September 11, 2012

Plant Buckets

Finished product- I actually have 7 hanging on the balcony railing, but it was hard to get a shot wide enough to show it
     Ok, for those of you that read my blog (or know me), you know what an avid gardener I am. One of the sadder parts about leaving home was not having access to garden spaces at my parents house. And with how stuffed my car was, I couldn't even fit my miniature pepper plant or my - admittedly large- aloe plant on my trip to Houston.
     Living in a second floor apartment now, I only have access to two tiny balconies (ok, technically one since the other is my brother's.) But I can't live without plants either. So I decided to maximize space by hanging the plants instead of clustering them on the floor of the balcony. This isn't necessarily a novel concept, but I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a fancy pantsy "do-it-yourself kit" when I know I could do it myself.
      I went to Tuesday Morning and happened to find these little buckets for $1.50 each. They are a great size to start off with for what I needed at the time, but I will probably have to expand as the plants grow. Cooking is really important to my brother and herbs are great plants to start out with as I get used to growing in this new climate (so tropical- I want a citrus tree!)

  • buckets, any size (you just might need to use two clips per plant when it starts to get heavy/large)
  • plants that will fit in the bucket size you have selected- we started with thyme, basil, and mint
  • shower hooks, preferably metal 
  • rocks or a screwdriver and a hammer
  • a balcony railing
Supplies needed: screwdriver with a sharp tip, hammer, buckets with handle
How To: 

1.     Wash out the buckets with soap and water. Rinse very well! 

2.     Turn the buckets upside down and get your screwdriver ready. Pick a sharp tip for your screwdriver; hold the screwdriver to the base of the bucket and hit with the hammer, using it as a punch. (Note: My buckets were fairly thin, so this method worked well. If you have a sturdier bucket, you might need to use a drill.)  

3.     Punch enough holes for drainage. (If you don't want to punch holes, you can also put a layer or two of rocks at the bottom of your pot to keep your plant's roots from getting wet.) 

Bucket with holes punched into it
4.     Find plants- we found small pots of herbs at HEB for $4. Each of these pots yielded enough plant material for 2 of my buckets. (AKA one bought plant= 2 of my planter buckets)

5.     Separate plants, gently, if needed, to form two separate plant-able sections. Place each one in a bucket, adding dirt as necessary. Gently press down around the plant so that it is sturdy, but not squashed into the pot.  

6.     Now is the time to hang them. Get out your shower hooks and slide them around the top balcony rung, leaving the hook part open. 

View of plants looking down: you can see the hooks that I used are shower hooks with decorative beads at the top
7.     Lastly, slide your bucket handle into the open part of the hook and close the hook up. Tada! Hanging baskets.
PS After some much needed constructive criticism from my brother, I will go back to my earlier posts and try to make it more clear how I made the crafts I blog about. Hopefully, this will include more full sized pictures (if I have them....)

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