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Super savvy ideas thread

Hello fellow gardeners!

The last few years my job has been busier than ever and so I have been increasingly growing in containers ect. I have found you can grow most things if you use a bit of ingenuity!

However, I thought it would be great to have a thread to hear what other ideas and solutions people use?

DIY watering system, vertical growing ect ect- any fab ideas welcome!



  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,764

    I'm still rather proud of my window seed starting invention.  image  Took all of one hour to construct, a few screws out of sight around the window frame, and a bit of wire fence and ribbons.  

    Utah, USA.
  • GillianBCGillianBC Posts: 121

    I'm going to try that next spring, Blue.  All my seedlings that I've kept in front of the french window are twice the size of the same ones that I moved out to the greenhouse over the last few weeks.  

    Regarding container growing, I've found that self-watering pop-bottle pots work amazingly well for both seedlings and bigger plants.  Cut a pop-bottle in half, remove the cap, stick the neck half upside down in the bottom half and make a wick (old dishcloth, cotton wool, whatever.  Put water in bottom half and compost in top.  I also use cut-in-half pop-bottles as mini greenhouses for rooting cuttings of roses, clematis etc

  • Crazy CatCrazy Cat Posts: 41

    Hi Blue,

    That's a super idea, especially with those that have little window sill space (or certain little gardeners who may knock them down- or badly behaved pets!)

    Gillian, it's great to have someone's experience with these self-wicking/watering set-ups. I have had a look before but never made so i will give it a go if you have had good results.

    Anyone have any luck with vertical set-ups? I watched a you-tube video a while ago where people had made a raised frame to maximise space to grow.

    It was an interesting idea so would love any feedback from people who has tried themimage


  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,764

    Sort of space saving related.. but when I first got married we lived in a little flat in Richmond, with no outside space beyond the stairs and a little tiny area under the railing.  Certainly no space for a compost bin.  But I hated throwing away all that good stuff.  My solution was to fill up one of those reusable heavy duty large sized shopping bags with the content of my kitchen scraps during the winter months (where the landlandy wouldn't notice the smell due to the cold temperatures).  I just used cloths pegs to keep the top shut, and it wasn't bothered by vermin.  Come spring I would fill up the rest of the bag with a bag of compost and plant it up.  By the time the roots got down that far the material was beginning to compost.  It didn't ever smell, as I was careful about the brown/green ration in there.  It was mainly just things like apple cores, potato pealing, etc.  Nothing cooked.  But it might be worth a try if you don't have anywhere to put a compost heap.  

    Utah, USA.
  • T CT C Posts: 30

    I have done this with strawberries but its debatable how much space it saves. Ive seen the same done with wooden crates where you can get about 3-4 stories high of shelves and they look quite funky but offer more growing space.

    image hosting free

    Also hanging baskets for Strawberries/Tomatoes


  • I did this last year and it worked a treat:

    It's a greenhouse self-watering system. Upgrades planned for this year...

  • Crazy CatCrazy Cat Posts: 41

    What interesting ideas;

    I like the idea of saving scraps in a bag; My garden is too small to have a compost bin, and the waiting list for the local allotments is longer than the list of broken promises from politicians image

    TC, I like what you have done with your strawberry planter- I was possibly looking at growing the "salad" items in something a little like that; plants which don't need massive amounts of space- lettuce, radishes what not.

    New Allotmenteer- That looks like a good system; I was possibly thinking of one on a timer so it can water if I am working late ect...

    Did the plants benefit and what was the set up cost?

    Thanks for all the contributions!

    I tried a "bottle tower" last year but it wasn't great to be truthful, really only good for lettuce...worth trying but didn't really work all that well.

  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    I make little greenhouse's with 4pt milk cartons cot the bottom off then get another cut the bottom & top with handle off & insert it in the other, then put it over the plant & build up the earth around it. All so I do that for my kale plant the kale put some fresh cat litter around it put the milk container on top put the earth around it & put some cat litter around it,that stops the slugs & snails.
  • Crazy CatCrazy Cat Posts: 41


    Logan- good idea! Anything that can stop slugs and snails gets my vote, and making use of milk cartons is good as well- I only use them as emergency sowing pots when I've run out so nice idea to have something more useful out of them!

    Are the light levels okay going through the plastic? I suppose I could use empty clear pop bottles as well?

  • Tropical SamTropical Sam Posts: 1,488

    This has been doing the rounds for some time, but using those cheap clear plastic tubs as mini greenhouses is a good dual use/cheap hack.




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