Plastic Bottles and Organic Backyard Gardening, Do They Mix?

Concerns about the harmful chemicals found in plastic bottles have been growing for many years. Many simply try to avoid using plastic bottles or products, or at least limiting the use around the kitchen, home and most importantly, the children. What about in the garden though?
plastic bottle recycling bins
Plastics are used in gardening for many things, from hoses, to buckets, vapor barrier, spray bottles, tools, even the pots that grow our plants. Most of these garden tools and supplies are not the problem, though. What I have been ever curious about, is whether or not the plastic pots and containers, so widely used to grow food, are really all that safe for this purpose?

I recently have been considering installing a plastic bottle garden or a PVC pipe vertical gardening area in the backyard. I am currently on the fence about this, though. The idea of my plants and vegetables simmering in plastic tubes, or cheap water bottles, in our typical 40 degree summer heat for four months of the year, is not really sitting well with me. Am I going a bit overboard here? I may be. Are these products really all that safe for growing the food we eat, or are they better left to the recycle bins? You may agree I am going a little overboard, but for those aimed at growing healthy ORGANIC vegetables, does this not totally defeat our purpose?

After finding several vertical and container garden design ideas made from re-purposed plastic bottles I became interested in the idea again. Being a huge fan of up-cycling, recycling and reusing projects, I was so crazy about the ideas that a few even ended up featured in recent blog posts of mine (the post links are listed below, if you would like to take a look). It was after these posts, I began to wonder again if this bottle garden idea is really all that safe for holding our organic vegetable garden soil. Flowers and bedding plants are one thing… An organic vegetable garden is totally another!

How healthy it is to be growing food, year after year, in these plastic bottles and containers known for leaching out these harmful chemicals as the plastic decomposes? I do not like to stick a shovel in such a great idea, let alone an idea that I like, but I do wonder about this. In a survival situation, or when there is simply no other choice, this is a wonderful idea. A beautiful hanging flower garden design, again, a great idea. Myself, I think I will be keeping this idea out of my food garden until I can do a bit more research!

Stay tuned for future post about the use of plastic bottles in the food garden! If you, as well, have been wondering about this, or have answers to any of these questions, feel free to share your thoughts! 

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