Instructables

VERTICAL VEGETABLES: "Grow up" in a small garden and confound the cats!

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''How to solve a problem like cats digging and toileting in the vegetable patch'''''', and growing veg in a very small garden. I needed a solution and the answer occurred to me after watching The CheIsea Flower Show on TV and seeing walls of flowers and herbs. The only thing I had to hand was a hanging pocket shoe store and I decided to use it to grow my plants in. I have included the dates I took the photographs to give readers an idea how quickly the veg grew.
 
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Step 1: Materials needed

Picture of Materials needed
- Hanging pocket shoe organiser /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" as long as the width of the pocket store to keep the base of pockets away from the wall.
- Trough planter to catch drips.

Step 4: 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.

Step 5: Fill each pocket with compost

Picture of 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.

Step 6: Add plants or seeds

Picture of Add plants or seeds
Sow seeds or add seedlings I suggest....
- herbs thyme, sorrel, chives

- salad mixed leaf, mustard, cut and come again, or spinach

- minibel tomatoes

- 'petit pois peas you can eat the young leaflets and tendrils

Step 7: "Drip Aid"

Use a piece of wood to make sure the excess water drips into the trough below.
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such a simple idea, i like it. i grow herbs and this would be perfect for doing that.

peets4 months ago

i can eet all the vetegbls

Garden Beet4 months ago

Hi Pippa - its four years (2009) since you first posted this solution. This post has had huge interest over the years. Well done you.

When you first posted this vertical garden solution I was critical that the shoe holder was not really an effective means to garden. I believed it would fall a part and use loads of water. I questioned its long term environmental- cost effectiveness.

Are you able to give us an update? Do any of these 2009 shoe holders still grow vegetables?

What about your water usage? Vertical gardens are water hungry. This solution must be even more of a water guzzler? I would love to hear back from anyone who set about constructing a large vertical garden using shoe holders - Have your water bills increased?

This topic is being discussed on VerticalGardenOnline.com

http://www.verticalgardenonline.com.au/forums/topi...

pippa5 (author)  Garden Beet4 months ago
I moved house in 2010 and did not need to continue using the vertical veg as I had a bigger garden and cats were not a problem. So I only used it for one season and cannot answer your questions about its longevity, watering etc. But it was a pleasure of growing things that way and I cannot put a value on that.
kalireagan made it!4 months ago

I'm super excited to see how it goes!

garden.jpg
mrfoltz5 months ago

I'm going to try this , this spring... I bought some cups to go inside the holders to give them more strength because I bought my shoe hanger at the Dollar store so I'm not sure of the quality??? I'll take a picture as soon as the 6 feet of snow melts this spring... :(

idydstie5 months ago

Wow you are a genius!!! That would be perfect for lettuce! Where I live, it doesn't warm up much till mid June, I think I will try to find an organizer that is made in a darker color so the sun warms the seeds and get's em' growing sooner.

I think that my only concern would be keeping birds from nesting in it, but if you have cats that should be no problem!

Kelly021 year ago
Amazing idea! very nice.
Chloe81 year ago
Must try this! Will tomatos be ok when they grow taller? is it better to put it in the bottom row and use a stick just like the photo above?
pippa5 (author)  Chloe81 year ago
i used a hanging basket mini variety no good for tall ones
Latona381 year ago
Thank you so much for sharing your idea! I just moved to an apartment and have a small patio and couldn't figure out how I would grow a garden without taking up all of my outdoor space! I can't wait to try this!!
simpiligno1 year ago
Great idea! I rent my house, so I can't tear up my yard to plant much. I used your instructable and added a solar powered drip irrigation system! https://plus.google.com/114468800925989264752/posts/Yw2hpsK7eMG


simpiligno1 year ago
Great idea! I rent my house, so I can't tear up my yard to plant much. I used your instructable and added a solar powered drip irrigation system!

https://plus.google.com/114468800925989264752/posts/Yw2hpsK7eMG
tincanz3 years ago
Super awesome Idea!!!

Is it alright with you if I add it to my "plants" group?
pippa5 (author)  tincanz3 years ago
yes thats ok
teddy6 pippa52 years ago
Can i share your article into our website http://www.alagad.com.ph
here in the Philippines
attribution to you Pippa5 and instructables.com
pippa5 (author)  teddy62 years ago
yes i am fine with that
teddy6 pippa52 years ago
Good afternoon mam

I have posted your article in our website the alagad.com.,ph
alagad.com.ph/special-cross-sectoral-concerns/73-solid-waste-management-best-practices/604-hanging-vegetable-garden.html

With almost 900+ viewers and perhaps most of them have viewed this main link

Thanks and More Power
foobear2 years ago
This is a good idea. It is three years later, how has it held up over time?
beachmezz2 years ago
This is why read instructables. Innovative simple and elegant. Bravo!
andrewsvan2 years ago
How do pepper plants do in this style of planting. I was considering upside down planting this year but this is very practical if peppers do well in this.
Have to be careful nothing to leach into the dirt, like from plastic and no fire retardant in it that could leach into soil for any food products. Flowers would be fine. I am like you, I like the idea of growing food. Need to find something that doesn't have flame retardant and no plastic.
What about using large (or whatever size fits) Ziplock food bags inside each of the pockets?
Might drown the plants as watrer goes in and if can't leak out then the roots will get too wet and rot.
pippa5 (author)  andrewsvan2 years ago
i have not tried peppers but small variety may be ok
has anyone else tried peppers?
iamoma2 years ago
Great idea! What about using large (or whatever size fits) Ziplock food bags inside each of the pockets?
PoeDunkMae4 years ago
Does it matter what kind of shoe organizer you use?  Does it need to be "breathable" or can you use one of the kind that has the clear plastic pockets?  I am planning on doing this project this spring with my children, and I thought it would be neat if they could "see" the dirt and roots growing in the clear pockets, but I wanted to see if that would work first.

This is an AWESOME AWESOME IDEA I love it!! Now I feel dumb for tossing out our old shoe organizer! 
The only caution I would make is that if you plan to use it for food plants, herbs, lettuce etc, be sure that the material will not leach harmful substances into the soil. If you are just using it for decorative plants, no problem whatever you want to use I would imagine.
I was planning to put herbs in it but that couldbe a prblem then s if it is plastic, it might have harmful substance to leach out into the soil. If it is cloth, it might have flame retardant mateials in it which coud be poisonous to us. Any suggestions of how to get somethin that would be food safe? I love the idea. I don't have a decent sewing machine so can't get canvas or someting and make this.

pippa5 (author)  PoeDunkMae4 years ago
 hi You can use clear if you want but roots will tend to grow towards the dark ie into the soil. You will also get algae and other green weed seeds germinating and growing... educational perhaps. If you stick ( using duct tape) black plastic or cloth to some of the pockets then the roots are more likely to be visible when the black plastic is removed, or peeked under!! Or go creative and cut holes in the black mask and see what happens.
I used non breathable as it retained the moisture better . But have a go and experiment with what you can find and the children will be able to observe and learn . Good luck  You may not get vast crops but is a good way of saving space and sparking an interest
fulgenteft2 years ago
http://bound-less.tumblr.com/post/18413090035/shoe-organizer-planter

Thanks so much! I had no idea what to do with the one sunny corner I have on my patio, and this is my answer! I couldn't drill into my patio wall, so I had to be really creative about how I hung the organizer. For those who can't mount a curtain rod or similar mounting hardware for any reason, I've found strap ties are strong enough to hold the weight of the plants and flexible enough to be bent into most requisite shapes.
6.jpg
How do you use strap ties on this? I plan to put on my storage shed but not sure about mounting as has to be on 2 x 4's and not just the wall. I will silicone or caulk around the attachment. However, would like to know how you used the strap ties. Thanks/
The strap ties are not attached to the wall by anything but gravity-- I can't drill into the wall, so they are just bent in a hook shape. The strap ties have holes for mounting hardware, and so I used heavy duty nylon twine to sew the strap ties to the fabric. It's held up well so far, but probably needs more support between the ties to keep it from buckling in the middle as much. There's a link at the top of my comment-- go there to see more images of what I did.
lyeshea2 years ago
How messy is this?

In september I'm moving from a house with a yard to an apartment. I'm trying to figure out if I could modify this to be an indoor project and get some green inside my new apartment.

Thanks!
Do you have a patio or balcony Why not against the apartment wall? need sun o grow light. Do have dripping on ground.
Good luck
bbpiglet72 years ago
Hello - fab to see great ideas come from Britain! Many forums/sites I come across are American and have brilliant information on them, but nevertheless, as a fellow Brit, I take my hat off to you and will definately be trying this :) Here's hoping for some sunshine........
My husband and I just installed some of these in our back yard and we love it. We just mounted it with screws to our fence. We also pre-soaked our soil and it has helped a lot.

Thanks for the great idea!
jessimata4 years ago
clever!
note: if you are at all considering eating the fruits of your labor; there are natural fertilizers and companion plants to aid in pest control instead of the chemical stuff.
so what plants would you recommend to help in pest control?
do you plant them in the same pockets or would you plant them around all the outer pockets, thereby providing a kind of barrier?
marigolds, mix of herbs, things that would attract birds that like bugs, or bugs that eat other bugs. I always noticed the more mix of plants the better chemistry between everyone of them.
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