Monday, May 10, 2010

Vertical Gardening on the Cheap

Last year, I posted an entry about Vertical Gardening using common products like gutters and canvas shoe holders. Inspired, I decided to create one an herb garden using a canvas shoe holder this spring. And it is really cute! As the herbs are getting bigger, they are starting to cover their little pouches (which I like).Last night at the meeting of the Charleston Horticultural Society, Jim Martin did an amazing job demonstrating some different ways to incorporate vertical gardens into our landscapes. If you missed the lecture, you missed a lot.
The canvas shoe holder is a good way to introduce yourself to the concept of vertical gardening because it is inexpensive ($10 plus soil and plants) and simple. I cut the bottom two rows off the bottom of mine so that it would work on my porch railing.

  • Leave a 1-inch gap between the soil and the lip of each pouch. This will make watering easier because otherwise the water will just run over the edge without being absorbed.
  • Fill every pouch and water it well before you plant the first plant. I didn't do this and it caused me to get dirt all over the herbs I had planted at the bottom of of the holder.
  • Put plants that need more water at the bottom of the holder and those that need less at the top. The herbs on my top row dry out constantly, but the ones at the bottom stay hydrated.
  • Choose plants that like similar types of conditions and that stay the right size. Vegetables would be too big for this, so stick with smaller herbs or bedding plants. Ferns and other shady perennials would be beautiful if you have a shady spot.
What I love about this simple trick is that it only takes about an hour to make it complete. It's easy to put off the creation of a new garden because of the work it involves. But this is a fun Sunday afternoon project that even your kids would love to help create.


  1. Really neat, I don't have the right spot for this now, but appreciate your advice. Looks great! take care, Gina

  2. Hey, it was fun having you up on stage with me! And your shoe planter is fantastic!

  3. Thanks, Gina and madblooms! This little project was a lot of fun..and easy!

    Jim- I think we work well together. You are a shining star.

  4. I love this!!! I just gave one of these shoe organizers away... oh well, they are cheap!

  5. another real cheap way to do it is get a pallet (normally you can find them free from home depot, grocery store etc) back it with gardening fabric and separate the gaps with it too.
    Here is an example of someone elses

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  7. Where did you get the shoe organizer from?

  8. The principles of in and yo are of essential importance here, they are best known to the Western civilization by the Chinese names yin and yang. If you want to have something you need to start with having nothing. Gardenoid



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