Warning: This is a non-fiber post!!! SPRING Has Sprung! A brief tutorial for creating a hanging planter.

Greetings earthlings!

Mark and I put up my greenhouse nearly 2 weeks ago and as we’ve finally entered the spring equinox, I figured I would do a post on how to make a hanging planter for those of you who are space challenged. I’ve seen the upside-down hanging tomato planter thingies and I just don’t like them. I tried the upside-down method of growing tomatoes and found that it’s just not worth the 3 or 4 tomatoes the plant manages to eke out. I have learned that, when modified, these planters are excellent for starting and growing small batches of lettuce, spinach and radishes. The added benefit is that the rabbits can’t get at these!!

Objects and tools needed:

  • washed clear 2 liter soda container
  • utility knife or sharp pocket knife
  • pantyhose
  • hole punch
  • potting soil, your own soil/compost mix, or any other growing medium available to you
  • lettuce, spinach or radish seeds
  • a place to hang your planter

Start by removing the label from a clear, 2 liter, soda container. Use a sharpie to mark the cut-off point (about 2.75″ from the bottom). Sometimes there is a mold mark line there and you can just cut around that.

container with utility knife mark the container

Take the bottom, flip it over so it can be snugly inserted into the opening you’ve just created. Use a hole punch and punch holes in 1/4 increments around the container as shown in the 3rd picture of this grouping. (*Please forgive my errant thumb.) *Use the sharpie to number at least two of the holes so you can line it up later.

cut the bottom off test the fit of the bottom

punch holes for hanging

Get a pair of old pantyhose (nylons or whatever you’d like them to be called) and cut off about 3 – 4″. Place the cut off piece into the mouth of the container. This will act as your ‘screen’ against the dirt falling out of it and will provide extremely adequate drainage in the coming growing months.

pantyhose cut off some of the pantyhose

place the pantyhose in bottom

Fill with soil, making sure to leave at least 4 inches of space so the ‘lid’ will fit and the seeds will have room to sprout. Poke some holes in the ‘lid’ with a sharp knife (please don’t use a dull knife as this may cause injury).

fill with soil poke holes in 'lid'

Plant your seeds. I’m using a space hybrid spinach for this example. This spinach is designed for growing in close quarters and will fill up the top of the container quite nicely by the time you’re ready to harvest it. (Note: I did cover the seeds up, I merely forgot to photograph it.)

plant your seeds spinach seeds

Place the ‘lid’ inside of the container and make sure you line up the holes. The holes are used to hang the planter.

put the cover on

Cut 4 pieces of strong twine measuring 5 feet long. Double each one and thread through the holes. Do this with all 4 holes. Tie up or knot your hanger and hang it up. You’ll notice that I have an inch of space between the bottom of the ‘lid’ and the soil. This will allow the sprouts a bit of room until you need to remove the lid.

hang up the planter

Pour a 1/2″ of water into the top of your new hanging planter. This setup acts like a mini greenhouse so you won’t need to water it a lot.

water the planter watch the water drain

When the plants are nearly touching the lid, take the planter down and remove the lid. Rehang the planter and water as needed until you’re ready to harvest. Do not hang this planter in an area you don’t want to be wet.

Update: 03/21/2015 @ 5:19 PM

I’ve also made a couple of planters from milk jugs and planted lettuce seeds in them. You would make these in the same way as you do the soda bottles.

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

Questions? Feel free to ask!!

Kick Spindle

I’m always happy to see other people building and re-creating their own tools!!! Spin on!

Making Progress

Later this month I’m teaching a two week introduction to spinning course. Here is one of the spinning tools I’ve built recently, a kick spindle.

As a starting point for my design I read this post by Layne Brosius, a.k.a. AFrayedKnotter. My kick spindle is pretty similar to hers. There are two major differences. The first is that I used a 1″ thick piece of poplar with feet, as you can see in the pictures. The weight of the flywheel (a furniture bun foot from Lowe’s) seems to give the device sufficient inertia both to spin for a while and to not slide across the floor during use.  I’ve only used the kick spindle on carpeting and outdoor cement, but I think if I put some rubber feet on the bottom it would stay in place on wood or tile, too.

The second significant change I made is in the…

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This is for Velma and anyone else who’s curious about string heddle weaving!!

I will be republishing old blog posts from the last decade.

Greetings earthings!!

I will be republishing old blog posts that were written by me in the last decade. I’ve had a few people requesting info that I covered back then and I figure it’s time to get them out there once again.

The one that I’ll be publishing as soon as I figure out what I’m doing concerns using a simple table loom as a 4-harness loom for weaving more interesting fabrics.

Wait for it. It’ll be there before you know it. (For starters, here is the monster that started it all (aka: blogspot): http://www.shastadaisy3000.blogspot.com/)