How to Make a Vertical Garden With PVC Pipe

Plant a small-space vertical garden using PVC pipe.

More Bros Before Pros

DIY Vertical Garden 02:49

Dan and Tim Faires build a vertical garden using repurposed materials.
Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Materials and Tools

  • plants with shallow roots
  • 20" cube planter
  • 4" diameter PVC pipe, 5' long
  • 3/4" diameter PVC pipe, 5' long
  • (2) 3/4" PVC end caps
  • black zip ties
  • weed cloth
  • gravel
  • potting soil
  • mulch
  • garden hose
  • hacksaw
  • silver marker
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • (2) 12" bar clamps
  • drill
  • 3/16" drill bit
  • metal sanding file
  • utility knife
  • gardening gloves
  • garden trowel
  • watering can

Measure and Cut PVC Pipes

Secure both PVC pipes to your work surface with bar clamps, and cut both to size using a hacksaw or reciprocating saw.

Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Cut Holes for Plants

With the 4-inch PVC pipe still secure on the workbench, mark planting holes with a white or silver marker, keeping them about 6-8 inches apart. Punch out the holes with a drill and a 1-3/4-inch hole saw bit.

Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Smooth Out Holes

Smooth all the rough edges using a metal file. Wipe away any excess dust or shavings.

Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Add Drainage Holes

To prep the irrigation pipe, use a 3/16-inch drill bit to bore holes throughout the 3/4-inch PVC pipe.

Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Add Weed Block

Wrap the 3/4-inch pipe with weed block material, and secure in place with zip ties. Secure PVC caps on both ends of the pipe.

Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Put Irrigation Line in Place

Place the large pipe in the center of the planter, and slip the irrigation pipe inside the large one. Keep the 3/4-inch pipe centered, and add about six inches of gravel to anchor it.

Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Secure Large Pipe

Place the 4-inch pipe in the center of the planter, and fill planter halfway with stones or gravel to aid in drainage. Keep in mind you’ll want at least 12 inches of the pipe under soil inside the planter, so it’s not too top heavy once filled with mature plants.

Add Potting Soil

Add potting soil into the top of the 4-inch pipe, keeping the irrigation line centered and capped as you scoop soil into the larger pipe. Don't worry about soil spilling out into the sides and base of the planter (Image 1). Continue filling until the planter and pipe have adequate soil (Image 2). Top the soil at base of the planter with mulch to keep moisture in.

Add Plants

Gently tuck small starter plants into the holes. Choose one type of plant for a uniform look, or mix it up for a more natural vibe. We used begonias, ivy, geraniums and pansies for a variety of colors and textures.

Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Water Plants

To water plants, unscrew the cap off the irrigation pipe, and add water (Image 1). Fill to capacity, and replace the cap (Image 2).    

Bros or Pros 2017

Bros or Pros 2017

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

Tomas Espinoza/Flynnside Out Productions

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