Monday, May 10, 2010

I am so cheap-old fan/ wick garden

A while  back I posted about  wanting to make a garden of tin cans and old clothes.   The other day the fan in the GH crapped out and while trying to decide what to do with it I had an idea! Scary ain't it? I could take the innards out,  put the grate back on and make a  small wick garden of it.

It was really simple to make and took all of about 10 minutes to put together or would that be deconstruct and put together. It cost absolutely nothing to make as the bed is the fan box, liner and wick were old tarp and  rags, the cans  have been sitting here waiting to be recycled for years as was the bleach bottle waterer   and the compost  and leaves were from here. Even the seeds were from some I saved. This would make a really good project with a group of kids as it doesn't take much time yet  can teach them so much.

To make it  all  I did was take the motor and blades out of the fan and replace one grate . I lined the bottom with an old piece of tarp and then laid the rags on top. I tossed some bent up old cans in and then  drilled one hole in the bottom of the bleach bottle and  placed it in one corner of the bed.  I then  spread a thin layer of compost and soil,  mulched with leaves and planted some basil seeds. To finish it off I filled the bleach container with water. If I wanted to pretty it up I suppose I could paint it with something cute.


  1. I have not ever heard of this type of garden. What is it and what are the reasons for planting it the way you did?
    I understand using the fan grate as a planter; using the cloth to wick the water from the bleach bottle, I would have set it in the middle so as to water more evenly; adding the soil; but why are you using the aluminum cans?

  2. it is something that is traditionally used in poor, urban areas, where they are likely to not even have decent soil... in the linked post it takes you to the video/presentation that goes into much more detail on the whole thing.. I am doing it for something to experiment and try out for myself... we have land and gardens but one never knows when they may have to step up food production...if we were to have to do that here it would be fairly difficult to do by conventional means.. alot of what i do is so i can teach others as well... many folks don't garden because they dont think they have the space or the soil etc...

  3. Thank you, now I understand more fully. I can see filling the cans with rocks which will absorb heat from the sun gving you warmer growing conditions for heat loving plants. That could be used for extending the garden season in short season areas.
    I now remember hearing about this type of gardening back when I was in school. Imagination is very useful when trying to garden in non-traditional spaces.

  4. So happy to have found another crazy hippie chick. LOL
    Susan, thank you for asking the question that I had, "why the cans?". Will go follow the link to find out.