I realise that spring is quite a way off, a good couple of months really before the weather starts to improve and I can get into my garden and start planting things but that doesn't stop the urge to get planting. I don't have a greenhouse, lack of funds means that it's not really an option at the moment but I do have several unoccupied windowsills that I can fill up with seed trays. The trouble is, I never seem to have enough room so, last night, in a moment of sheer frustration at my lack of outdoor greenhouse pottering space, I was trawling the internet to find some alternative ways of starting off, and indeed growing my seeds and plants. Some can be used both indoors and out and some are for outdoor use but they are all ingenious.
This old shoe organisers can be used indoors in a sunny spot to start seeds off and then hung outdoors when the weather is warmer. It would be perfect for growing strawberries in or maybe a different herb in each compartment. Even cut and come again salad leaves, a single portion in each pocket. What a fabulous idea and one I am definitely going to be trying it this year. It has the added bonus of making it more difficult for the pesky slugs .... always a bonus in my book.
This next idea means that even if you have a tiny outdoor space you can grow some salad and maybe some strawberries, not to mention the possibility of covering the whole thing with beautiful flowers. You can get pallets from almost anywhere. Large shops often need to get rid of them and generally won't charge you or maybe charge you a pound or two. You could also paint the pallet with some outdoor paint before you plant it. Cuprinol do some fabulous colours, I painted one of my outdoor benches last year in a gorgeous pale pink colour called "Sweet Pea". There are lots of different outdoor paint companies out there now with some amazing colours so let your imagination run riot.
You can find instructions on how to make this fabulous planter here
I found this next one on the Grow Your Own magazine website.
A friend of mine made something similar to this by simply threading the milk cartons onto a piece of wood, but putting them one facing front and one facing the back because otherwise it kind of tipped forward as it didn't have the wooden slot supports and she suspended it from the top of her polytunnel with some string tied around each end and tied over the pole that runs along the edge. She has filled it with seedlings and is saving milk carton to make some more.
This next one I found uses lengths of old drainpipe. I love this idea of growing them in drainpipes along a wall it looks really fabulous. It is, again, something which would be ideal both for a small garden but also, for starting off thing like peas, which apparently don't like to have their roots disturbed when they are planted out. Once they are big enough to plant out, you can just simply slide the whole lot into a trench that you have dug without disturbing them.
And one final one that I simply couldn't resist.