Unconventional Planters

unconventional planters

The great thing about gardens is that most of them can fit anywhere. This is why you may be able to repurpose junk from your garage into a unique garden—you just need to get a bit creative. Planters are also ideal for indoors when the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor growing. Though there are a ton of options, here are just a few of my favorites to get you inspired to plant an unconventional garden.

Wheelbarrows

That old wheelbarrow that has just been sitting in your garage or is in the backyard accumulating rust is actually a great place to plant some vegetables. First, drill drainage holes in the bottom of the barrow about six inches apart. Then cover the bottom of the wheelbarrow with mesh to keep soil from falling out of the holes, and to keep the good nutrients in the soil. Once you have the wheelbarrow where you want it, fill it with potting soil and your choice of fertilizer—now you are ready to plant your crops, but be mindful not to overpopulate or pick ones that spread too far.

Teacups, Mugs & Mason Jars

I am in love with this idea for indoor herb gardens. Planting in cups is a great way to keep your favorite herbs close by year round, as well as add some decoration to your house. Best of all, it’s incredibly simple—just fill the cup of your choice with soil, plant your seeds, and place them in a good location for growing. For more information on indoor herbs, check out my how-to guide.

Crates and Drawers

Not sure what to do with that crate box that delivered your wine? Or how about an old dresser that may be sturdy but just doesn’t go with your decor? These are perfect places to keep a small garden both indoors and out. Both can be easily waterproofed with the help of a Waterseal spray, and then moved to your desired location. It may also be a good idea to line the insides with plastic because it will prevent deterioration.

Drill holes in the crates for drainage purposes, adding things like small rocks or even cut-up wine corks to the inside bottom of the crate to aid in this pursuit. If you decided to use plastic, be sure to cut holes in it for draining.

Now fill the crate or drawer with soil and plant whatever your heart desires. Be sure to pay particular attention to the corners the longer you use a box because they may deteriorate. Consider adding brackets for extra support.

Hay or Straw Bales

This is a new one that has become popular for fall planting, and for good reason. After all, what’s more festive than a bale of hay or straw during autumn? Similar to the wheelbarrow, you want to be sure to place the bale in the correct spot before planting because, once watered, they can be hard to move. Next, it’s essential that the bale remains held together with its strings, so be careful not to sever one while planting.

The main difference for bale planting is to pay close attention to the temperature and moisture so as to prevent decomposing. To prevent this, some gardeners suggest “conditioning the bale” by watering it for 10 to 14 day prior to planting, slowly working in fertilizer. For hotter climates, be sure to pay close attention to the way the bale decomposes, so as to give your plants enough time to grow.

It’s also important to note that, although you can plant most things, corn or tall-growing plants may cause the bale to break apart. For this same reason, root vegetables are not great bale plants either.

Image by KayTaenzer/iStock


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1 Comment on Unconventional Planters

  1. Just wanted to correct the root vegetables not good for straw bale gardening. Potatoes grow well. Joel Karsten suggests in his book to plant above ground crops and then the root crops. Check out his book – “Straw Bale Gardening”

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