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Pipe Dreams- How to Grow in a Drainpipes

Pipe Dreams- How to Grow in a Drainpipes

The Tip Shop is a the perfect plaace to find your piece of PVC drainpipe that converts into a slender, small-space fitting container garden! When you look creatively, almost anything can be used as a container to grow plants in. 

A nod to the vertical tower method of growing As a simple elevated planter, use them cut to your desired length  by sinking the pipe into the ground to the desired height, add soil and plant. 

You can be very creative and have them at different heights in beds to add visual interest too!

On my balcony you will see that I have grown two Isabella Grape vines in 2 drain pipes that have been slotted into the very narrow space between a corrugated metal bed and the permanent raised bed on the balcony.

Grow in a piece of Drain Pipe


A piece of PVC drain pipe cut down to the height that suits your space will allow you to grow vegetables, vines and flowers in very tight spaces such as that pictured above! The pipe also acts as a barrier against weeds and importantly, will fit in that difficult, narrow spot where soil cannot be built up and plants need to be raised to access sunlight and air. You can also use pieces of terracotta pipe for this purpose too. Just remember that terracotta will pull alot of moisture out of the soil.

Here's how I installed it on my Balcony:

  1. Dig a slight trench or hole in which the pipe will be sunk.
  2. Cut the length of PVC pipe that you require, allowing for a few centimetres to be sunk into the ground.
  3. Stand the pipe into position and to stablisie, you can sink two metal rods into the pipe to hold it in place. I used metal garden stakes as you can see in the photograph.
  4. You can push soil up around the base of the pipe to add further stability if you wish
  5. Place a few centimetres of pebbles or gravel in the bottom of the pipe to aid drainage
  6. Fill the rest of the pipe with potting mix , water the soil to let it settle and remember to allow room for your plant. Backfill with mix to a few centimetres from the top of the pipe.
  7. Water your plant well.
  8. If you are not planting a plant into it you can use seeds or starts in your new planter, following the instructions on the seed packet or starter label for the correct planting depth and spacing. Choose plants appropriate for the amount of sun or shade in the area where you've placed your garden
  9. Water the container often, but allow it to dry out between waterings. Container gardens tend to dry out faster than gardens built directly into the ground.

PVC Pipe containers

    If you select a pipe with a large enough diameter you could sink a Terracotta Spike in there to provide a simple watering solution for your seedlings or small plant. My Grapevines are surface watered.

    Join my Balcony gardening journey on Instagram @upon_the_rooftop!


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