DIY - New Idea for Outdoor Planting
I’m BACK in action, woohoo! Sorry I’ve been MIA lately – been so busy at work lately, and now that Passover has come and gone, I’m hoping to spend more time writing more posts for you lovely readers of mine! Well, weather is finally in springtime mode here in Chicago (except for a few cold and rainy days, but that’s what we Midwesterners expect). And now that I’m realizing (and perhaps in denial) that May is NEXT WEEK, it’s time to me to start thinking about planting! Granted I have a small little porch area, but hey, it’s better than nothing, am I right? I love that my porch faces west so I get perfect sun exposure for my tomatoes, peppers, herbs, whatever I feel like planting! So let me share with you what I did last year (though what is NOT super awesome is that my apartment gets to be a thousand degrees because it faces west and we're the tallest building on the block, so nothing blocks out the sun).
I was trying to figure out a way to have more plants outside without having to buy a ton of stuff and using a lot of space, since I do like to sit on my porch occasionally, and if it’s covered with pots, well, enjoying some sunshine would be a tight squeeze. I do have a hanging planter for my “topsy turvy” planters (side note – these things are amazing. I think you can only get them online, though they used to have them in stores years ago. They really work and quite easy to set up). I thought about putting a small table out there with plants, more hanging plant stands, but ok, I'm getting ahead of myself. So how did I start brainstorming? I took a look around my apartment so see what I could salvage so I didn’t have to buy all new stuff. And then – LIGHT BULB.
Are you familiar with the over-the-door shoe rack? Not the metal one, but the one with pockets – you know what I mean (hint hint – see picture above). :) Well years ago, I bought a whole bunch and I use them in almost every single door in my apartment (okay not every door, but MOST). I have one in my living room that I keep hats, scarves and gloves (and my sister-in-law Shanny loved this idea, that she now uses it in her home too!), one in my linen closet for cleaning supplies, and one on the inside door of my pantry with extra cooking utensils, since I have little drawer space. AND…just recently, I added one into my shower! Whaaatt? Yup, I placed the organizer on the inside of my shower rod, for extra storage (make sure to buy the plastic ones though – easier to clean, though once they get moldy, I just throw it out and buy a new one).
Get where I’m going with this?
Why couldn’t I do the same thing with my plants? Ah HA! It was all coming together (and a super inexpensive addition to my outdoor garden).
So here’s what I did. I bought a canvas over-the-door shoe organizer and although I could have cut it in half, all I did was drape it over my porch, nailed it down on the other side, so it wouldn’t fly away when it’s windy and bought some organic herb plants, and placed them right in the mesh section. BUT…silly me, I didn’t measure anything. So, what I ended up with was some planters that fit perfectly in the shoe hole and some that were way too big. Enter scissors and duct tape. Cut the sides off of two shoe holes and taped them together to make one big space for the planter. It wasn’t perfect and honestly, it was far from pretty, but it did the job. I also secured it with some thin rope to give it extra security in case my trust duct tape failed on me.
I am digging this re-imagining the “new uses for old things” (thank you Real Simple), and taking a $20 item and making it work in so many ways! If you have a small apartment and need extra storage space, utilize your closets and walls! You can use one of these shoe organizers for jewelry, make-up, nail polish, and oh right…SHOES too!
My plan worked perfectly! All summer I had oregano, mint, cilantro, dill, lavender (though for some reason that didn’t bloom). My mom and sisters definitely got the green thumb and while I know I did too, my knowledge of gardening is pretty weak. I’ve always done bits of research and learned as I go, but would love to hear your comments and provide any tips you have!
Happy re-purposing and gardening!