tower garden
tower garden
(Image credit: chipmunk_1)

Perhaps you'd like to grow more produce for your family, but space is limited. Maybe you're looking to add colorful floral planters to your patio but don't want to infringe on your outdoor living space. Building a tower garden is the solution.

Tower gardens utilize vertical space as opposed to planting horizontally in traditional garden settings. They require some type of support structure, openings for plants, and a watering/drainage system. DIY tower garden ideas are endless and creating your own unique homemade garden tower can be fun and easy.

How to Make a Tower Garden

An array of materials can be used when constructing a homemade garden tower such as old planters, recycled containers, bits of fencing, or scraps of PVC pipe. Anything that can create a vertical space for holding dirt and rooting plants can probably be used for building a tower garden. Additional supplies include landscape fabric or straw for retaining soil and rebar or pipe for support.

Consider these simple DIY tower garden ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Old tires – Stack them up and fill them with dirt. This very simple homemade garden tower is great for growing potatoes.
  • Chicken wire cylinder – Roll a length of chicken wire into a tube and secure it. Set the tube upright and stake it to the ground. Fill the tube with soil. Use straw to prevent the dirt from escaping through the chicken wire. Plant seed potatoes as you fill it or insert lettuce seedlings through the chicken wire.
  • Spiral wire tower – A double-walled, spiral-shaped frame is made using hardware cloth. The double-wall is filled with decorative gravel. Plants are grown in the interior of the spiral.
  • Flowerpot tower – Choose several terracotta or plastic flowerpots of concentric sizes. Place the largest on a drip tray and fill it with potting soil. Tamp the soil in the center of the pot, then place the next largest pot on the tamped soil. Continue the process until the smallest pot is on top. Plants are placed around the edges of each pot. Petunias and herbs make great plants for tower gardens of this type.
  • Staggered flowerpot tower – This garden tower follows the same principle as above, except a length of rebar is used to secure pots set at an angle.
  • Cinder block stack – Create a unique design using the openings in the cinder block for plants. Secure the structure with a few pieces of rebar.
  • Pallet gardens – Stand pallets upright with the slats sitting horizontally. Landscape fabric can be nailed to the back of each pallet to retain the soil, or several pallets can be connected to form a triangle or square. The space between the slats is great for growing lettuce, flowers, or even patio tomatoes.
  • PVC towers – Drill holes in lengths of 4 inch (10 cm.) PVC pipe. Holes should be large enough to insert seedlings. Hang the tubes vertically or place them in five-gallon buckets using rocks to secure them.
Laura Miller

Laura Miller has been gardening all her life. Holding a degree in Biology, Nutrition, and Agriculture, Laura's area of expertise is vegetables, herbs, and all things edible. She lives in Ohio.