How To Make Your Own Vertical PVC Planter

Short on space for your garden? Go vertical. Upright planters let those short on space still experience the joys of gardening. I’m so glad that there are options out there! The Owner Builder Network has put together a fantastic tutorial on how to make one of your own from PVC pipe.

Do It Yourself, How to make your own vertical garden in a small space.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to make your own vertical planter.

DIY Vertical Planter


– Any length 100mm-150mm (4″ – 6″) diameter PVC or any other kind of pipe
– Potting mix and compost
– Plants (not large plants or bushes)
– Large pebbles of about the same size for added support/stability
– A drip irrigation pipeline (or you can simply water from the top and it will trickle down) *

– A drill and circular drill bit OR
– A jigsaw if you don’t own the above
– A hacksaw (if pipe needs to be cut down)
– Marker pen

Materials and Tools


A minimum of 25% of your above ground height needs to be below ground, to ensure stability. e.g. if you want your planter to be a metre high then the overall length of your pipe must be 125cm (or more).

How to:

If you are using an off cut or leftover material from a previous job, then the size and height of your project have already been determined for you.

If you are buying the materials you need to decide on the height and width of the pipe. For a 100mm pipe it is recommended to have only one hole in a horizontal row so the plants have enough room for their roots to grow. For 150mm pipes you can have up to 3 holes in each horizontal row depending on which plants you choose (three holes for flowers only, the rest either one hole or two).

Using a marker pen, mark out the holes you want to cut for your plants using the guidelines above. The size of the hole directly depends on the plants type and size.

Using the markings, cut the planting holes using either a hand drill with circular drill bit or a jigsaw.

Cutting the holes...

Set up the pipe in a large pot or directly into the soil, using the pebbles for additional stability.

Set up the pipe in a large pot or directly into the soil.

Finally, put the compost and soil into your pipe and start planting.

Keep the water up to your plants and sit back and reap the rewards.

* Because the planters hold only a limited amount of soil, it is essential you keep the water up to your plants. If you are relying in watering only at the top of the pipe, you’ll find that the plants at the top will get plenty of water but those at the bottom will get a lot less dry. That’s fine if you plant accordingly, but the best solution is to insert a weeper hose into the main pipe. This can be purchased or simply made by using 1″ conduit drilled with weep holes down it’s length. Wrap this inner conduit in geo-fabric or weed-cloth to prevent it getting blocked over time.





Here’s a visual tour.

This is at the back of my suburban homestead.  I am standing right next to the coop.

To the left of the coop is the run.  For a year this was all the space the chickens had and I knew they needed more room.  On top of the run is a new addition…it is my lettuce box.  It provides shade for the chickens and protects them from the rain so they can still be outside.  I can grow on top of the run without losing any space.  Space is a premium here in the suburbs.  I had to figure out how to give the chickens more room without taking anymore garden space.  If we extended this run to the left, it would sit right on top of one of my prime growing areas.  So here is our solution:  a chunnel.  That’s right…a chicken tunnel.

Directly to the left of the run is the juncture where the chunnel connects to the run.

Then we travel more to the left…you see the chunnel behind my pea trellis and some chickens looking for some treats.

Then the chunnel turns the corner and heads down the western side of my yard along the fence.  I had such weeds that grew here…and now you can see not a single thing is left growing!!!

And here is the scene that causes me the most amount of joy!!!!  Every time this happens I giggle like a school girl.  All I have to do is call the girls and they come a runnin’!!!!  I am at the very end of the chunnel.  They run like there is no tomorrow and it is so fun to watch! (note: do you see there is no longer one green thing along the side of the fence!)

This side of the yard gives them lovely shade in the heat of the afternoon.  I have to say, living in the suburbs I have to protect them from lots of critters…we have foxes and birds of prey everywhere.  This is as close to free range as we can get for them and they don’t need supervision.  The chunnel is very secure and they are indeed much happier!!!

This is the very end of the chunnel and it has been fun showing you our solution of adding more room without taking much space!  Hope you have enjoyed this post.