Picture of Self watering vertical garden with recycled water bottles
Here how i made my vertical vegetable garden, starting from used big water bottles as planters. An automatic watering system keep the right moisture, collecting water in excess, using power from pv panels and a little wind turbine (vawt)

Step 1: 3d project

Picture of 3d project
The green wall is composed by 72 water bottles cut and placed upside-down on a wooden shelf. 
Two independent  water reservoir are present: the main is placed on the side of the building and composed by eight 200 liters barrels linked together, for collecting rain water. The second one is composed by three plastic "new jersey" street barriers, that can contain 80 - 100 liters each, placed under the shelf.
The circulating system is composed by two 12v pumps, powered by a hybrid power system, a vawt turbine in conjunction with two 10w pv panels.
Energy is stored in a 12v car battery via charge controller and a timer regulate the watering cycle (at this moment the set up is 1 min at 7 am and 1 minute at 7 pm.
Water is pumped from second reservoir to the top of the shelf, into a PVC pipe ( Dia 4 cm) where i drilled eighteen 3 mm holes (one for each planter of the first row). After moisten the first row, water goes down to the rows below until go back to the starting tank.
With hand activated valve i can refill the second reservoir with rain water from blue barrels.

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hananico2 years ago
An impressive project.
I would appreciate a link to the 12V cheap pumps.
tiero (author)  hananico2 years ago
hi, try this:
BrianS12 tiero4 months ago

Can you estimate the GPM on these pumps, I'm trying to figure out the ratio between your garden's size to the pumps GPM. understand you only run one minute in the morning and one at night. With a variety of pumps I'd like to have a better chance of ordering the right one on the first try. thanks

dmoonen1 year ago
tiero (author)  dmoonen7 months ago

Very nice!

ManishaD7 months ago


tiero (author)  ManishaD7 months ago


dmoonen made it!1 year ago

I made an Indoor version of this for on my windowsill.I

It was a lot of fun!!!!


Hi, Tiero!
I really wanna make your incredible project, but here in Brazil we have to be careful about still water. Because of the hot weather, some mosquitoes develop in puddles of still water, specially the dengue fever mosquito. So I can't just leave the barrels open to get rain water. Do you have an idea and/or know of some technique to do so?
Thank you!

Bruno, simples cara, só colocar uma tela fina de nylon (tipo tela fina que tem nas janelas) em cima dos barris de armazenamento.

Bruno, its simple, just put a fine fish net over de barrels

ps:a parte de cima foi pro resto do pessoal poder ler.

tiero (author)  BrunoGallas1 year ago
hi Bruno! You are welcome! I'm planning to improve my system with a bigger tank introducing cambusia affinis fish aka mosquito fish.
Fish will also fertilize the water. See aquaponics systems.

Buona sera

DeaconsWife2 years ago
I was looking at this with much awe and every intention of building it. The area I can build it in sometimes gets too much sun in the late afternoon. (Plants like lettuce get burned up) and so I am going to devise/suggest a seperate frame with a roll-up shade on it that can be adjusted up or down to adjust the sun exposure as needed. It means tending the garden more often, to adjust the shade, but with this system the need to carry heavy/large amounts of water is eliminated. With more frequent visits needed, the ability to catch insect invaders or disease will be greater and then preventions/adjustments can be made early to reduce crop loss.

Very well done, tiero! And thank you so much for sharing this! I can't get on my knees anymore, due to physical illness, but this plan will give me the ability to garden for myself again! Such a blessing!

Suggestion. The tiers in this are stacked one on top of another. If you staggered them in and out rather than directly on top of each other, the same effect could be achieved, but the tiers on the higher levels would jut out enough to provide shade and protection for the lower levels, allowing you to grow lettuce and cool crops in the same system. As for the insect invaders, I use the books by Jerry Baker to make and use all natural pest control, but the best control is to get or make a Purple Martin House. They eat a ravenous amount of insects and one house will keep your yard pest free.....

LeZombee1 year ago

Thanks for such an awesome instructable! I'm still curious about the question of there being a nutrition gradient as the water percolates lower. Do the plants/soil absorb enough of the water that by the time it reaches the bottom there isn't much left for the lowest plants? Do you have to put the veggies that like the driest soil at the bottom? Or do you just soak the whole system every 12 hours and let it percolate/dry out enough in between?

Thanks again! I think my friends and I will use some of these ideas for our school garden!

tiero (author)  LeZombee1 year ago

Hi, many thanks!. I made an upgrade of the system this year that probably will answer your question. Just take a look to my other project here in instructables.


Billrose1 year ago
This is very impressive. Huge in scale and in-struc-table very good detail. Bravo you have done very well and your explanation, excellent.
alancase1 year ago
May I suggest using the water pump from an RV(MOTORHOME, 5TH WHEEL)as they don't have to be submerged. and they are 12volt
diy_bloke1 year ago
great idea
elkhalfi2 years ago
Excellent complete gardening system.
Absolutely love this!!! We have a" Spa" garden Center near us with a beautiful vertical flower garden. Each unit costs quite a lot and would probably cost several thousand for the desired effect! Not only is your way extremely eye appealing and versatile it is practical as well! i can't wait to try it!!!
tiero (author)  craftyevasapple2 years ago
Thanks, start to collect bottles!
cepterbi2 years ago
it's a piece of art. really
This is such a great idea and fun for everyone.
Duffledilly2 years ago
This is so impressive - practical and beautiful. I've got limited space and no water or power supply on a 4th floor terrace, so the pv panel and rainwater collection system got my full attention. Thank you - and I hope you're enjoying your produce!
tiero (author)  Duffledilly2 years ago
Thanks so much. Happy to share with you. Any improvements are appreciated..
laxbograt2 years ago
I thought about the vertical garden idea, but don't the plants further down get less nutrition then the ones at the top?
tiero (author)  laxbograt2 years ago
hi, thanks for the question.
the advantages of this system are that you can easy change the positions of the planters (some plants need more sun light for example) and you can recover and reuse the water enriched in minerals from the bottom reservoir. You have only to add fresh water e remix the humus after harvest.
MrCana2 years ago
I tiero. I must say you've done an excellent job. The realization leaves no doubt about your ability to design and implementation. An excellent example of technological garden.
tiero (author)  MrCana2 years ago
thank you for interest mrCana.
really good design and execution tiero.
tiero (author) 2 years ago
ArvidJense2 years ago
Wow, great project, it has everything in it! A diy windmill, self watering system and it all looks great. For how long have you been running this?
tiero (author)  ArvidJense2 years ago
Hi, started last year in spring with the beta version..
Kiteman2 years ago
This is an amazing garden, but could we have some details of how you put the power system together?
Totally agree. That VAWT looks awesomely simple.
Do you have a template for the end plates?

Sorry, don't mean to distract from your wall salad(which is pretty awesome also).
tiero (author)  ironsmiter2 years ago
Hi Ironsmiter, take a look, new pictures added..
tiero (author)  Kiteman2 years ago
Hi Kiteman, just added some sketchup of the vast..
tiero (author) 2 years ago
Hi everybody, thank you so much for the interest. I'm proud to be a member of this community and i will upload asap more pics of the vawt as requested.

IamWe2 years ago
Excellent complete gardening system. I like the way you worked this out with rainwater, PV and Vawt. Nice photo's. You are nearly self supporting.
binchen51772 years ago
Verycool ans a Lot of work
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