Ghetto Garden




About: If I'm not filming, teaching, or writing, I am gardening and doing other sincere hobbies. I phase from one hobby to another when I get bored, but all my hobbies benefit me in one way or another. Cooking, tai...

So everyone I talk to says that gardening is expensive. Now to me, I think it's the cheapest hobby out there. I also believe its the hobby that benefits the soul the most - both physically and mentally. It also lets you understand your surroundings more, and overall you have an end product - food. And everyone likes food...

So I started this spring what I call a "Ghetto Garden" - on my patio and back yard. Now instead of going out of my way and gathering garden pots (which can be expensive), I decided to find objects around my house to put to use. Cartons, soda bottles, cookie trays, and sandwich bags were mainly what I found, and instead of just tossing them in the blue bin, I decided to actually put them to work - which is direct recycling.

Most of these photos have a lot of common sense comments - you can use anything for a container. The fact is, you can use anything - AND it actually works. As long as you baby your plants, I think any home for them is a good home. Just be sure to have some great soil, consistant watering patterns, and a little bit of love and you can have a garden dirt cheap - no pun intended.

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    4 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I am watching your awesome ideas here. You are like my son, he always looks outside the box. My talents don't run in that directions.
    I have a couple of questions. The soda bottle lying sideways in the pot.  I cannot make out what's inside. At first I thought it was for watering purposes but then I saw something inside but cannot make it out; and something at the left end of the bottle.

    I am going to try the watering idea. Poke holes in and lie in one of my pots for self-watering. Sure would save a lot of time. I purchased the Topsy Turvey (think that's the name) for hanging tomatoes. You have shown me they aren't necessary. However, I did try tomatoes in hanging 5-gallon buckets and even though I knew they were well watered, they just looked terrible! I did get tomatoes but I don't think I will do that again,

    Also, have you grown ?? in the 2 liter bottles, hannging upside down? If so, how does the plant hold up to the weight? And the root system? Do they get root bound?

    You have so many great ideas and I have so many questions. Keep up the good work.

    Gran In Oregon

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for enjoying it Gran.

    As for the coke bottle: I drilled a hole in on the cap on the top so I can have a wick slide through it. Be sure to not have your coke bottle drip, and if so, as long as it drips a little into the soil. Make sure your "wick" is cotton base, for capillary action. I slid the wick in through the hole into the bottle when it was filled (with rain water) and then I bury the wick deep into the soil, where I know the roots will get to it. Like I said, this is an excellent system for starting plants or small indoor plants, but as my babies got bigger, it didn't do so well. My lettuce flourished until it started getting too warm.

    As for Topsy Turby: It's all a scam. It doesn't take much to build your own and I don't use anything fancy. All you need is a good container and a blade, some string or wire to hang it, and there it is. What I did with my sister tommy is drill a hole on the bottom, then four holes on the top. I end up washing all the soil off of the roots. I gently pull the roots through the bottom hole. Then I pack a small ring of soil around the bottom hole, and then put soft and great soil in the container. Now depending on where you place your container, you're best bet is to hang the container empty first in order to do all of this. Once The tommy is in, and the soil is to near top, be sure to water the plant. I water slowly, making sure  a little bit of water leaks out the bottom and then I stop. And vuala, you have an upside down "Ghetto Turby" planter.

    As for the five gallon buckets: Be sure to get creative and decorate them before you use them as planters. Those buckets can looks very stationary and horrid for the yard. when they're at eye level. But they, to me, are the finest of containers when dealing with upside down planters. Also be sure to prune your tommys constantly. I prune my tommys ever week. Yes, they look like skeleton finger plants, but once you start seeing a great deal of red jems of fruit, it's worth all the work.

    As for the two liter bottles: Be sure to wash them out of any soda and leave them to dry for a few minutes. My Sprite bottle still had the smell, but it was pretty much as clean as it could get. I've seen people use the bottles without any problems with their roots, and I've also seen people use smaller areas, so it's really a matter of babying the plant. Be sure to keep your soil moist, and don't let the plant look far for water. Make sure your soil is a good soil. Be sure to fertilize every two months or so. Like I said, be sure to care for them. Obviously if you want to add more soil, you can always attach another bottle to the top and extend your ghetto garden.

    I really do hope this helps, Gran. And I wish the best of luck to your garden. Tell me how it goes if you use the 2 liter bottles.  My next plant is going in one. I'll be sure to add that photo soon.

    Adam, the Ghetto Gardneh in Arizona


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you MoG. It's been great. I'll be adding on more photos as the days go on...