Build Your Own Vertical Garden

Nigel Chant
Monday, 30th March 2020

Nigel Chant builds a vertical planter for salads, using upcycled materials.

This is how I made my vertical growing system. This project was made entirely from recycled materials I had lying about, apart from the screws which I already had.

What you will need

Plastic tubes - mine are actually inners from a company that applies heat loss reducing film onto windows. Plastic downpipe or any other pipe which can be easily drilled would also work.

Timber to make the framework - I had some old decking planks available which I rescued from a house I was working on. The pipe holders were made from roofing tile lath which is the wooden battens roof tiles are attached to.

I am a hoarder which is handy when you can’t pop to the DIY store!

The build

I measured the length of the pipes and used a piece of string attached to a stone on the floor to draw a straight(ish) pencil line along the entire length. The pipes I used were about 1530mm long so I measured about 120mm from each end and made a mark on the original pencil line. This meant that the remaining centres were about 1050mm.



I used a 54mm hole cutter to drill the holes along the length and three small 5mm holes directly under the row of larger holes for drainage.



Using the decking boards, I cut two sides at 1800mm and a top and bottom slightly longer than the length of the pipes, in my case 1535mm.


I screwed them together to form a frame, the top rail being screwed vertically to the back of the sides as I wanted the top open to the elements. For rigidity I attached two braces to the bottom of the frame at 45 degrees.


Two pieces of roofing tile lath were screwed to the back edge of each side so the pipes don’t fall out of the back. Roofing lath was screwed to the sides at 300mm centres to form the base of the pipe holders. The same material used to create the front uprights. I temporarily placed a pipe in the frame and used it as a guide to locate the front upright position.


As you can see, the pipes are fully removeable and they can also be turned forwards to gain maximum light if need be.

The frame was then screwed securely to the top and lower rails of my fence.

Compost was added to the pipes whilst they were out of the frame (it’s a lot easier!).


I’ve planted each pipe with a different salad crop. Can’t wait to start harvesting

That’s it - upcycled, simple to make and productive.

Useful links

The Permaculture Book of DIY - 20 DIY projects, including a woo-dfired hot tub and a cider press. Just £12.95 on Permaculture Market.

How to make a DIY log lounger

Make the most of an unused space with a trellis arch