How to start a garden on a budget

HOUSTON – Today is Earth Day and what better way to celebrate our planet than growing a garden.

But if money or space is tight, you can still do it!

Karena Poke, a garden consultant with Lettuce Live joined Houston Life with two easy hacks to find your green thumb.

Lettuce Live is a boutique edible garden consultation firm that specializes in designing and building edible gardens and garden maintenance.

To see Poke’s complete interview and tips, watch the video above.


Derrick Shore and Karena Poke in front of a shoe organizer garden (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“This is a budget-friendly option for vertical gardening or gardening on an apartment patio. You can grow pollinator plants that attract bees and butterflies, most of your favorite herbs or strawberries,” said Poke.

“At home, you would simply hang the shoe organizer over a balcony or nail it to your fence,” she said.


Shoe organizer, compost, plants, and a watering can.


Step 1: Secure your shoe organizer

Step 2: Fill pockets compost

Step 3: Place plants or seeds

Step 4: Water


Derrick Shore and Karena Poke using an ice cube tray as a seedling starting kit (Copyright 2021 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“You can use an old ice tray or take a trip to the dollar store. Ice trays are not only budget-friendly, but they are also reusable,” said Poke.

“You only need to make one minor adjustment to turn them into a seed starting tray,

to drill one hole in each cell to help the water drain,” said Poke, who also explained how you can do it at home.


Power drill, ice cube tray, compost, seeds, watering can, and a water tray.


Step 1: Drill a hole in each cell

Step 2: Fill each cell with sterile compost.

Step 3: Add seeds

Step 4: Cover seeds lightly with compost

Step 5: Water

Step 6: Place in a window seal or sunny area


- If you are planting indoors, place the cell in a water tray (optional)

- You’ll want to make sure you keep the soil moist (not soaked).

- When the plant is about 3 or 4 inches you want to its final growing space or to a larger pot.

Instructions by Karena Poke.

About the Author:

Beatriz is a producer for Houston life. She’s a dog mom who enjoys traveling and eating her way through new cities and cultures.