I have been kind of obsessed with vertical gardens ever since I got my hands on Chris McLaughlin’s Vertical Vegetable Gardening (Alpha Books). Afterall, we live on a small suburban lot with very limited gardening space, and a lot of fences and walls. My garden goals include eventually making as many of our fences into vertical gardens as possible. But that sh** ain’t cheap sometimes.
Behold: the easiest (ie: cheapest) way to create a vertical garden:
Hanging shoe organizers. Yep. Genius. I wish I could take credit, but I stumbled across the idea on the incredible IG feed of The Plant Charmer. If you guys haven’t started following this guy, you really need to. He’s got some pretty phenomenal vertical farming mojo. The shoe organizer thing is really damned impressive when there are rows and rows and rows of them all lined up!
But anyhow…I saw this, and I was like: YES. COME TO MAMA.
These things come in a variety of colors and materials, and generally range in price from around $12-$20 each. I chose to go with the natural canvas, because I like the look of it, but they also come in clear vinyl and black nylon (and probably many other options). This is a much more cost-effective way to get that ‘living wall’ look of those more expensive wall pocket planters (the image above shows two organizers, each with 24 pockets, side-by-side).
You can just go ahead and fill the pockets with soil and plant directly in them (if they are canvas or nylon they won’t need drain holes, but if you go with the vinyl variety, you’ll need to punch some holes in the bottom of each pocket), but I decided that I wanted the structure and tidiness of plastic pots in mine. However, I wanted to give my herbs a little more legroom (ie: root room) to grow than what a four inch plastic pot would offer, so here’s what I did:
First, I removed the plant from the plastic pot it came in and carefully trimmed the bottom of the pot off, and then re-inserted the plant.
Next, I took another empty four inch plastic pot (I hoard them for just such purposes), and trimmed off the top inch or so.
Then I filled the trimmed pot with potting soil and set the planted pot on top of the soil-filled pot. You’ll have to adjust the height of the soil in the lower pot so that the overall height of the stacked pots fits perfectly into the shoe pouch.
Again, you can plant directly into the shoe organizer with a little less work–but this makes it a little easier and tidier to swap out the plants, if/when needed.
Then all you need is a sunny wall to hang the sucker on!