Getting Into and Out of My Fire Escape Garden

Posted on Feb 19 2010 - 5:48am by Mike Lieberman

I’m sure that most of you think that having a fire escape garden is easy. Well it aint’s.

You already know that my fire escape garden is out of my roommate’s room.

There is a radiator that is in front of the window that the fire escape is out of. On the radiator is a bunch of stuff that I need to take off each time I want to go out. Then I have to open the gate and the window, which doesn’t freely open.

Once the window is open, I can get out onto the fire escape. Not that simple though. The radiator is mad shaky, which makes it difficult to use as a stepping stool. There is also about a foot or so of window ledge that I need to clear as well.

On the way out of the fire escape, it’s just as difficult again because of the shaky radiator.

Contrary to popular belief, fire escape gardening is much more dangerous than you think it would be and that’s just getting to and from the garden.

Check out this video to see what I’m talking about.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xrbAHDAwo0

15 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. indoorkitty February 19, 2010 at 10:22 am -

    Hey Mike. Found you through the tiny choices interview and enjoyed perusing your site. If you haven't run across him, InsideUrbanGreen is a guy in Brooklyn with lots of sub-irrigation experience. He's a little evangelical in tone, but really knowledgeable.

    I'm a suburban southerner with several big sub-irigated planters that I bought form Gardeners Supply. (I tried making my own, but we get so much rain here that they flooded and collapsed.) I start my larger plants in soda bottle SIPs and my smaller guys in peat pellets in plastic takeout containers. This year I'm using the Square Foot Gardening book as a guide.

    One idea that might work as an alternative to your dangling soda bottles: The Lowes around here sells really huge hose clamps. If you can locate some cans that are slightly larger than your soda bottles, you could drill some drainage holes in the bottom, open the catch on the hose clamps, and attach the cans to the pickets of the fire escape. (Imagine the hose clamps as if they were big metal zipties.) Then you'd have some semi-permanent cache pots for your soda bottles to rest. I've also found that plastic file crates are perfect for toting the soda bottles. If you stagger the bottles, each crate holds nine.

    Hope my unsolicited advice was not too annoying. Cool site and garden.
    Leslie

  2. Mike Lieberman February 19, 2010 at 11:24 am -

    Thanks for the advice Leslie. Totally appreciated. I definitely need to do something to make the soda bottles into more of a cache pot. I've been toying with some ideas, but like yours of putting into some kind of container. Appreciate it.

  3. truecrimson February 21, 2010 at 10:18 am -

    Lol, man I'm glad I don't have to drag my fat arse over a rdiator and out the window. Well, dude, you inspired me to start a blog, which I have been avoiding for years. I'm doing most of my web site content additions through it now. Gotta warn you though, it ranges through all of my interests, not just small space and container gardening.

    Hey, have you started your seeds yet? Generally 6-8 weeks ahead of placement outside is recommended for most things. We started our first real round for this year last night. You might be interested in some of my methods. Nothing spectacular, just common stuff a lot of people do, but I had some success with them last year. Once we get some more potting soil we'll be starting a lot more.

    Outdoor gardening season is just around the corner ;)th

  4. Mike Lieberman February 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm -

    Haha. Nice. I got my first set of seeds and will start them in the next week or so. Also need to order some more.

    Hit me up with the link to your blog when you start.

  5. truecrimson February 21, 2010 at 6:18 pm -

    Lol, man I'm glad I don't have to drag my fat arse over a rdiator and out the window. Well, dude, you inspired me to start a blog, which I have been avoiding for years. I'm doing most of my web site content additions through it now. Gotta warn you though, it ranges through all of my interests, not just small space and container gardening.

    Hey, have you started your seeds yet? Generally 6-8 weeks ahead of placement outside is recommended for most things. We started our first real round for this year last night. You might be interested in some of my methods. Nothing spectacular, just common stuff a lot of people do, but I had some success with them last year. Once we get some more potting soil we'll be starting a lot more.

    Outdoor gardening season is just around the corner ;)th

  6. Mike Lieberman February 22, 2010 at 1:31 am -

    Haha. Nice. I got my first set of seeds and will start them in the next week or so. Also need to order some more.

    Hit me up with the link to your blog when you start.

  7. Debbie Polito Maddox April 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm -

    Boy I need your blog.. Found you through a friend on Raw Food Rehab. Thanks for giving us this information.

  8. Mike Lieberman April 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm -

    Glad you enjoying Debbie. Lots more info to come!

  9. Teresa O'Connor April 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm -

    Funny! And just think how tough it will be when you actually have to use the fire escape as an actual escape from a fire. Maybe you need to rethink this, Mike. Seriously, thanks for risking your life each day to show us fire escape organic gardening. We appreciate it! Teresa

  10. Mike Lieberman April 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm -

    That fire escape is a hazard unto itself with or without the garden 😉

  11. Elena April 8, 2011 at 5:59 pm -

    Funny post—love it! Thought I was the only going crazy just to grow a few things. – Elena/SimplyNu

  12. Mike Lieberman April 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm -

    Nope. I’m crazy too :-p

  13. Mariah McMillian April 14, 2011 at 8:00 pm -

    Now that’s dedication lol. Seriously.

  14. Mike Lieberman April 14, 2011 at 11:57 pm -

    That’s how I roll.

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