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You were all happy to start your herb garden. You picked out your location and determined how much sunlight it gets. Your happiness turned to sadness when you realized that you only get 3-4 hours of sun. Those dreams of an herb garden were dashed. At least you thought so. In that shaded space, you can still grow your herb garden. Common herbs that grow well in the shade There are a few dozen herbs...

Mint is a commonly grown herb in container gardens… …but do you know the health benefits of this herb? Well today, I’ll share some with you some ways that I use it and other ways that it can be used. Common uses for mint Soothes aches, pains and stomach problems You can easily make mint tea by steeping mint leaves in hot water for a few minutes. This has been known to help with: Digestion Hiccups Farting Menstrual cramps Constricted muscles Other minor aches and pains Antiseptic and antibacterial “Mint possesses...

Which herbs should you start from seeds? You can experiment and find out on your own… …or you can read the rest of this post and save yourself the hassle. If you want to save time and energy, continue reading. Some herbs require too much of your time There definitely is something fun about starting from seed. You get to take care of the seedling and watch it grow until you finally use. Like a child of yours. No doubt on that. But there are some herbs that are too much work and require too much of your precious time to start...


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The project of using a shipping palette to make an herb garden is one that I originally saw on Instructables. The concept is that you water the top plant and it drains through to the plant below that and then to the plant below that. I followed the basic steps steps that were laid out there. You are supposed to drill the neck of the bottle through the top part of the bottle below it. The palette that I had the slats weren’t close enough and the bottles weren’t long enough, so I had to adapt. Here is what I did and what was...

The dill seeds were planted sometime in the beginning of June. To make sure that I continually have dill available to be I did some succession planting of more seeds. Succession planting is when you plant seeds in a way that you continually have a fresh crop available. Once one crop is harvested, there is another growing right behind it. This is great for small space gardening. I never did it on my fire escape garden, but am trying it for the first time on my balcony garden. Initially there were two rows of dill seeds planted. Now there...

Most of my planting so far have been of one single herb or veggie in a container. This time I decided to get creative with a herb container idea – I surrounded calendula with basil, cilantro, parsley, and oregano. I know that’s pretty crazy. It’s summer time, and I’m feeling frisky. Chopsticks were also reused as row markers to tell what the hell was planted where. There were four sets of calendula seeds that were planted in the center of the container. To the top of basil about five sets of basil seeds were planted....

Since I’m still new to this gardening thing, I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my first year. I’ve also had many successes as well, with the most memorable being my first lettuce harvest. For this post, I’d like to share the Top Five Gardening Mistakes that I’ve Made. Life ain’t perfect and neither are my gardens. I know hard to believe. I’ve made these mistakes, learned from them and have become better at gardening (and life) because of it. Putting too many food scraps in the compost bin. This...

Is there a saying that a plant takes after it’s owner? Well if not, I think someone should start that saying because my basil plant definitely takes after me. The basil plant, much like myself, has severely wilted and not sure if it’s going to be spring back to life. I’m thinking that I should’ve put the miniature greenhouse on it sooner. I’m not totally giving up on because my pepper plants already proved me wrong when I talked smack on them. Let me focus on the positive of the basil plant – I was...

I learned a good lesson about planting herbs together in the same container. It’s not best to do so. Similar to planting celery in the same container – nothing horrible will happen, but the herbs won’t grow as well. When I first planted them in my backyard vegetable garden in Brooklyn, the herbs were planted two to a container. It just happened to work out that my grandmother had just enough containers to accommodate that, and I didn’t want to buy any more. So they were planted based on what I thought tasted well...

The idea of the hanging garden planter using a soda bottle came after my unsuccessful attempts at upside down vegetable gardening. One of my readers, Craig Stanton, left a comment saying that I should put the cap back on and grow the vegetables out of the top. That seems so obvious, but I didn’t think of it at all and they’re also easy to make. These hanging garden planters are a great low cost way to start your own home vegetable garden. You can hang them in a window, on your balcony or anywhere that gets sunlight. I was...

It’s been a bit over a week since I planted my upside down herb garden on my fire escape again. I planted them in soda bottles that were recycled into the upside down planters. The results are the same though. Death. So unless I am doing something horribly wrong, I wouldn’t recommend building and using this contraption to grow your herbs. The first time I planted them, the herbs died quickly as well. It could’ve been because the soil was too heavy or because of my not so gentle hands. So I decided it was time to give...

Since I am gardening in such a small space, I need to make sure that I am maximizing every inch possible. When I was doing my initial research, I came across the Instructable on upside down hanging planters. Perfect for my fire escape and for this project. Using recycled materials, so it’s inexpensive and efficient. They are also easy to make. Tools and materials 2L soda bottle Duct tape Razor Hole puncher Thick twine or thin rope Instructions on how to make an upside vegetable planter Use razor to cut off bottom third or...

I finally got around to starting my upside down herb garden after killing it last month. Since the first go around was such a success, I decided to take it slowly this time and just planted some parsley. Here’s a step by step as to how I planted the parsley upside down in my herb garden. I stress “gently” because I was anything but in the first go round. Gently separate out one of the parsley plants. Gently place into the container. Feed through and gently pull through the bottom. Pat down the soil. Fill container with...

It’s been a rainy week here in Seattle, I mean New York, so I haven’t been paying much mind to the vegetables out on my fire escape. When I finally checked on them, I was happy to see that the lettuces, peppers and tomatoes looked pretty healthy. Then I looked above them and noticed the sad, sad sight of the herb garden I started to grow in the upside down vegetable planters. They looked the opposite of healthy – dead. Here’s what I think contributed to my massacre of the herbs: My surgeon like touch. Much like...

I set up my vegetable garden on my fire escape this afternoon with 3 buckets and 5 upside down herb planters. One bucket has Mottistone Crisphead lettuce, Parris Island Romaine lettuce and Anna Aasa tomato. Another has Mottistone lettuce, Parris Island Romaine lettuce and Buttercrunch. The third bucket has Jimmy Nardello’s sweet pepper and Chile Releno. The herbs that I planted were parsley, basil, sage, oregano and dill. Check this video tour of the set-up: ...

Instead of buying one of them fancy upside hanging planters, I decided to reuse 2 liter soda bottles. Finding them was actually much easier and cleaner than expected. ...

I took my first crack at making the insert for the self watering container today. The hardest part was cutting a square into circles that would fit snuggly into the bucket. Yes, I just said snuggly. Tools that I needed: Razor blade Scissor Pen Thumbtack Rope or string Something to measure water Materials: 5-gallon bucket Coin cup to use as my wicking basket 1 12″x12″ vinyl tile Drill with 1/4″ bit Steps in making the insert: Put the cup in the container and fill with water. Stop when the water reached the top of the...

Posted on Apr 23 2009 - 8:17pm by Mike Lieberman
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by your idea After some research, I got more info on the self watering containers. The Homegrown Evolution had a great resource on Self Irrigating Planters posted on April 5. One site that I checked out, Instructables, had a few different variations. One using 2 liter soda bottles and plastic totes. I like it cheap and green. Fits the criteria. Before I got too far ahead of myself, I had to talk to my roommate to see if he’d let me put these containers out on the fire escape since it’s out of his window. Luckily, he and I...