by Amber

Vertical Garden On A Slim Budget

You could use a bunch of empty pop bottles nailed to a piece of plywood. You could just cram a bunch of cheap dollar store pots on the perimeter of the balcony – but this takes up a lot of space that your lounge chairs should set in. You could use an old pallet. But you also could do a little simple engineering with inexpensive materials in less time and with excellent space savings.

This idea would work outdoors and indoors, and if you set up a drip irrigation system, it could also be self watering.

Tough! Garden Planter ImprovisationThe pot size used in the video below looks to be about 12 inches across the top and is a bit small. As an old hand at making do and getting by with inspirational engineering, I would improve the design here by making better use of the surface space as well as the vertical garden tower. Something wider like this 30″ wide farm tub gives you tons more planting space without taking up a lot of floor area. It’s made of recycled plastic, will last for years outside and all you need to do to modify it for planting is adding drainage holes to the bottom. Available from Tractor Supply for about $30.

Her circular splint circles are nifty looking but won’t hold up long with twine holding them together and materials for them won’t be easy to locate. Heavy gauge wire would work better. Just drill holes through the stout bamboo uprights, thread it through and twist the ends to close your loops. If you use galvanized 14-17 gauge wire it won’t rust. You could also use poly-jute twine which is easily located at hardware stores.  As long as it won’t rot or rust and will fit though holes you can drill in the hollow bamboo poles – it will work.

You will want a drainage tray to move your inexpensive vertical garden indoors for the winter. Plus, you’ll need a grow light. Trust me, your plants will be ecstatic rather than taxed if you give them a really good light.

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The garden played a starring role from spring through fall in the house Amber was raised in. She has decades of experience growing plants from seeds and cuttings in the plot and pots.