With the improved weather, my thoughts have turned to gardening. My family plants a large garden every year. But not everyone has the space, the tools or the physical ability to plant a quarter of an acre of vegetables.
People are becoming more and more creative with ways to grow a few tomato plants or herbs. We’ve all seen the advertisements for the hanging tomato planters. There are so many more options — your only limitation is your imagination.
Raised beds are becoming popular. Wooden landscape timbers are used to form boxes that are a few inches to a couple of feet off of the ground. They are then filled with soil and planted with vegetables, herbs or flowers.
This not only efficiently utilizes a small space, but can be easier for someone with physical limitations that may prevent them from bending over to work the garden.
Vertical gardening is a concept that was new to me. Instead of spreading out an area on the ground, the garden uses a small space and goes up.
There are many ways to create these spaces. Felt-like material can be nailed to a wall to make pockets to place plants in. Cloth shoe hangers serve the same purpose.
There are trays that can be used to mount on a wall. They are slanted at an angle to hold in soil while allowing drainage and aeration. Pallets and old shutters can be placed on end and pots hung on them.
I even saw a picture in which someone made wooden boxes on a slanted roof, and recycled gutters have been hung on a wall to be used as planting boxes.
Grab a cup. Container gardening saves space also. Again, the creativity of people amazes me. If it can hold soil, it can be used for planting.
I have seen old boots and buckets with hens and chicks over the years. Now people are using milk jugs, plastic pop bottles, paint cans and even Solo Cups.
One of the most interesting ones that I found while researching was a pole with old pots and pans attached in staggered layers. Another example was herbs grown in mugs hanging on hooks in the kitchen.
Look around, I’m sure that you can find something that can be used as a planter. Check with your local master gardener’s chapter though OSU Extension for more information.
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