Introduction: DIY Organic Vertical Planter
Ever wanted to grow plants but you didn't have enough room for them? Have you ever wanted to grow plants in a more water-friendly way? Are you tired of raking and your garden and pulling out those stubborn leaves or using harmful chemicals that are not healthy for you and damage the fruit's flavor and texture?
The simple answer is a vertical planter: The vertical planter allows you to grow plants in a very small area limited only by height, and that too can be amended. It uses a water-friendly watering system where the water is not wasted but moves on to other plants. It needs no chemicals for those pesty weeds! Did I mention it is easy to make?
- Any length 4-6 inch wide PVC or any other kind of pipe
- Planting soil and compost
- Any plants you want (I don't recommend large plants or bushes)
- Large pebbles of about the same size to put under
- A drip irrigation pipeline (you can also water from above and it will trickle down)
- Circular drill bit (Or a jigsaw if you don't happen to have one)
Step 1: Choosing Your Pipe
The first step is deciding the height and width of the pipe. The difference between the width of the pipes depend on how much space you have and and the space you want between the plants- for a 4 inch pipe I recommend only one hole so the plants have enough room for their roots and to expand hole only on one side of the pipe on each row (or if you are planting flowers you can make 2 holes on each side). For 6 inch pipes you can have up to 3 holes in each row depending on which plants you choose (I recommend three holes for flowers only, the rest either one hole or two). The size of the hole directly depends on the plants type and size. I made a 2.35 inch wide by 2.8 inch high hole ( 6cm wide by 7cm height hole)
You can cut the pipe to any length you want, depending on your restrictions. The pipe must be put at least a fourth of its height above ground, in the ground.
I mean by this that if you want the height of your pipe to be 4 foot above ground, you will need to have a foot below ground, which means that the total height of the pipe is 5 feet.
Another example for this is, if you want the height above ground to be 2 meters tall then you will need 50cm underground, thus having a two and a half meter pipe.
Step 2: Cutting Out the Holes
**Safety first, always remember, wear safety glasses and gloves!**
Measure the height of the pipe and mark a line that shows where the pipe goes under the ground we discussed this in the earlier steps. . Divide the pipe circumference into 4 equal parts. You need to choose whether you want to grow herbs, fruits and vegetables or flowers. For vegetables you will need to mark every 11.8 -15.7 inches (30-40cm), for flowers (depending on their size) should be about 7.9-11.8 inches (20-30cm). . Whichever one you choose, keep the marks at a constant length. A good trick to make the marks constant and aligned, stretch out a piece of twine from one side of the pipe to the other (make sure it is perpendicular to the top and bottom!), and mark each hole from the ground level line you made earlier.
There are several ways to cut out the holes, depending on your tools:
- If you are using a circular drill bit, simply place the drill at the middle of your marking and drill through.
- If you are using a jigsaw
* First make a rectangle out of paper or cardboard according to the size of the hole you want.
* Mark the middle of the cut-out's width and place it on top of the mark on the pipe, parallel to the ground.
* Outline the cut-out onto the pipe.
* At each corner of the rectangle, drill a hole the size of the jigsaw blade you are using.
* Cut according to the holes and outline you made.
Step 3: Digging the Hole
Dig a hole a little bit wider than the width of your pipe and at the depth of the line in which the pipe goes to the ground (The one you marked in step 2). Now place the pipe in the ground and insert (through the top or any of the holes) the pebbles until ground level. If the ground is soft where you are digging, place heavy rocks underground (so they won't be seen) around the pipe as to keep it from tipping over.
Step 4: Watering System
There are 2 major ways of watering the vertical planter.
- One, as I used, is to insert a drip irrigation pipeline (as shown in photo) from the top or the bottom (depending on your needs) into the pipe.
- The second way, if you have sparse soil, simply water from the top part and let it trickle down to the bottom.
Step 5: Filling the Pipe and Planting Plants Inside.
Put the planting soil until you reach the bottom of the first hole. Spread a small bit of compost at that point (be careful, as too much compost will burn the roots). Insert the first plant through the hole and cover it with the potting soil, until you reach the next hole. Repeat as needed. Keep in mind that each plant has its unique structure- plants like cucumbers and strawberries tend to snake down, so plant them near the bottom so they wont choke the other plants.
Step 6: Tips
- Make sure the planter gets sun from all four sides, or at least as much as possible
- Strawberries are good plants to plant inside
- Try using all-year round plants to keep your planter pretty all year
For people living in apartments, keep the planter steady by putting it in a bucket or anything else heavy enough to keep it from tipping over and falling (also you can make it a base or stand).
This is my first Instructable so don't be harsh :)
Comments and improvements are always welcomed.
Step 7: After a Month or Two :)
So guys we took some pictures of the Planter today so you could see what happened to it. Enjoy :)