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Starting the Fire Escape Garden

Starting the Fire Escape Garden | Red-Handled Scissors
Today was a perfect sunny day, and I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do than start setting up this year’s fire escape garden. (Read: PLAY IN THE DIRT AND MAKE A MESS!!)

Using the brilliant baseball card page seed starter idea that I mentioned in last week’s Friday Internet Crushes, I started some basil, oregano, cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, rosemary, and thyme. (The rest of the herbs don’t need to be started inside, so they’ll go right in the outside planter.) Since I was working by myself, I used a desktop file organizer to keep my pages full of seeds upright until I was ready to hang them.

I can’t adequately express how excited I am about having vertically hanging seed starters. This year, I was determined to do things by the book—starting seeds, thinning the seedlings, then planting the healthy baby plants—and I had no idea how I was going to keep the cats out of seed trays. If the baseball card pages work out, it will absolutely be my go-to method from now on. My teeny city apartment doesn’t have too many horizontal spaces to spare, so anything vertical makes me very, very happy.

While I was in the mess, I also planted my strawberry plants, a couple of pots of catnip, and some nasturtiums. Then, I freshened up the window garden, topping off soil, trimming back overgrown plants, and re-potting as needed. As I was finishing up, I decided to test some recycled glass bottle “water globes” on a few of the thirstier plants to see how well they worked. After several hours, the water level on all three are holding steady, so I have high hopes that a late-night mess isn’t in the cards. If the glass bottles work on the indoor plants, I’ll be using them on the fire escape this summer to keep the plants from wilting on especially hot summer days.


  1. Monica N says:

    What an awesome idea! I started a few seeds yesterday in used tin cans. Thankfully we have a ton of outdoor space, our garden sure is growing! I've got a few of those vintage water spritzers too, there so fun.

  2. We don't really have outside space except the fire escape, and it's not quite warm enough yet to start seeds out there. I'm really hoping that the pages in the window will work as well as it seems like they should. What're you planting this year?

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