Turn A Shoe Organizer Into A Vertical Garden With This Clever Hack

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Finding enough space to grow your favorite plants while still ensuring they're accessible and getting enough sunlight can be quite a difficult task, especially if your outdoor space is limited to a balcony or patio. But there's a solution you might not have considered that's waiting right in your closest: hanging shoe organizers. If they're made of the correct materials, hanging shoe organizers can be suspended outdoors and used to plant herbs and other smaller plants as a way to maximize your vertical space.

This hack is fairly similar to using fabric grow bags to plant in lieu of typical pots, but the unique design of a shoe organizer allows you to plant significantly more plants without having to shell out money for multiple bags, while also having the ability to easily suspend them from railings, overhangs, or siding. However, in order to do this yourself, there are a few steps you should take to ensure you have the highest chance of success.

How to do this yourself

To begin this project, you're going to want to assess the space you're working with. If you have a wall or door you're willing to nail into or a taller railing that this vertical garden can be attached to, you're good to go without any construction. If you don't, however, you'll need to also create your own rack to suspend the organizer. You only need a few wood beams, a shower curtain rod, pots, and some gravel. Build a U-shape out of some beams or 2-by-4s, place the ends in large, sturdy pots filled with gravel to weigh them down, and install your curtain rod across the top to create a space to hang.

After you have this figured out, it's time to pick out a shoe organizer. Fabric grow bags are typically made of sturdy, breathable material that allows air and water to freely circulate, so you want to look for a similar kind of fabric when shopping. Mesh options like this KIMBORA Boots Hanging Shoe Organizer from Amazon are a solid choice, and it's best to avoid anything made of clear plastic or a similarly moisture-trapping material.

What plants work best in this organizer

Because the pockets on most organizers are fairly small, you're a bit limited when it comes to what you're able to grow. You want to avoid anything that needs a larger amount of space for roots to spread, and you'll also want to avoid climbing plants that could take over everything else you've planted. Instead, look for plants that are perfectly happy in a smaller pot. Fast-growing herbs like dill, basil, and rosemary are some of the best and most useful options, but you can also try your hand at growing some greens or small root vegetables like radishes or lettuce.

Whatever you choose to plant, make sure it will receive enough sun and water in the shoe pockets. You'll need to water these plants frequently, as these organizers can quickly dry out, especially in sunny conditions. However, with proper care and maintenance, you can create a lush and lovely hanging garden for a fraction of the cost and effort of other methods.