Unusual Places to Grow Your Own Food | Almanac.com

Unusual Places to Grow Your Own Food


Weird and Wonderful Spaces to Grow Vegetables and Fruit

When it comes to finding space to grow your own fruit and vegetables, it pays to look beyond the obvious. We share some of the weird and totally wonderful places where you could be growing your own.

There are many quirky places to raise your homegrown produce—and more than a few will raise an eyebrow or two!

Quirky Containers

Anything that will hold soil can be used to grow food, from old clothes to dilapidated furniture. For instance, try using old wooden crates to grow herbs, lettuce or tomatoes.

Recycling in the Garden

Cut holes into the sides of old burlap sacks and plant transplants of leafy salads and herbs into them. You could also use them to disguise plastic pots of vegetables fixed onto walls.

Old potting soil sacks can be cut open and planted up with leafy overwintering vegetables such as winter lettuce or Swiss chard.

Turn old tires inside out to use as planters, or simply stack them up for growing potatoes, which need to be hilled up as they grow. Huge tractor tires would make great raised beds.

We even saw tractor tires used as planters for beans at an RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in England.

We would add a note to ensure your tires are lined with a proper, solid butyl pond-type liner if you’re planting edibles. Also, tires can get very hot in sunshine. This can be useful if you’re looking to bring in heat (e.g. fall salads) but may not be great for leafy crops in summer which are likely to get way too hot and bolt.


Image: Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Note tires at back of deck.

Vertical Gardening 

Attach pots or containers to walls and strong fences, or purchase planting towers or planting pockets specially designed to be attached to vertical surfaces. Secure old pallets on their sides and plant them up, or place pots of produce into the boards.

Strawberries and peas shoots can be grown in lengths of gutter.

Other methods of growing upwards include using trellises for cucumbers, wigwams for pole beans, or arches for squashes.

Grow Fruits and Vegetables with Flowers

Many vegetables look gorgeous and will help to enhance an ornamental display with colored stems and leaves. You can also allow some vegetables to flower (for instance if you want to save their seed) with dramatic effect. Mixed plantings help to attract beneficial insects such as bees and hoverflies.

Edible Front Yards

An edible front garden filled with different leaf textures, colors and crop heights to create a visual feast. Growing edibles in your front garden leaves more space in the back yard for playtime and relaxation.

High Gardens 

Roof gardens can be grown on top of houses, outbuildings and sheds, and balconies can be used to grow pots of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Make sure to think about how exposure to the wind and sun will affect your plants when growing in exposed areas like this.

It’s never too early (or late) to plan your next garden!  We’re offering a free 7-day trial of our Almanac Garden Planner!

Gardening Calendar

Vicki Sann (not verified)

5 years 11 months ago

Saw a video on You Tube using a laundry baskets, unable to find a small one ended up a taller with numerous holes.
Use a garbage to hold the soil in, opened up different areas plugging in plants. It worked for a while but smaller been better.

Also found another way of growing veggies an making one's neighbors scratch their heads trying to figure out Why does the plant look like it's floating in air. Two hole covered stakes an fishing line, run fishing line thru the holes, train your plants to grow as nothing is there.

Not my ideas, used info from You Tube videos.

Sue (not verified)

5 years 11 months ago

I wonder at the safety of growing edibles in tires... I would not do it.
I do use them to grow colorful plants in them though.

Ane (not verified)

5 years 11 months ago

I find old dressers missing drawers, legs, etc and turn them on their backs for use as a raised garden. I use trimmings from trees, small branches, twigs, and fallen leaves, with grass clippings and old straw . I then fill the spaces with small rocks, dirt and let it settle. Most times I can do this during the fall and by planting time in the spring a bit more dirt and plant root and leaf crops like asparagus that can be reached easily. My project for winter is finding pallets, painting and attaching planters and old gutters to place on my front porch.