Vertical Garden Build[ Edited ]
03-04-2012 04:17 PM
Hi everyone! We recently were given a project to construct a vertical garden. Our goal was to create a display piece that could be secured to a wall or set on display at ground level. Below is a walkthrough of our build process. Enjoy !
Size of 37” X 24 ½”
1”x4” white wood or pressure treated wood for outside frame
2@ 24 ¼” length
2@ 37” length
1”x6” white wood or pressure treated wood for main box
2@ 32” length
3@ 15" length
2@ 32” length
1@ 20 ¾” length
1@ 15” length
¼” plywood sheeting
1@ 19 ½” x 32”
4@ 12” length
1. Layout your materials as if they were a kit. This makes assembly much faster and organized.
2. Take the 2 lengths of 32” wood and measure down from the top by 14” and up from the bottom by 3 ½” and place a mark at each location. Now with the three 15” boards place one at the very top one at the 14” mark and one at the 3 ½” mark, these will form the body and compartments of the soil bed. With the exception of the board at the 14” mark secure these in place with 1 ½” exterior wood screws.
3. Take the piece of 19 ½” x 32” plywood and secure it to the soil bed frame with wood screws. This will form the back of the vertical garden.
4. With the frame of the bed assembled let’s address the holes for the watering inlets. For our purposes our drip irrigation system will be using ¾” PVC pipe, one routed to each compartment. Use a 1” spade bit to drill a hole in the top of the frame. This hole should be just off center.
5. Now take the middle support we didn’t screw in previously and slide it up and flush with the top board.
6. Using a clamp to hold the board in place drill the hole for the lower compartment. Clamping the boards together insures that the holes line up perfectly for the PVC to pass through.
7. Remove the clamps and move the center support back down to the 14” mark (made in step 2) and fasten it into place as you did the top and bottom.
8. Create a French cleat by cutting one of the 1”x4” boards lengthwise at a 45 degree angle. The bottom half will be the “hook” that you secure to the wall.
9. Screw the top half of the cleat into the back of the plywood with the cut facing downwards so it will fit into the hook. Make it doubly secure by drilling it through the plywood and into a second 1”x4” board placed on the inside of the garden box.
10. To brace the bottom of the garden box while hanging, secure the two remaining 1”x4” boards by placing one on the outside and at the bottom of the box, below the French cleat. Secure it by screwing it into the fourth 1”x4”, which should be placed on the inside of the garden box.
11. The 32” long 1”x2” are drilled into place along the top edge of the soil bed to give us extra surface area to support the face frame without adding a lot of weight.
12. Repeat this with the 20 ¾” long 1”x2” along the top and the 15” long 1”x2” along the bottom.
13. Before attaching the facing frame we need to line the bed with a moisture barrier. This is to prevent wood rot and warping from the moist soil over time. In this case we’ll be using 2mil plastic sheeting pond liner is also and excellent option.
14. Line the top compartment with enough slack in the bed to allow soil to spread without ripping and staple the over spill along to compartment edge. Once the staples are in place cut the excess away carefully with a razor knife. Repeat for lower compartment.
NOTE: At this point you have the option of drilling weep holes into the bottom of the soil bed to let excess moisture run out. Be aware that if you do this to place weed block over top the plastic liner in this area to prevent soil escape.
15. We can now attach the facing frame, just be sure to align your screws so that they embed into the 1”x2” supports we put in place back in steps 8 and 9. If you plan on painting the facing frame remove it at this point, paint it and allow it to dry.
16. Now with the bed and frame completed we can measure for the inset lattice. Take measurements from the inner edge of the facing frame (ignore the lip of the soil bed) to inner edge. You will want the take measurements for width from both the top and bottom edges and likewise for the height from the left and right edges. This assures you the best possible fit and finish for the lattice.
17. Just as we did for the facing frame attach the lattice work to the inner lip of the vertical garden using 1” wood screws. Detach, paint as desired.
18. Before we add soil we need to add our irrigation. We used a simple PVC drip irrigation set up.
19. Make “X” shaped incisions in the plastic liner at the 1” holes we drilled into the soil bed in step 4.
20. Take the piece of 8” long PVC and push through the hole without the pass through into the second compartment. When it’s about half way in attach the PVC cap to the end within the box. Glue the 1 ¼” - ¾” reducing bushing to the opposite end (this will be the water inlet). Use a small drill bit to place drip holes along the length of PVC, rotating slightly after each one. Make sure to get a hole as close to the bottom as possible to prevent standing water in the line.
21. Repeat the process for the 19” long PVC line that runs into the second compartment. Only drill the drip holes into the second compartment section of pipe, leaving the rest solid.
Note: It’s not a bad idea to color code or label the water inlets so you’ll remember which is top and which is bottom
22. Fill both the upper and lower compartments with soil. You want them to be pretty full so once you reach the top lip (where the lattice attaches) shake the box to help the soil settle and add more as needed.
23. With the bed full, place a layer of weed block tightly across the top, and staple into place.
24. Reattach the lattice.
25. Wait 2-3 weeks before standing up your garden to let the soil settle and the plants take root.
26. Hang your vertical garden with the French cleat, or stand it up on its base.
27. Marvel at your handy work and check for any last minute fixes like soil shift and repair as needed.
We hope you've enjoyed this walk through and as always if you have any questions feel free to sound ask.