Introduction: Wall Mount Herb Garden
My wife found a couple old painted shutters at a garage sale, but did not have a plan for them. Later we were at a trade days and found ten old chicken feeder bins. These weren’t the long bins, but shorter ones. From those two things came an idea from my wife of an outdoor wall hanging herb garden. My job was to execute the project.
- Two shutters
- Ten chicken feeder bins
- Two cans of spray Flex Seal
- Drip feeder line 1/4"
- Ten Drip nozzles
- Approx 15 drip system tees
- One drip system tee connector (connect to sprinkler system)
- Two short pipe fittings for sprinkler system
- Metal for French cleats
- Screws to attach feeder bin to shutters and cleats to wall/shutters
- Ten Cable ties
- Wire brush to clean chicken feeder bins
- Plastic burlap or similar material
- Drill, bits and screw driver
Step 1: Prepare Chicken Feeder Bins
Using a wire brush on a drill the rust on the inside of the chicken feeder bins was removed/reduced. Then the insides of the bins were sprayed with several coats of Flex Seal (a rubberized spray). Most of the bins already had holes in the bottom for drainage, but several required additional ¼ inch holes drilled. Pieces of plastic burlap were cut and placed in the bottom of each bin. The burlap ran up the inside of the bin. This would keep the soil from running out the drain holes. Each bin already had holes on the lip to accommodate screws or hooks to hang them up. An additional hole was drilled at the top middle of each bin so that a drip feeder head could be mounted (more on that later).
Step 2: Mount Bins and French Cleats to Shutters
Next the five bins were mounted to each shutter. Since the bins did not run all the way across the shutter, they were alternated from side to side. This allowed at least one screw to be installed in the shutter frame while the other screw was in one of the slats.
Next a couple scrap pieces of angled metal that were left over from a closet remodel were cut into eight pieces. Four pieces were mounted on the side of the building with the angle sticking out and up. Four other pieces were installed on the shutters with the angle pointing out and down. This makes a French cleat to hang the shutters. One cleat at the top would have been sufficient but installing one at the bottom kept the shutter from possibly flapping when a strong wind gust caught it and to even the load.
The two cleats on the building were installed first, making sure they were at the point where the siding stuck out the furthest. The metal angled away from the wall. Depending on the product some bending with pliers before installation may be necessary to open up the angle. The first cleat on the shutter was installed at the top where there is solid wood all the way across. This cleat had the angle pointing down and away from the shutter. The shutter was then hung up using only the top cleat. Slide the remaining cleat into the bottom cleat on the wall and mark the top of the cleat on the shutter. Remove the shutter from the wall and install the bottom cleat where it was marked.
Step 3: Watering System
Next came the installation of the drip watering system. At each bin, using the previously drilled drip feeder head hole as a guide, a hole was drilled in the shutter to allow a feed line. Starting at the top on the back side of the shutter a feed line was run, splicing in a tee connector at each bin to add the drip head. Use a low flow drip head for best results. At the bottom, the two shutters were connected together at a tee. Use cable restraints nailed into the wood to manage your feed lines on the back of the shutter. Be careful to route the feed lines so they don’t get caught in the French cleats (a mistake I made).
From the tee connecting the two shutters the feed line runs down to a connector on a sprinkler head. You can purchase a connector at the local hardware store that can be mounted below ground, in-line with the sprinkler head. This allows a feed line to run out the side of the connector and the sprinkler head to still work. If needed there are inexpensive regulators and cutoff valves that can be installed to control the water running through the drip system.
Step 4: Planting
Next each bin was filled with potting soil. Plants were moved from a small indoor hydroponics garden to the new outdoor garden. The herb garden is automatically watered several times a week with the sprinkler system and by hand when needed. The garden provides different sun exposure since it faces east and has an eve overhang. The top section gets less direct sunlight than the bottom half. This allows plantings with different sun requirements. The herbs are thriving. There is Thai basil, Genovese basil, curly parsley, mint, spearmint, thyme, chives, cilantro, sage, oregano and room to plant more.
Of course any backing can be used to hang the chicken feeder bins. Pallets or pallet slates would also make a good backing material. Succulents would certainly be an alternative planting as well.
I hope this project has inspired some of you ideas.
Participated in the