Hanging Container Holder
Marhaba! (welcome in Arabic) If you are new here to Desert Patrol Blog, I discuss and show photos of desert climate gardening and traveling. Here is a project I am working on. I have a lot of plant containers and not a lot of horizontal room. I am renting a flat that has a small porch area and I have no experience putting things into plaster walls. Plus, the landlord may not like permanent holes in the wall. What to do? Here is the project area shown in Photo A below.
1. Floor space is limited, but I want to grow a lot of food plants.
2. How do I fill the white wall place with plants in a rental where I don’t want to mar the plaster wall?
3. See the white 5 gallon bucket at the photo bottom? I want to keep that on the floor (it is pretty heavy) but also have the horizontal planter container here as well.
4. I can’t block the steps as that is how I get in and out!
If you read my blog post on Water Usage, then the first thing I do is get a proper mindset:
*Humility, not Pride
*I Will Survive
*S.T.O.P. (Stop, Think, Observe, Plan)!
Whew, got that one done. Hmm, now … oh yes,
*A.A.O. (Adapt And Overcome)
Well, since I can’t go sideways …
Solution #1. Think vertical! Building up is a plus here.
Solution #2 . The first thing that came to mind was to hang something on the wall that easily comes off and not permanently mark the wall.
Solution #3. Build over the top of the bucket that leaves room for the tomatoes! Why keep the white bucket? Because it is an integral part of my new official Low Water Usage Plan, critical to my hopefully successful desert climate garden. Thus the white bucket is my Official Global Bucket (see below for more on this) which has carrots but will have tomatoes next year that will hopefully grow 1.5 – 2 meters tall, not quite covering the wall, leaving room at the top for more plants.
Solution #4. Build something that can be built to any width, thus narrow enough so I can easily get in and out yet grow enough plant to meet my needs.
Well, what I came up with this in Photo B.
I left this hanging container holder unpainted so you could see how it was built. While doing this I lamented the fact I was doing this with just a small hand saw and a tape measure. The wall is pretty unequal too so I figure they match! Nothing precise here but it comes out pretty close to ok and is functional. With a nice square and a small table saw, you could build this into quite a gem. I look forward to painting it a brown to go with the desert climate I live in. The container just sits in place and can easily be removed. I used scrap wood, nail’s for most of it, but the top area has all the weight pulling on it so I used screws there. The small horizontal wood piece in the front keeps it from sliding forward just in case. Here are some more photo angles.
Notice how the hanger rests on the uneven plaster wall. I wanted the weight of the container, initially a negative force that would pull nails out of the plaster wall, and became a positive force. The vertical pull of the container actually pulls the hanger part down onto the wall to make it more secure. This thing is real solid on here, hardly moves, but you can quickly pull it off and move it if you want.
Photo D whows the Hanging Container Holder sans container.
Looking up at the bottom to show how I reinforced it. Notice the sky line. The building on the left is the same building I live in and the one on the right is the neighbors. Close quarters in this desert climate location!
Here it is in action (in the upper middle area) looking quite at home hanging in the front porch area.
Something to keep in mind here also. I just moved into this place about a week ago and am having fun placing plants in different areas to see how they do. In this very hot and very, very dry climate, these plants tell me sometimes within hours if they like it or not. The lettuces, flowers, and anything that is a green, leafy plant LOVES this porch, so this porch is hopefully going to go through a lot of changes.
See the far left window?
Below it are the Global Buckets and I since cut down the vertical watering pipes. Here is a close up of them.
So far they work real well if the plant roots go down enough. As far as water usage, they rarely need refilling here so I judge them a water saver success!
This is the Global Buckets homepage, http://www.globalbuckets.org/ . Next year they will have tomatoes and I plan on tying them off to the window safety grills. Global Buckets are a poor man’s (that’s me!) version of the fabulous Earthbox. Here is the Earthbox homepage, www.earthbox.com . They are incredible inventions but I am not able to afford them or get them easily delivered here in my little desert climate environment.
Oh, in the background, see the trash can?
They are my ‘water reservoirs’ that I currently use to hand water the plants. I have lids on them (very important so I don’t lose water to evaporation). Every time I lift the lids their insides are covered with moisture and I don’t want to waste that water! I carefully knock the water back into the can and use it to feed the plants. Hand watering is very inefficient water system, proven in test situations done by many universities, but I am stuck with it for now.
But I have another big plan! To be more water efficient, I am planning three hydroponic vertical water systems AND a gravity fed drip system using one of those trash cans on the roof as a water reservoir. Here is the link for the hydroponic system: http://www.container-gardening-for-food.com/hydroponic-growing.html . I am curious to see how well it works here. It looked good on the video! I suspect it will be very successful here, after I figure out some things with it. Like how to build it and get it up and running properly! I am still gathering supplies for it, quite a task since I am trying to get as much by ‘urban hunting’ as possible. This is also known as scrounging in all sorts of places. It also requires that I am humble enough to ask people, “Are you throwing that out? Can I have it?” It is amazing what people throw out. I have built entire livestock shelters that withstood heavy inclement weather out of things people were taking to dumps or piling on burn piles.