DIY Vertical Planter for Balconies and Small Patios
This month the Farmhouse Hens are collaborating on outdoor buildings or planters. If you don’t know about the Farmhouse Hens its a small group of my blogging friends, who collaborate once a month on various topics. I always look forward to working with the Hens and I am sure you will enjoy their projects linked at the end of my post.
Our yard is really sunny, which I prefer, except for my pansies. Pansies are both Hubs and my favorite yard flower and they don’t do well in bright sunlight. So this year I made this little hanging basket for the privacy wall, it should keep the pansies shaded during the hottest part of the day. If it doesn’t work in this spot, I can easily move it to another part of the back yard fence.
Vertical Garden Supplies
Large shopping tote, preferably seagrass (I got mine at Ikea)
Parchment paper, a small circular object like a shot glass or pill bottle
Pencil, ruler, sharpie
Large piece of heavy plastic 3 by 4 feet approximately
17 – Small annual plants,
Hot glue and a glue gun
Exacto blade, scissors
Nails or screws
Make the Pattern (optional)
The DIY vertical planter has a series of one-inch holes throughout one side. The easiest way to make the pattern for the plants symmetrical is to draw out a pattern first. If you prefer to freehand the placement of your potting holes, by all means, you can do that. I am a planner so I started by creating a symmetrical pattern.
Each row is 3″ apart with staggered markings. To keep it symmetrical I started by finding center and then working outwards in even increments on each side.
Lay the grass bag on top of the parchment paper and trace the outline.
Fold the paper in half to find the center.
Row 1 starts two inches from the bottom. Find the center and mark X, add more marks every six inches towards the edges on both sides.
Row 2 starts 5″ from the bottom. Do not place an X at the center. Measure 4 1/2 inches on each side of center, then at 6 inches towards the edges on both sides.
Row 3 is like row 1, except you start 8 inches from the bottom. Find the center and mark X, add more marks every six inches towards the edges on both sides.
Row 4 is like row 2, except you start 11 inches from the bottom. Do not place an X at the center. Measure 4 1/2 inches on each side of center, then at 6 inches towards the edges on both sides.
Row 5 is again like row 1, but this time you start 14″ from the bottom. Find the center, mark X, add more marks every six inches towards the edges on both sides.
If your bag is larger than mine just continue up the bag adding rows every three inches until you reach the top.
Making the Circles
Using a ruler as a guide, place a circular object over each X mark as close to center as possible. Don’t fuss about being really accurate as the plants will grow and make the pattern forgiving. Close is good enough.
Repeat the process until you have all the circles drawn.
Transferring the Pattern
Pin the pattern squarely to the top of your basket to hold the pattern in place. Place a sheet of carbon paper between the pattern and the bag. Trace out all the circles, moving the carbon paper as needed. Occasionally lift up the parchment pattern to make sure the carbon is transferring. Once all the circles are transferred remove the pattern and set it aside for later.
Cutting the Potting Holes
To prevent fraying apply hot glue before cutting. To make sure the glue penetrate between the fibers of the seagrass fabric, make sure the hot glue is very hot. Plug the glue gun in for at least ten minutes before starting. When you need to replace the glue, leave the glue gun for another ten minutes before continuing.
With the hot glue gun make an outline of each circle. Let the glue dry until hard and cool.
To protect the back side of your bag insert a cutting board inside the bag before you start cutting out the circles. Once the cutting board is in place, use an Exacto knife to make a hole inside of each circle(you will cut it neatly with scissors later), it doesn’t need to be exact, just make sure you don’t cut through the hot glue outline.
Remove the cutting board and using scissors cut out as much of the circles as you can without cutting into the glue.
A plastic liner will keep the water inside your vertical planter, and to prevent the seagrass from getting dirty. I had some leftover heavy plastic in the garage, but you can use a heavy shopping bag, or the bag from the potting soil as long as it is large enough.
Fold the piece of plastic in half, cover with the template and cut an inch inside, the outline of the pattern.
Staple one end closed. Slide inside the bag to see how it fits. Cut off more plastic from the open side if needed. Once you’re happy with the size staple the second side and insert into the bag.
With a Sharpee trace inside all the circles, remove the plastic liner. Cut out the circles with scissors making them larger than the markings.
Planting the Vertical Garden
The size of the plugs on your plants will decide which way you insert them into the circles. Mine are large so it was easier to work from inside the planter and push the plant through the circle to the outside. If your plugs are smaller you can plant them from the outside, pushing the plug root end into the planter. I think that way is a little easier on the plants, but that said all of mine survived.
Plant the flowers in rows. Place a little bit of soil in the bottom of the planter. Add the first row of flowers, fill with soil, and repeat.
We had snow a couple of weeks ago (stupid eh), so these pictures are taken right after I finished putting it together. One side is a bit bare because the baby plants need time to grow. I hope you can envision how pretty it will be once they have the chance to grow.