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Vertical gardening to cover fence using shoe racks

I have attached several hanging cloth style shoe racks to cover an ugly fence and am unsure what to plant in them. I am a novice gardener so will preferably be able to survive year round with little maintenance, they will only have a fairly small space to live in and will have little sun. It would be great if they could hang down to cover the shoe rack space they would grow in. The shoe racks have five rows and would be great if I could grow lines of the same plant / herb (would be open to fruit and veg but is more important that looks good rather than giving me produce) and combine different rows to make it look more interesting. Has anyone done this before or got any ideas of what would work? Thanks


  • arneilarneil Northern Ireland Posts: 274

    I had something like that last year , I found it difficult to keep watered and impossible to wet when they dried out . Mine maybe were a bit small to have enough compost to hold onto moisture

  • Firstly, well done for thinking creatively - you can grow in so many different spaces and containers with a little bit of thought. I recently bought from Amazon a book called 'Vertical Vegetables and Fruit' and on the cover is an illustration of what you have done and inside says 'A cloth shoe bag takes up little room while producing a variety of greens and herbs'. This is a variation on growing in hanging baskets or window boxes so you can grow all of the usual plants that trail e.g, Petunias, Surfinias etc. The crucial thing is to maximise the moisture of the compost by adding water retaining gel to prevent the compost drying out and these can be bought in most garden centres for less than £6 a bag. If the shoe bags aren't in direct sunlight they shouldn't dry out too quickly and you can experiment with whatever you fancy growing.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,394

    I would get some poly pots to fit the shoe rack pockets and plant your plants in them, using some of the water retaining gel mentioned above - that will help stop the compost drying out and also help prevent the cloth rotting too quickly. image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks for the great advice, I will update you and let you know how I get on (if anyone is interested). I have bought the poly pots and also water retaining crystals. Currently have over 150 seedlings on the go. Just starting to harden them off. 

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