DIY Vertical Herb Garden

I haven’t had a lot of success growing things in my tiny apartment.

When Chris bought me mini-roses from Wal-mart for Valentines day last year, I managed to keep them alive for a couple of months before they died from heat exposure.

To fill the void left by my roses, I decided to grow some herbs in plastic cups. Several of the herbs have died now, but the parsley and oregano are barely hanging in there.

first herb garden

While my green thumb has failed me the last little while, I really do enjoy growing things. Watering a plant and then coming back a few days later to see another little leaf growing is incredibly exciting.

I came up with vertical herb garden using a shoe holder all on my own – I thought thought my little red plastic cups could easily fit in the shoe holder I had on my door, and that’s when the idea clicked.

Unfortunately, I’m not the only one to come up with this idea. I’m not even the first one. It didn’t take a lot of searching to see plenty of other gardeners have successfully done the same thing I’m attempting to do. While that’s reassuring that this garden will work, it did ding my ego a little.


This vertical herb garden doesn’t require a lot of supplies, but here’s what I used to make my garden.

  • Shoe Holder/Organizer. I used this Natural Linen Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer because it was made of natural material that should drain well without leaking chemicals into what I’m growing. If you just want to grow flowers (that you don’t eat), you can use a plastic shoe organizer and poke holes in each slot. Whatever you pick, make sure it can handle the weight.
  • Gardening Soil. If you have a yard with plenty of dirt, then feel free to use that. You don’t have to be fancy. Since I’m in an apartment, my access to good dirt is limited. I ended up buying a bag of gardening soil from Wal-mart. I heard Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Flower and Vegetable is pretty good though.
  • Seeds. Use whatever you want here! I’m using a hodge podge collection of seeds I’ve gotten from different places.
  • Drip Pan (optional). Garden plants need to be able to drain, and that water has to go somewhere. If you’re fine with the water dripping to the ground below, then you don’t need a drip pan. However, I’m on the second floor of an apartment, and I’m sure my neighbors would hate me every time I watered the plants. I had to get creative with my drip pan, so I used the lid of a storage bin. I figured I could put all my gardening things in the bin when I was done with it.

Step-By-Step Instructions

First, assemble your shoe holder. Some shoe holders have different instructions, but most of them follow the same principal: put holder on hooks and then put hooks on the door. Easy peasy!


Then, put dirt in each of the slots (or you can leave a slot or two empty for tools and whatnot). There’s twine going across the bottom of my garden to keep it from blowing too much in the wind.

with dirt

Moisten the dirt with water. Make sure the slots drain properly. If they don’t, you may have to cut a few small holes at the bottom.


Plant and cover seeds with dirt. Add more water and dirt if needed.

Watch your garden grow!

Watch My Garden Grow!

Now that my vertical herb garden is set up on my balcony, I’m going to take pictures of it every week so you can see how it does.

Day 1 – Not much going on here yet!
with dirt

Written By JenniBee


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