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Genie Bottle Garden Fun

Have you seen the kits in the gardening catalogs that allow you to shape fruits or vegetables into faces?  Here is an inexpensive alternative with directions that will explain and demonstrate how this works.



This activity can take quite a while depending on the time needed to grow the fruit or vegetable.  However, the results are interesting and fun enough to make it will worth the effort.



SUPPLIES:



Plant or tree with baby fruits or vegetables*
Jug or bottle whose mouth (opening) is smaller than the fruit or vegetable will be once it has grown to full size
String, twine, or tape



DIRECTIONS:



1. Place a small bud or baby vegetable into the mouth of the bottle (it stays connected to the plant or tree).  Be careful not to break the stem on the plant or tree.
2. Secure the bottle to the plant with your string, twine or tape.  Make sure that whatever you secure it with doesnít obstruct the growth or feeding of the plant or tree.
3. Leave the bottle on the plant and watch the fruit or vegetable grow.
4. Pick the bottled fruit or vegetable once it has completely matured.



What happened and why?  As long as you didnít pick a container that was too big, the fruit or vegetable will grow to completely fill the container and will take on its shape.  Iíve seen this done with coke bottles as well as other fancy glass bottles Ö some even look like genie bottles.



The fruit or vegetable will continue to grow inside the bottle because it is still attached to the plant.  Remember that if you are spraying for pests or use organic methods of pest control on your plants, you will need to pay particular attention to your fruit/vegetable in the bottle.  Insects will still be able to get to your fruit or vegetable through the mouth or opening of the bottle, but the bottle might prevent the sprays from reaching it. 



*Squash work really well with this experiment.  You can set the bottle on the ground or on a platform without damaging the plant.  Just remember if you do this, to make sure water doesnít just set inside the bottle and rot the fruit or that the glass of the bottle doesnít over cook the fruit from too much direct sunlight.

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