Friday, April 30, 2010

Vertical Garden in Shoe Pockets

Step 1Materials needed 
  • Hanging shoe pocket organizer.
  • Pole and attachments ( curtain pole or pipe fittings, screws). 
  • Strong metal saucepan or utensil hanging hooks 
  • Compost of a good quality moisture holding type. 
  • Water Crystals (optional)
  • 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 2 Attach pole to shed, wall or fence
Attach a strong chrome pole with metal fittings to the wall you are using. You could use a curtain pole. Make sure to attach it at the correct height - especially if you want to grow plants in a trough below ( see step 7). This uses the surplus water from the pockets above. We plan to we simply hang our vertical garden from the top of our 8' fence.

Step 3 Attach hanging shoe store
Use strong hooks or wire to attach the shoe pockets. They must be strong enough to support the weight of the compost, plants and water.

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
1) Before you add your potting soil/compost . . . HINT: place a few water crystals in a container with water and allow them to swell.  If not done first, the crystals grow so much that they can push the compost, seeds and plants out!
2) Add the water filled crystals to a good moisture retaining compost.
3) Fill to 1" below the rim so that water does not pour out over the rim

Step 6 Add plants or seeds
Sow seeds or add seedlings.
Suggestions: herbs like thyme, sorrel, chives, basil, peppermint  OR - salad mixed leaf, mustard, cut and come again OR spinach, minibel tomatoes, 'petit pois peas (you can eat the young leaflets and tendrils) OR strawberries OR flowers

Step 7   A Drip Aid
Use a piece of wood to make sure the excess water drips into the trough below.

Step 8Maintaining a healthy hanging garden
- Water slowly with a gentle flow, or you may wash soil and plants out of the pocket and it will dirty the crop below.

- Plants like tomatoes will need regular Tomato fertilizer  (use slow release granules) as the fertility of the compost will soon get exhausted.

- Do not over pick salad leaves, so the plant regrows.

- It is important to keep a look out for aphids, slugs, caterpillars and other pests.

- Remove diseased , infected or damaged leaves... compost them.

- Remove unproductive plants and compost them

- When reusing pockets add some fresh compost.


Sue said...

Hi Peggy,

I just had to stop by and visit your "nest" after meeting you on twitter yesterday. I just love all of the great homeschool activities that you have posted! I've subscribed to your RSS feed and will be back for sure!

Blessings to you,
(aka: The Homeschool Chick)

Soutenus said...

So happy you stopped by!

I love finding great places to visit on the web and your blog is one of them!

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