I was having a hard time getting both my nursery-bought and seed-grown cucumber plants to thrive, when I got inspired by the topsy-turvy that my golden cherry tomato plant is growing in. Looking around for something to re-use, I came across an empty large protein powder container, made some cuts and adaptations, and put one of the cucumber plants in there. I must say it worked pretty damn well! When another one of those containers became available, I decided to do the same for the other plant! I’d like to share how I made it.
- Large protein powder container, including lid and insert (or landscape fabric, etc.)
- Hanger, hook or something similar to hang with (usually comes with nursery-bough ivy, or may be purchased cheaply. Do not hesitate to use wire or anything else you may repurpose)
- Plant (tomatoes, cucumber, peppers), soil and any gardening amendments of your choosing
- Drill with bit, hammer and nail, or anything else to make drainage holes with (you can even use a knife if care is taken)
- Box cutter, all purpose knife or scissors for cutting the plastic
1) Grab container. Strip off label, wash and rinse.
2) Save lid and insert. If you don’t have the insert anymore, you can use landscape fabric or the like.
3) Make a hole slightly smaller than the size of your plant’s root ball. You will gently squeeze the root ball through later. The insert or fabric will help contain the plant and soil.
4) Turn the insert into pac-man. Make a cut halfway. This will fit snugly around your plant’s stem or stems.
5) If you don’t have the insert anymore or prefer not to use it, use landscape fabric or something similar. Make it larger than the size of the lid so that, once soil is added, it will provide support.
6) Drill several holes all around the container, at a point the closest possible to the opening, which will now be the bottom of your upside-down planter.
7) Cut out the bottom of the protein powder container, which now will be the top of your thingy.
8) Attach hook/hanger. Depending on what you have in hand, make cuts, slits or holes in three locations close to the rim of the top of your planter. In this case, I ended up having to weave some wire around it. The other planter I had made worked much better with that specific hanger.
9) Grab your plant of choice. In this instance we have cucumber that I grew from seed, and which gave me a lot of grief before turning around. A nursery-bought small plant will probably make your life easier. Carefully remove some of the soil around its roots so that you may pass them through the hole it will hang from.
10) Gently pass the rootball trough the hole on the lid.
11) Place the insert or fabric on the inside of the lid, with the cut around the stem of the plant. The purpose of this is to support the plant up, as well as to keep the soil inside.
Now, during the following steps, don’t forget that the plant is on the bottom of the planter, lest you set it down accidentally and brake it! I, uh, learned the hard way.
12) Screw lid onto main piece. Hang planter somewhere or hold it steadily with one hand.
12) Add soil mixed with slow-releasing organic fertilizer. I like Dr. Earth’s.
14) Hang it in its final location! I put it somewhere protected from the brutal late afternoon sun.
Thanks for checking things out!