It’s the last week of August, which means it’s time to start thinking about your fall garden. In Central Texas, early September is about the time you plant vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and kale.
Contrary to what most may think, you don’t need a big backyard to cultivate a successful garden. Here are some creative ways to grow your plants (for any time of year!)
If you’ve made spaghetti recently, it’s possible that you have some tin cans in the trash. Whether they are 12 ounces or 32 ounces, the various sizes are great for starting a plant from seed and nurturing it as it grows, and then repotting it later. Some plants, though, may not need much more space than what a large can of crushed tomatoes provides, so you may be in luck with your one can! Just make sure to drill a hole at the bottom of the can, so that the water can drain.
Similarly, you can utilize vintage watering cans for planters as well. You, a friend, or a family member may have one of these lying around in the shed, or you can check out a local antique shop or flea market to find an inexpensive one to repurpose!
Baskets, Buckets, and Crates
Various shapes, sizes, and textures of wicker baskets, old school metal buckets, and charming wooden crates are a great alternative to planting in the ground or even in typical clay pots.
What’s great about using these items is that they offer a wide variety of uses. Long, deep, rectangular crates are perfect for root vegetables like carrots. Bonus: the compactness of this set-up makes it perfect for an apartment complex window or a tiny backyard.
Crates can also be hung almost anywhere. Think of it as a raised bed. You can hang them from the window sill, or even something more unconventional like a bike or antique tractor.
The baskets are already equipped for drainage, and the buckets offer statement style. If the size of the vessel allows, you could maximize your space by planting a container garden, which is simply planting multiple plants in one container.
Do you have a pair of boots that are really worn out or just don’t fit right? Instead of throwing them out, use them as a planter for a few small plants, especially plants like herbs or succulents that don’t need a ton of space to prosper!
Go big: Wheelbarrows, Bathtubs, and Crocks
If you do have the space for this, be it in the backyard or on a large balcony or patio, a few of these larger options are unique and beautiful ways to grow a garden.
Wheelbarrows, especially older vintage ones, are perfect for growing a number of plants and vegetables, all in one place, because of the space and depth of the container.
Bathtubs are a beast, but the look of a slightly rusty, vintage claw-foot tub with a plethora of foliage thriving inside and over the edges is breathtaking. This is another perfect alternative for growing vegetables, especially root vegetables, because of how much depth you have to work with!
Finally, somewhere between a regular pot and a bathtub, are crocks. Crocks were originally used to store and preserve kitchen staples like butter, salted meats, and pickled vegetables. The ceramic material of the crocks makes them extremely durable, but also water-tight. If you’re going to plant in a crock, don’t drill a hole– you don’t want to ruin this antique gem! Instead, layer a bunch of rocks of various sizes at the bottom so that water can drain. Additionally, it would be wise to plant something that doesn’t require much watering to begin with. Herbs and succulents are good examples of this.
Vertical Terracotta Pots
If you’re really crunched for space, but like the look of a terracotta or clay pot, think beyond the cliche image of a room full of potted plants, and instead shift to the image of a tower of potted plants.
Maybe not an entire tower, but that’s the idea: plant up, not out.
All you need is a stabilized rod and as many pots as you’d like (or can fit) on that rod. Slide the plants over the rod through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot and tilt in alternative directions, so you’re plants have room to thrive.