Recycled Pipe Terraced Gardening

Pipe Terraced Garden.

This is something I really want to try.   The plan is not to buy the pipes but to recycle those I find in dumpsters and chuck piles.  The pipes I am thinking of are the 4” or larger in size.

For this imagining session we are going to imagine 6 “ plastic water pipes, length will be random. You can’t always be choosy about the height you are going to have if you are at the mercy of what is discarded.   I think it is more interesting if the pipe heights vary anyway.

The whole effort will be trying to use less flat growing space to grow more garden.  Two types of plants I see thriving in this environment are vine vegetables such as acorn squash.  Although I think 8” pipes or bigger would suit better most of the plant wonders far away from its roots so I could plant a pipe right in the middle of my tomato box and let it go.  Darn things get all over the place anyway.

The other I think would do good is herbs.  I am real lazy about growing my herbs and it never fails that snails and slugs get more of them than I do.  Again I could push a pipe in the middle of the tomatoes for some parsley and thyme, etc.  To keep the snails from enjoying them I just need to put a couple rings of super glued pennies or copper wire – they don’t like copper.

Don’t limit your tries or choices I can’t say for sure until I try them myself but think red cabbage, lettuce and strawberries to.  A slightly bigger pipe and you could do hanging bush tomatoes, peppers and eggplant (aubergines) but there is no knowing ‘til I try.

Finding the pipes versus buying them is the whole idea – lets keep costs minimal.  Visit constructions sites or keep an eye out for people with construction dumpsters in their front yards.  Ask if the mind if you take any pipes you spy – they might feel attached to their rubble.

Clean them out even if they are brand new.  Running a rag soaked in a solution of 10% bleach with a nice rinse should remove or kill anything worrisome.  Bleach is found naturally in the soil in trace amounts but so is ammonia which is another option.  Ammonia is also a great source of plant nutrients and I can rmember my horticulture teacher explain that a few drops in a bucket of water for the garden would only be helpful to plants.

I guess there is no easy way to fill the pipe with soil but by hand or cup. Dig out three or four inches of soil before pushing it in deeper to clear away any spots the snails and slugs might have laid eggs.  I have no idea if eggs hatched in the bottom of a 30” pipe will make it to the top but we seem to have supersonic master race slugs that can survive just about anything around here. 

The plan it to start my nursery plants, choose a few to use in my pipes and make sure theyae good and hardy.  Being my first try, I will want them to be well develop and ready for their solo against the weather.  I will lay out my design in my head which looks different when I draw it and different again in the ground.

Get my pipes placed between my tomatoes and maybe a few, if I have them, in my rows of potatoes  (won’t have to dig up any holes I will always have a whole trench). I guess it is a mater of how many I have collected and what height they will plant at. 

As this is a future endeavor I will have to let you know how they faired as I see it being a couple years before I have enough to make the effort. 


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