Vertical Gardening Pipe




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This vertical gardening tube was designed for my very tiny landscaping space outside of my apartment.

I have very limited square footage to use as a porch, and all plants that I have need to be potted.

By using PVC the project is super affordable, and spraypaint makes a huge impact to dress up this drab material. The total cost for parts ~$35, but then you have tons of scrap to make extras. I'm hoping to make a whole vertical garden village!

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Step 1: Tools and Materials



These are the parts I used based on availability, other kinds of soaker hoses in different configurations may also work well. Experiment at in the gardening parts aisle of your local hardware store.

Design drawing made in SketchBook Pro.

Step 2: Cut Down the Pipe

I don't have a chop saw so I use a hack saw and a mitre box to cut down PVC. Each cut takes about 2 minutes, and my arms get a decent work out.

The cut down section measures to 16".

Step 3: Use Hole Saw

Using a dry erase marker and a ruler, I measured out the centers of 20 holes that would be placed around the exterior of the tube.

With a 1 1/2" hole saw attached to a mandrel, and the tube secured to a board so it wouldn't kick, 20 holes were made around the tube.

Step 4: Cut Down Landscape Fabric

Landscape fabric helps hold all the dirt in the tube, especially because we just put so many holes in it. I cut it down so that it covered the inside circumference, and overlapped a little.

Step 5: Rough Assembly

When all the parts have been prepped, it's time to measure out soaker hose. Begin by placing the bottom end cap on the tube. Insert the hose coupler into the tube, and cut about an inch shorter than the distance of the tube. This assures the hose doesn't kink or curve inside the tube.

Step 6: Adding Irrigation

To create an irrigation port at the top of the tube, I drilled a 7/8" hole in a 4" end cap to accommodate the size of the hose coupler's barrel.

Step 7: Gluing the Connector

I used E6000 glue to bond the hose coupler to the endcap.

After the glue had set 24 hours, I connected the cut length of soaker hose.

Step 8: Spray Painting

To prep PVC for spray painting, I sanded the tube with 120 grit sand paper, then gave a wipe with a shop towel moistened with alcohol.

Any paint designed to bond to plastics will work great, and I'm a huge fan of silver spray paint's ability to take things like PVC from gross to awesome.

Allow at least an hour to dry completely.

Step 9: Filling

After the paint is completely dry, insert the landscape fabric into the tube. Place the end cap with the hose into the tube and seal at one end. I chose not to seal with PVC cement but may choose to with future iterations.

Bury the hose with dirt until it isn't visible anymore, and seal with the second end-cap. Connect a hose and test your seal.

Step 10: Adding Plants

After the soil has been thoroughly moistened, cut small holes in the landscape fabric with a razor blade to add your plants to the tube.

I found the best way to transfer the succulents from their small starter pots was to gently shake out whatever dirt was bound to the root, then using my index finger, 'pre-drill' a hole in the tube's soil then gently placing the succulents root bundle into the tube.

It took a little patience, but looked great in the end.

Step 11: That's It!

I was really pleased with how this project came out, and I'm excited to keep iterating on this design to make a vertical garden that I can enjoy year-round outside on my itty-bitty porch.



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    9 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Awesome, like it~


    2 years ago

    I am doing this on a 4 foot pipe making 9 holes offset to one another. I will have it setting on a dirt area and have no bottom. Then it can drain. I will water by using a pop bottle with a hole in the bottom to allow water to escape when placed upside down in the top end of the pipe. I am drilling the holes about 1 inch in dia but am concerned about soil leaking out despite the plastic landscape sheeting inside.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I used a really coarse soil, that helps. Also on a v2 build, I tried putting the plants in first, then filling it with soil - this seemed to work a little bit better. In my next iteration, I also want to build taller - thinking it would be cool to grow peppers this way!

    Are you going to post your version as an Instructable? I'd love to see it.


    2 years ago

    I made something similar to this, drilling holes into a PVC pipe, and I found that if you drill the pilot hole for the planting holes and then when you get to the larger hole saw part you put the drill into reverse it doesn't kick back. Another benefit is that the holes seemed to be smoother and less clean up.


    2 years ago

    Show! It was wonderful!


    2 years ago

    Interesting idea. Think I will try it for herbs and some veggies. Should work well as a hanging garden, too.

    A couple of suggestions: 1. Secure the end caps with sheet metal screws. The caps will be well secured but can be easily removed for cleaning.

    2. The soaker hose is a great idea. Another way to water might be to drill a hole in the top cap into which you can insert a funnel. Drill some drainage holes in the bottom.