agent would probably be detrimental to the plant root system. . .

but sand would definitely be a possibility - but sand does attract/hold heat so it could have similar effect as water.

perhaps filling the bottles with dirt? that would be more inert. . .

i personally would try this on a small setup - maybe a one by 2 square setup? or even as a decorative accent on the perimeter of a 'boring' green/brown/whatever color window box? then you could see on a small scale what effect there would be on plant -of course the plastic of the box would also be a heat shield but still i think it would have merit in a small scale experiment.

re: making glass mulch - i've crushed up many a bottle/plate/etc in various craft projects and it's extremely hard to have pieces that are not going to injure you badly - i always wear thick gloves when working with this medium and i definitely do not allow my children anywhere nearby during these activities. so using this in a garden setting, i would not. perhaps as others suggest - mortar into a shape, perhaps, but that would detract from teh whole mulch idea you're going for.

will be very interested to know how your glass bottle plans work out - it seems as though it could be very pretty and also rather practical - if you can figure out the best technique for making these bottles stable into your border pattern. attaching them to chciken wire is definitely a great thought process - wiring the bottles to the wire, tehn securing the chicken wire on wood posts and metal stakes (
actually i would think adhering the chicken wire frame first - then attaching teh bottles to it would work better and have less play/shimming/movement. . )


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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  Megan on 12/10/2010, 8:13 am

Oahu,

I don't have much to suggest for the border, except I too would be fearful of broken pieces.

However..... you could make an awesome bottle tree with all those Perrier bottles!

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  Furbalsmom on 12/10/2010, 8:27 am

@acara wrote:Ohau ...

Actually ... I though there was someone on this forum who was a glass art expert & could give you better advice. I can't remember who it was for the life of me, but someone else may

That was SFG in Chicago, he was making Glass Art Garden Markers, but he hasn't been around for about a month. Sad

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  Icemaiden on 12/10/2010, 3:46 pm

I've seen old car windscreen glass used a lot in the UK. The toughened sort breaks into bits which don't have very sharp edges. I would not like to use it on a bed that was being re-planted though - a boarder might be OK if it had fruit bushes or something.

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

Post  OahuSFG on 12/20/2010, 8:42 pm

Thank you all, for the input on this project!

I think I will try to make a small 2x2 box in a shady area and fill the bottles with something inert, maybe sawdust or dirt. The remaining bottles will be used as a border in another space to keep mulch in place. Not too close to the plants though.

Years ago on the Big Island (Hawaii) I saw quite a few shopping malls that had recyled glass mulch in the parking lots instead of grass. The mulch appeared like the glass you see from a shattered windshield and was not sharp. Is this because the glass is tempered?

As a child, I had this glass marble jewelry kit. We heated up the marbles in a pot, then immersed it into ice cold water. This would create spider like cracks in the marble. Some of the marbles shattered and produced this kind of unsharpened glass pieces.

Looking on line for how to make glass mulch, were instructions like smash the glass then tumble it in a bucket. Sounds dangerous. So, I was looking for some way more like the way of using heat and cold, but safe. Any suggestions?

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Re: Beer bottle SFG

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