Creative DIY Vertical Planters for Less
Time to grow up, gardeners! Spring is here, and this year that means going vertical. Hanging baskets have been virtually replaced by a slew of creative upscale gardens (emphasis on the “up”) that are bringing plants to places they’ve never gone before. Requiring less room than space-hogging raised beds, these high-rise planters work especially well in urban yards and balconies, and provide a much-needed peek of green as well.
And you don’t need to break the bank investing in materials to get the look. Most of these projects can be created for under $50 — many with items you may already have in your home. Here are some cheap, easy ideas that will take your gardening to the next level, in the most literal sense.
Leftover coffee can walls
Tin cans are one practical option for a vertical garden — they’re easy enough to acquire and can be painted to match any color scheme. Plus you’ll get some upcycling cred to boot. Use imported coffee containers for a quirky, modern twist.
Make your own: Finish the contents of the can (another reason to use coffee containers is that you get an excuse to make that extra pot of joe!), wash and then neatly line the rim with electrical tape to avoid any sharp edges. Drill or punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage, and one near the edge of the rim at the top. From there, you can hang it from hooks attached to a fence, wall, or door or attach cans using twine and dangle them from a balcony ceiling.
Pocket garden from shoe organizers
Not keen on waiting around to empty a bunch of cans? Nothing could be simpler than this hanging shoe holder herb garden. Use it to give boring fences a punch — and get yourself some sweet-smelling herbs in return.
Make your own: Grab a shoe holder, fill with soil and go! One note on materials, however: fabric organizers tend to work better here, because they allow for more drainage than plastic.
Upcycled concrete block tower
Here’s one creative way to get rid of leftover cinder blocks: turn them into a cool industrial planter. Concrete blocks arranged in an asymmetrical tower give this garden a real edge, while keeping this project super affordable.
Make your own: It’s a lot easier than it looks. Apply metal flashing to the bottom openings using construction adhesive and then let them dry. Next assemble the blocks one by one, adhering them to each other with a little more glue. Urban garden tower for next to nothing!
Pallets are a gardener’s dream material. They can support a raised bed, bolster a compost heap, and as it turns out, make a great vertical garden for succulents.
Make your own: What makes this project so appealing is how simple it is. After you sand down any rough spots in the wood, the only thing left to do is staple landscaping cloth around the sides and bottom. It effectively makes a little bag where you can throw in some soil, pop in a few plants and admire your DIY know-how.
DIY bottle wall
Haven’t kicked your Diet Coke habit yet? Well, here’s one unexpected benefit to slurping down all that soda — you can use the leftover two-liter bottles to make a really unique living wall. This tip comes via Brazilian design firm Rosenbaum, as part of an effort to makeover more than 40 local homes. Bottles are suspended using wire or twine and slung over a wall to add a little pop of green to an urban space — and get a dramatic look for mere pennies.
Make your own: Using scissors, punch two sets of holes on each end of the bottle — one set on top, and one on the bottom. These will be where you thread the wire. Cut a small hole in the side for the plants as well. Then, to allow water to drain, make a much smaller opening on the opposite side. Next, loop wire through the two holes on each side and then knot it around a washer to keep the bottle from slipping. Repeat until you have a piece long enough to cover your wall. Gardens that reuse materials and beautify urban walls? I’m down.