Friday, March 25, 2011

Fun Friday ~ DIY Herb an old shoe organzier

Happy Friday everyone.  Spring is in the air, and everywhere you look flowers and plants are starting to peek out at us.  Having moved so many times in my life (most of them being rentals), I've found it difficult to really connect with my garden.  So you can imagine my excitement to find this brilliant do-it-yourself vertical herb garden inside of a hanging shoe organizer.  It's easy to set up, it's portable, and for those of you who live in apartments or have limited gardening can hang just about anywhere.  And it keeps the cats away too. 

To create your own Vertical Herb Garden, simply follow these steps from

- Hanging pocket shoe organizer / store
- Pole and attachments (curtain pole or pipe fittings, screws)
- Strong metal saucepan or utensil hanging hooks
- Compost of a good quality - moisture holding type
- Selection of plants or seeds... e.g. mixed leaf salad, herbs, sorrel, peas, mini tomatoes
- Piece of wood 2"x2" - width of the pocket store to keep the base of pockets away from the wall
- Trough planter to catch drips

1. Attach pole to shed or wall - Attach a strong chrome pole with metal fittings to the shed. You could use a curtain pole. Make sure it is at the correct height especially if you want to grow plants in a trough below (see step 6). This uses the surplus water from the pockets above.

2. Attach hanging shoe store - Use strong hooks or wire to attach the shoe store. They must be strong enough to support the weight of the compost, plants and water.

3. Test Drainage - Pour water into the pockets to check the drainage, if they don't drain then make a few small holes in each of the pockets.

4. Fill each pocket with compost - Add a good moisture retaining compost, fill to 1" below the rim so that water does not pour out over the rim.

5. Add or plant seeds - Sow seeds or add seedlings.  Suggested...herbs thyme, sorrel, chives; salad mixed leaf, mustard, cut and come again, or spinach; minibel tomatoes; or petit pois peas you can eat the young leaflets and tendrils.

6. Drip Aid - Use a piece of wood to make sure the excess water drips into the trough below.

7. Maintaining a healthy hanging veg plot -
- Water slowly with a gentle flow, or you may wash soil and plants out of the pocket and it will dirty the crop below.
- Add water retaining crystals to the compost. HINT... add water to some crystals in a container and allow them to swell then add that to the compost and fill your containers, otherwise when the crystals swell they can grow so much that they push the compost, seeds and plants out!!
- Plants like tomatoes will need regular Tomato fertilizer (and use slow release granules) as the fertility of the compost will soon get exhausted.
- Do not over pick salad leaves, so the plant regrows.
- It is important to keep a look out for aphids, slugs, caterpillars and other pests.
- Remove diseased , infected or damaged leaves... compost them.
- Remove unproductive plants and compost them.
- When reusing pockets add some fresh compost.

So there you have it, your very own vertical herb garden.  There's something special about walking into your backyard for ingredients.  Reconnect with the earth and get yourself an herb garden!  And have a wonderful weekend everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment