How to Create a Stacked Herb and Vegetable Garden with PVC
Thinking of starting your own vegetable garden? Homesteading and self-reliant gardening are growing trends, but not everyone has the luxury of being able to pick up and move to the country.
There are plenty of common sense ways you can begin your journey into self-reliant gardening right where you are. It’s all about changing your way of thinking and getting creative. More on self-sufficient living and homesteading.
One creative and efficient gardening technique I've come across is perfect for urban gardeners or those who want to be able to transport their garden if needed. PVC pipe gardens allow you to grow plants virtually anywhere using only a few inexpensive supplies.
To get started with your own PVC garden, you first need to determine what you want to grow. Due to the limited space, PVC gardens are best suited for herbs and small vegetables.
Next, it’s time to choose your PVC pipe. The size you choose will be determined by what you’re growing, how much space you have, and how much you want to spend. I recommend 6” to 8” pipe size for a good combination of growing area and portability. Look for white schedule 40 PVC pipe. this is the most cost effective type. It generally comes in 20 ft. sticks, but you may be able to find it in shorter lengths locally.
Creating the PVC Beds
Next, it’s time to cut out the top of the pipe. You can do this several ways. One way is to cut the pipe in half lengthwise so you are left with two troughs. Another way is to just cut sections out of the top of the pipe (when the pipe is laid horizontally). The best tool for cutting pipe in this way is probably a circular saw, but a hand saw will work if you’re patient. I also recommend drilling some small holes in the bottom of the pipe for drainage.
The last step to creating the container is capping off the ends of the pipe. For this you will want to use PVC slip caps. Use the same size as the pipe you have. Press them on the ends and leave them unglued so you can remove them for cleaning or drainage if needed.
Support Your Garden
The easiest and probably most efficient way to support your new PVC garden is to create a simple frame from inexpensive or scrap lumber. Try creating an “A” frame with a few cross bars and laying the pipes across as shown in the picture. Nail in small support pieces to keep the pipes in place and standing upright.
If you're thinking about taking the plunge into growing your own vegetables, but need a garden that is space efficient and portable, consider PVC gardening. PVC pipe gardens come with some nice benefits for seasoned gardeners, too.
- • Efficient use of space
- • No tilling required
- • Raised beds deter weeds, rabbits and rodents
- • Plants can be taken indoors during cold spells
- • Easy to water
- • Take your garden with you when you move!
Another benefit of gardening this way, is that there are endless ways you can alter and improve your gardening system to work for your situation. One tip is to rotate your pipe beds for more or less sunlight exposure as needed. You can also weave a perforated irrigation hose in and out of the tiers, laying the hose near the base of the plants for simple watering. Any other ideas? Share them with us here!