Green thumbs

Throughout the summer, my mom always has a gigantic garden. As veggies start to ripen, we can like crazy. Dustin and also get veggies to eat fresh there too. We had a small garden once. I didn’t weed it (too many snakes around here back then). We tried a few container tomatoes last year- I think we harvested one tomato.

This year, we’re giving it another shot. Since we now have the Chickens of Mass Destruction and since I still don’t plan to weed a garden (my growing belly is my excuse this year!), we’re giving container gardening another shot, but with a different angle.

I recently discovered and became obsessed with Pinterest. I found an awesome vertical garden there, but knew that we just don’t have time to guild anything. So, I searched some more and discovered that people have been using over the door shoe hangers with success.

Most people who container garden have limited space. We have the space, but with the chickens, my weeding boycott, and all the trees, we don’t really have a good spot for a garden (even though we tried one year…that area is now the day lily garden).

I hoped to score a shoe hanger at Goodwill, but struck out, so I hit the dollar store and for $6, this was all mine.


I ripped it open and got to work. It had a pretty strong chemical smell though, so I checked the tag to see how to wash it. Instead, I found this, which I then ignored.


Since we’re planting in it, I didn’t like the chemical smell and thought it was best to wash it to get as much of that out of it as I could. So, I washed my over the door shoe hanger so I could put dirt in it.

This set us back a day, so the next night, Dustin hung it to the clothes line for me with a few nails.

As always, his ladies came flocking (ha). They follow him around when he’s outside.


*Evidence of my need to weed can be seen in the above picture at the ends of the day lilies.

Then, we filled them with dirt, planted the seeds and covered them up.


After giving it (and myself... and the baby) a good misting with our hose that apparently needs to be on tighter, we were done with this part. I still had some seeds left, so I decided to plant the leftovers in some of the pots I have.

I planted them all and then made little rock name tags so I wouldn’t mix up my kale and spinach, my zuch and squash, etc.

IMG_6288 IMG_6289 IMG_6292
I lined them all up on the backs of the bench just off the kitchen. They get good morning and afternoon light here. And, hopefully, this area is fairly chicken free, so they’ll stay out of them.

This project was less than $20. That includes the seeds, 3 bags of “dirt”, and the shoe organizer. That’s not too bad, unless it all becomes chicken feed :)

There a chance that this might be totally unsuccessful.

Well, there are probably a few reasons, but the one that I am aware of is with the dirt I used. When purchasing it, the checkout girl told me they had something that was $2 cheaper per bag. “It’s the same stuff”. Sure, I’ll take it. We got home, planted all our stuff and then I saw on the bag that it said “not for use in containers”. What? It definitely was NOT the same stuff.

I’ll be happy if 1/10 of my seeds germinate and produce some veggies for us. I tend to overplant and crowd things, so hopefully I have to thin out all my plantings, but I’ll be happy with just a summer of basil (and enough to freeze for winter) and zucchini! We’ll bum the rest off of Mom :)


  1. What a grea idea! I can't wait to see how that turns out for you.

  2. I spent $40 dollars for the bag that is hanging on my front door...the shoe hanger is way more cost effective =) Good plan pal!

  3. Super idea! Lovin' that baby bump! :)
    I can't wait to see more pics of your creation as it greens up!
    1 week girl! and we tear up Jeff an L'ville! :)

  4. Such a great idea! I've seen this before and have always wanted to try it. I have to contained grow things since we have a cement backyard :( I'm trying to grow tomatoes right now, the plants are fairly big but nothing else yet. I've got my basil growing too- tons of leaves though still fairly small. Can't wait to see how your's turns out

  5. Hey you! I was scrolling down the features at gail's and saw a cute girl with a little baby bump:) Then I was like WAIT! I know her! Nice job, I am anxious to see how these turn out, I have a black thumb and am not allowed to plant anything in the garden anywhere:( But shoe containers I can try!

  6. I saw this on Gail's post and had to come see why in the world would someone be watering a shoe rack! LOL Great idea! I hope it works out!


  7. Hey Shannon! It was SO good to meet you yesterday, what a fun day! :) I'd love to do that again!
    I'm your newest follower too.
    Love your chickens! I wish we could have chickens, but we live in a neighborhood with an HOA and they won't let us have any. :( Do you notice a big difference in the taste of fresh eggs and store bought? I have a friend who says she can't eat fresh eggs because their too rich? hmmm....didn't know there was that big of a difference.
    Hope you have a great day!
    Again, it was so nice to meet you!
    Missy :)

  8. Clever... I've never seen this before. I can't wait to see the progress. Where I live it's already over 100 degrees so it would never work here at this point in the year so I admit I'm a bit jealous that you can plant such a cool way!

    I see you have a Jack Russel.. I've always wanted one!!! ~ kim

  9. Hi Shannon, it was nice to meet you Saturday, wasn't that fun ?! What about the baby bump !! I didn't notice ! Congratulations!! I look forward to seeing you again and will for sure stop in on the Blacksmith next time I'm at the park :) E in TN (and Greenville)

  10. you're on apartment therapy re-nest! http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/outdoor/turn-a-shoe-organizer-into-a-planter-quarry-orchard-151324

  11. so how big were the bags of soil? i am thinking of attempting to do this with spinach for market sales here in my town and thought maybe you could share the amount of soil you used in pounds. hugs. marie


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