Woman's 'genius' hack to keep Woolies garden thriving

Penny Burfitt
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
The Woolies Discovery Garden promotion is all the rage, but keeping the plants going is a challenge. Photo: Woolworths

The Woolies Discovery Garden promotion has taken Australia by storm, but for many, keeping your little guys growing beyond their tiny compostable containers can pose a serious issue.

One woman has blasted the problem out of the water, however, with a genius DIY hack that has turned her struggling seedlings into a flourishing, lush garden.

Where many struggle with the classic conundrum of repotting the tiny plants into a roomier growing space, it turns out a simple and genius solution has been lurking in our recycling bins this whole time.

Rhiannan's clever hack has kept her Woolworths Discovery Garden blooming far beyond what most people manage. Photo: Supplied

South Australian stablehand Rhiannan shared an ingenious and simple solution to your seedling woes, with an eye for penny-pinching for those on a budget.

Rhiannan told Yahoo Lifestyle she came up with the clever idea when she needed a new home for her plants, but, with money extremely tight, had to do it on a budget of zero.

Using a repurposed plastic bottle, a piece of cotton, and some soil, the green thumb has put together a self-watering, mini ‘wicking bed’ that has seen her plants thrive in ways we thought we could only dream of.

A popular method of keeping crops hydrated, wicking beds allow plants to absorb as much water as they need, and essentially means you won’t over or under-water your seedlings, because they will be serving themselves, so to speak.

You’ll still need to give the plants a bit of watery love from time to time, but overall it’s a self-sufficient way of keeping your seedlings thriving.

If it sounds complicated, it’s really not.

Rhiannan’s step-by-step guide

1. Cut a plastic bottle in half

2. Fill the bottom of the bottle with water, place to the side.

3. With the top half, remove the lid and cut a hole. Insert a piece of cotton through the hole, then screw the cap back on.

The ever-thrifty Rhiannan used a piece of old shirt, or you can pretty much repurpose any old cotton you have lying around.

The method requires a plastic bottle, a piece of cotton, and not much else. Photo: Supplied

4. Flip the bottle’s top half over and sit it inside the bottom half, making sure the water doesn’t reach into the top half. A bit confusing, but it should look like this;

Your bottle wicking system should look something like this. Photo: Supplied

4. Place some potting mix in the top of the bottle, chuck your seedling in and then fill around it.

“The wick will keep the soil relatively moist and it won’t need to be watered as often, I do like to top it up occasionally as the soil near the top does dry out,” was Rhiannan’s parting words of wisdom to would-be gardeners.

The simple device is a scaled-down version of a popular gardening method used in dry and hot climates, so perfect for Aussie gardeners.

Pack in some extra soil and you'll be heading down the right kind of garden path in no time. Photo: Supplied

Embraced online

Rhiannan took to Facebook to share the good news with a bargain-hunters group where it was embraced with open arms, attracting over 100 likes and dozens of comments.

“Clever!” one woman wrote.

“Great idea,” another agreed.

“This is genius!” someone gushed.

Others offered alternatives such as milk cartons and foam lunch boxes, but for a self-watering option, Rhiannan remains far and away the winner.

So if you’re like us and tend to kill a plant by simply looking at it, there is still hope, and it comes in a plastic bottle.

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