I live in the city so it’s safe to say that my outdoor space is limited at best. To top it off my incredibly small outdoor space is covered in concrete and I have a crazy gardening bug that I just can’t seem to shake. Since concrete and gardening are two concepts that just don’t quite mesh, I have had to come up with really creative ways to adjust to my concrete jungle and create a way to be able to plant and grow lots of different plants in a really small space. In this creative movement I came up with my DIY Stand-up Garden Drip Wall.
This drip wall can be made for about $5 and can be put up indoors or outdoors, and the best thing is that it is SO incredibly simple to make and maintain. It is a really wonderful way to make the most of small spaces and I know some people who even use my drip wall in green houses to specifically grow their seedlings before transferring them.
Now, let’s get to the fun part!
What you’ll need:
- Electric Hand Drill
- 2’x4′(24″x48″) Particle Board or similar
- 12 to 16 3/4″ Screws
- 12 to 16 2-liter soda bottles or 1 gallon milk containers (I like milk containers better)
- Seedlings or seeds
- Soil or compost mix
- (optional) Water Catch for the bottom. The catch can be a long thin empty planter, a couple of plants in pots, or another type of plastic container that is long enough to sit under the particle board and catch the dripping water.
- (optional) A mount only if you want to mount your board on a wall instead of propping it up. You can also get two hinges to create an A-frame with two particle boards.
Take your milk carton or soda bottle and turn it upside down. You’ll want to cut off about 1″ of the bottom of the container and leave the spout intact. Save the top for the screw, don’t throw it out!
Stand your particle board upright against something sturdy so that if your screws go through to the other side of the board it won’t ruin what is behind it.
The board should be able to fit at least 4 containers across the width of the board and should fit at least 4 rows along the height. You can line up each container upside down along the board and mark with a pen where you’d like to place them. Each container should sit directly under the row above it so that the water from the container above drips into the container below.
Now that you have marked where each container is going take the plastic top from the container to screw into the board. You’ll use the top as a washer so that the screw is reinforced and won’t rip the container from the weight. This part is a bit hard to do one-handed so it is helpful to have someone hold the container while you screw the screw into the plastic top and into the wall. It is easier to angle the screw downward when screwing it into place.
Once you have all your containers screwed into place you’ll want to establish your water catcher on the bottom or set the board up where it can drain from the bottom onto the ground. If you don’t want to set up a water catcher and you don’t want it to drain onto the ground you can plug the bottom row of containers with the tops that came with them so that water stays on the bottom row. I personally like to set mine up with a long planter on the bottom so that the water is caught into other plants and doesn’t drown the bottom row. (Shown below)
At this point you want to decide whether you are going to create an A-frame with hinges, mount your board on a wall, or simple prop it up against a wall outdoors.
Once you have them in place fill them up with soil. The easiest way to fill them up is to plug the hole at the bottom of the container with a paper towel and then water down the soil before removing the paper towel so that the soil doesn’t slip out from the bottom while it’s dry.
When you have the soil filled up go ahead and plant your seeds or seedlings and give the top row a good watering. You’ll see that the top row waters the second and so on down the rows so that water isn’t wasted and is distributed evenly into each container.
And you’re done! Enjoy your drip system!