Creating Garden Borders with Bottles: Eight Tips to Make it Easy

Tammy Brown

Creating Garden Borders with Bottles

Creating garden borders with bottles is fun.  You get to recycle bottles, be creative, and keep the weeds out.  The internet offers some good articles (links below) explaining different methods of construction.  Read several how-to articles for the basic idea then follow these tips to save time and trouble.

  1. Check your soil.  I would not recommend this project in extremely hard or rocky soil, but it’s easy to do in soft soil.
  2. Be aware that this is a fun and funky look that might not fly in the suburbs.
  3. Choose a bottle type you can get plenty of.  This border works best with bottles of the same size and shape.
  4. Ask friends, neighbors or restaurants to save bottles for you. Depending on your project, you might need more bottles than your household can provide.
  5. If the look of peeling labels is going to bother you, plan to soak and scrape the labels before starting.  Topo Chico bottles (my choice) have clear labels that don’t peel like paper.
  6. Smaller beer and water bottles (12 oz.) are easier to bury than wine bottles.
  7. Be sure you bury the bottles deep enough to hold them straight, well past the neck.
  8. Steps for an easier method:
  •  Using  a sharp spade, turn the soil for the full length of the border at a depth of 1/2 the bottle height plus a few inches .
  • In the loosened soil, make a wedge shape with a flat shovel leaving an inch or two of loose soil in the bottom.
  • Push the neck of the bottle into the loose soil and against one side of the wedge.   Add the next bottle the same way with the side touching the previous bottle.
  • Have loose soil ready to fill in around the bottles before you move on to creating the next wedge.  Press soil in firmly.

My Topo Chico bottle edging surrounds a butterfly garden seeded last month.  My border is just over half way complete.  Bluebonnets are coming up!  I’ll update photos as my garden grows.


creating garden borders with bottles
Edging around my new butterfly garden.

Links for Creating Garden Borders with Bottles

Nice photos using blue bottles at

A slightly more complicated method at Home

And a worse case scenario at Sacred

Update on my bottle border

I haven’t had any problems with bottles breaking or falling over.  Unfortunately, I didn’t amend the soil in my garden enough so I have struggled with weeds and plant survival.  I will be adding new soil and a water feature to this garden.  I’ll post that project as well.



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