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PVC Pipe Vertical Garden

PVC Joint Vertical GardenYou may already know that my house has pretty much ZERO yard space.  I’ve written about the trials and tribulations of a small yard, combined with living through the California drought and so it may come as no surprise that when I wanted to plant a spring garden this year, i had to do a little bit of thinking outside the box.

I have shared my other vertical garden in the past, but this year I wanted to do something a little more DIY.   So when I was challenged by Wendi for this month’s Power Tool Challenge to do something related to patios and porches I knew this was the perfect opportunity to create my own vertical garden.
Patio and Porch Power Tool Projects from The Power Tool Challenge Team
1. Long Porch Planters by My Love To Create
2. DIY Flower Pot Plant Stand by Her Tool Belt
3. DIY Easy Swinging Bed by Domestically Speaking
4. PVC Pipe Vertical Garden by Yours truly
5. How to Build An Outdoor Serving Table by Create and Babble
6. Repurposed Window Garden Shelf by Refresh Restyle
7. Trimming Out Porch Posts by My Repurposed Life
8. Stenciled Concrete Topped Table by Designs By Studio C
9. 2 X 4 DIY Bench by Virginia Sweet Pea
12. DIY Outside Standing Plant Hanger by Confessions of A Serial DIYer

I am also very lucky to be a part of this year’s Hey Let’s Grow program**, with the goal of educating home gardeners about not only the care and cultivation of their own home gardens, but also on the importance of home gardens on the environment.  This program promotes things like planting pollinator friendly plants and preservation of habitats for animals like bees and butterflies.
PVC pipe planterSince we live in California we get to witness the migration of the Monarch butterflies, a species at risk due to lose of habitat, decreases in milkweed plants and climate change, so this project is extra dear to my heart.   To find out more about what you can do to save pollinators in your area visit the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.
Growing garden in PVC pipe vertical plantersSince I was a little behind (hey.. what else is new?) I decided to not start my garden from seed this year but instead planted seedlings.  (Okay..truth is I wanted to catch up to all the other HeyLet’sGrow participants who are more on the ball with me! ) 
Vertical garden from PVC pipe jointsThe top row was 2 types of peppers, tomatoes and basil (the making of a good Italian dish) and the bottom row is strawberries and cucumbers.

As for the planters themselves, they couldn’t have been much easier to assemble.  I used 2 cedar fence boards and a bunch of PVC 45° elbow joints.  (Specifically I used four 4-inch elbows and 5 2-inch elbows.  These are drainage pipes (found in the landscaping section of the hardware store) and they were less than $2/each for the large and less than a dollar for the small. (CHEAPER THAN ACTUAL FLOWER POTS!)
PVC elbows I originally was going to leave them white, but decided to pretty them up a little with a few quick coats of pastel spray paint. (Hey! It’s spring!)Spray Painting PVC elbows for plantersNext I needed to secure them to the board.  I scoured all the adhesives at the hardware store before finally settling on Loctite’s Power Grab Ultimate.  This stuff is CRAZY strong.  It is waterproof, and specifically said it would work on PVC and wood.  I accidentally dropped a glob on the garage floor and my flip flop was literally STUCK. I had to use a little paint thinner to remove it.   It is that strong.  (I wouldn't use the other 'Power Grab all purpose’ type, it didn’t get very good reviews!) Loctite Liquid Nails for gluing PVCI added a pretty generous bead around the outside of the pipe (make sure to wear gloves and the instructions even recommend a mask.) Using liquid nails to secure PVC planter to boardI originally had plans to also secure the pipe with a few screws, but after I tried to tear them off with my full body weight, and couldn’t get them to budge, I decided the adhesive along was enough.Gluing PVC pipe to boardI did make sure I got a nice thick bead and used my finger to smooth it out, which also will help keep the moisture in.  (Although to prevent too much standing water in the bottom of the elbow, I did drill a drainage hole on each one.)Drilling into PVC pipe for drainage holesHere you can see what they looked like when I had only filled the top row. PVC vertical planters from Elbow jointsBecause they are angled up they aren’t too terrible to water. Planting in PVC pipeI can’t wait to see how it goes.  I mean, I was SHOCKED when my topsy-turvy tomato growing experiment came out the way it did, so I am looking forward to seeing how these plants do!
Growing plants in plastic pipes on wall**I do want to say thanks to Monsanto and the HeyLet’sGrow campaign for sponsoring the supplies I used in today’s post.  I was compensated for this post, but the thoughts, ideas and project were completely my own.

Finally, here are a few other posts about gardening in small places that I’ve shared before:

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