Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How To Make A Culvert Garden Planter

A couple of months ago I dreamed up these planters. Thankfully, I have an awesome husband who can whip this sort of stuff up for me. I posted some pictures on Twitter and Facebook (and I'll be posting some on my new Instagram account too!) of my garden and people wanted to know more about the raised planters I'm using. 

So, here is what they look like. I've got five of them made out of leftover culverts we owned and weren't using. Culverts are big drainage pipes that are used underground to carry water. Now, I'm sure not everyone has these just laying around, but you can check Craigslist and find them or call around and see if your city has any they want to get rid of. Otherwise, check with a plumbing supply house (not a Lowe's or Home Depot).

Here is what you will need:

Culverts (mine are 48" wide and 4' tall)
1 garden hose
1 roll of thin metal wire
Drill with 3/8" drill bit (or similar)
Razor knife
Circular saw/sawzall/plasma cutter (one of the three)
Paint (if you're using a galvanized pipe, you'll need to make sure you have paint that will stick to galvanized metal)
Creek or clean gravel - enough to fill up half of your culvert
Garden grade dirt - enough to fill up the rest of your culverts


1.) Measure and mark your culverts for cutting.

2. Cut your culverts to length using a circular saw with a metal blade, a sawzall or a plasma cutter if you have one.

3.) Paint the culvert. Let dry completely.

4.) Using your knife, cut a slit through one side of the garden hose (not all the way through it - it should remain in one piece) so that it will wrap around the top of the culvert (see picture below).

5.) Place garden hose on top of the pipe as shown below.

6.) Drill a hole right below the garden hose every 10-12".

7.) Thread metal wire around garden hose, through the hole you just drilled and tighten (shown below).

8.) Set your culvert in place and make sure it is level, side to side and front to back.

9.) Fill your culvert halfway with gravel. ***If you're only using these to grow shallow plants, like herbs, you can use more gravel and less dirt which will be less expensive. ***

10.) Fill remainder of the culvert with garden dirt leaving about 4" of space at the top.

11.) Plant your garden!

Here is one of my planters - this one has potatoes and onions! These planters are GREAT for anything that will grow down into the dirt like carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, turnips etc. 

Let me know if you have any questions!

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