Learn how to make the best DIY PVC garden planters perfect for all your small space gardening!
Growing strawberries or herbs in PVC pipe can be a great space saver when it comes to gardening tricks.
Using PVC pipe for your garden growing needs can help maximize your fruit, vegetable, herb production in small spaces that may otherwise seem too small to grow in.
Some of these links are affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure HERE.
Learning how to grow strawberries horizontally doesn’t have to be difficult. Over the years, we have found this method of growing strawberries has produced amazing results as well as saved us valuable space in our gardens.
So the first thing you’re going to need before you head to the hardware store is a get a supply list together.
You can definitely make these your own and hang them any way that you like and what works best for your space.
I’m going to put a list of the exact items I used and you can go from there.
Before making DIY PVC garden planters
Before starting this garden planter project, be sure and measure the area you plan to put them.
I found that most of the pipes in the major hardware stores carry pipe in 10-foot lengths.
So the amount you need will depend on where you plan to hang these. So measure your space. Very important step. Measure twice, cut once.
Also, make sure you have all the tools you’ll need to finish this project.
There’s nothing worse than getting started on something and then having to stop and head to the store (again) because you forgot something.
There is a tool list below as so be sure and have a look.
- 4″ SDR 35 PVC pipe (amount and length will very depening on the are you want to hang these in). Usually comes in 10′ lengths (for reference).
- 4″ SDR 35 PVC caps. You’ll place these on the end of the pipe once you’ve filled it with soil. So you’ll need 2 caps for each piece of PVC pipe you’ll use. You can double check while at the hardware store to make sure they’ll fit the pipe you’re buying.
- Rafter hangers. We used these to hang our strawberry pipes up with. We used 3 hangers for each length of pipe but you could probably get away with just using 2 for each. It’s personal preference.
- 3/4″ metal hanger strap (optional). If you decide not to use the rafter hangers so your PVC garden is moveable, you could also use a “U” bracket (if you can find one large enough) or this metal hanger strap and screw it into place.
- Screws (optional). This is if you decide to use the metal strap hanger then you’ll need screws as well.
- Organic gardening soil. The amount you’ll need will also depend on how many you are making.
- Strawberry plants. We planted these every 9.5″ down the length of our pvc pipe.
If you don’t want to buy the tools, see if you can borrow from friends or family members to help save some money.
But if you’d like to purchase some things, here’s the list!
- Sharpie (marker for marking your pipe)
- Hand saw for cutting your pipe down to size. You can also ask the guys at your local hardware stuff to cut the pvc pipe to length for you. Most of the time they are very helpful and more than happy to do this.
- Tape measure.
- Gloves (optional). I always wear gloves in the garden.
- 3 inch saw hole drill bit. Again, If you decide to use a smaller pipe, you’ll want to use a smaller diameter saw hole bit as well. We used a 4″ pipe with a 3″ diameter bit-for reference.
- 5/16 inch drill bit for drainage holes.
- 15/64 inch drill bit for smaller drain holes in between the 5/16″ drilled holes.
- Gardening shovel to scoop the soil into the pvc pipe.
- Screwdriver (optional). I used this to pry the pieces of pipe out of the saw hole bit. If you have another idea for how to get these out, leave it in the comments section below. I could not think of any other way to get these pieces out after I drilled each hole.
How to make DIY PVC garden planters
- Measure the space you want to put these pipes to hang. 2.
- Remember to leave at least an inch (if not 2-3″) of wiggle room. This will make it easy to remove them at the end of season to clean them out in preparation for next year.
3. Measure the length of the pipe and mark with your sharpie where it needs to be cut.
4. With your handsaw, cut the pipe down to the length you need it if you didn’t have the gentlemen at the hardware store do so for you.
5. After cutting the pipe to the length you want it, it’s a good idea just to double-check fit. Optional, but this is something I always do.
6. Measure where you want to plant your strawberries. We have found that having one plant every 7 inches or so was good and allowed the strawberries and herbs adequate room to grow.
We measure (and mark) every 9 1/2 inches along the length of the pipe so you’ll end up with 7 inches (roughly) between each 3 inch holes.
7. Install your 3 inch saw hole bit onto your drill. Make sure it’s tight.
8. With the pipe laying on the ground and locked in between your feet, drill the 3 inch holes along the length of your pipe.
I did find that having someone to help with this part was much easier.
However, if you are doing this alone ladies, I did find that having leverage on your drill and locking the base of the drill in between your legs kept it from spinning.
You’ll need to put significant pressure down on top of it while drilling as well.
I recommend watching the video if you want the full demo of this being done.
9. After each 3 inch hole you drill, take a screwdriver and pop out the piece of plastic pipe from the inside of the bit.
If you get too many pieces in there it can be really tricky to get out.
10. Once you have drilled your 3 inch holes down the length of your pipe, it’s time to clean up around the edges a bit.
Sanding the edges
Let’s clean up the edges!
Not something you have to do, but it will look much cleaner when you are finished.
I just used my leather gloved hand to do this.
Pulling the plastic bits off and wiping down the sides of the holes was sufficent enough. You could use sandpaper if you wanted this really smooth.
It’s up to you.
Drilling the drainage holes
Now that you have finished drilling all your 3 inch holes to put your plants in, it’s time to drill our drainage holes on the opposite side.
- Take your sharpie and your tape measure and put a mark every 3 inches down the underside of your pipe.
2. Remove your 3 inch saw hole drill bit from your drill and install the 5/16 inch drill bit.
3. Drill holes at each of your 3-inch marks you just made down the length of the pipe.
4. Once you have those holes all drilled, remove that drill bit and replace it with a 15/64 inch bit.
Drill a hole in between each of the holes you previously drilled with the 5/16th bit.
Once you have done this, you should have a hole drilled every 1 1/2 inches down the underside of the pipe for drainage.
- Tip your pipe over and empty out all the fragments of plastic from the drilling. You dont want to have that in your soil.
2. Place one of the caps you purchased on ONE end of your pipe. No need to glue as you’ll want to be able to remove this at the end of the growing season and clean it out.
3. Once you have one end of the pipe capped, grab the kids and begin to fill your pipe as full as you can with potting soil.
4. After your piece of PVC pipe is as full as you can get it, place the other cap on the end you just filled.
Filling with Soil
I prefer to plant standing up. But you can do this on the ground if that’s easier for you.
I placed the rafter hangers on the boards, then placed my filled pvc pipe on the hangers for easy planting.
I used 3 hangers for each section of pipe.
Plant your strawberry plants or herbs into your PVC pipe planter.
Fill with more soil as you go if needed.
Once you have finished planting all your strawberries, don’t forget to water them!
Enjoy your new DIY PVC garden planters!
These work so well in small spaces and give you so much flexibility with growing hers, strawberries and other small plants.
Favorite way to grow herbs
I love to garden. When spring time is around the corner I start itching to be outside. I’m always looking for new ways to do things and growing produce is no exception. If you have a favorite way to grow strawberries that produces great results, share in the comments section below!
I hope you all enjoyed a little bit of gardening with me today.
Until next time,