3 Creative Uses for PVC Pipe

Polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, is a highly durable and flexible plastic that is used in a wide variety of construction materials. It is very commonly used in plumbing. It is an extremely versatile kind of piping, coming in many different diameters and with all manner of joining pieces. For this reason, the uses of PVC pipe are not limited to plumbing or electrical work. Because it is so easy to cut, join and glue, its uses are limited only by your imagination. In terms of gardening and other backyard projects, there are at least 3 creative uses for PVC pipe. It is relatively inexpensive, so once you know what you want to build out of it, the job can be done cheaply and quickly.

What You Will Need

Using PVC pipe for a backyard or gardening project requires that you have the PVC supplies on hand. Firstly, the pipe itself comes in many different sizes, from ½ inch up to 2 and 3 inches in diameter. It comes new in 10-foot lengths, but smaller pieces can be found in rebuilding centers and recycling areas.

To properly shape it and join it, you will need connecting pieces. These come in many different varieties to suit all the different thicknesses of pipe. They include 90 degree elbow joints, 30 degree joints, cross joints, straight splice joints, double L joints and closed ends. There are also threaded pieces that allow you to fasten the pipe together like a bolt. Lastly, you will need some type of adhesive to bond the PVC together. Gorilla glue works great for this.

Use 1: Garden Trellis

If you plant vegetables that like to climb up a trellis, consider making one out of PVC. You can construct it in whatever shape you need such as a triangular frame with a 90 degree bend at the apex, complete with horizontal cross pieces. Depending on the size of your climbing vegetable patch, it can be as long as you need it, and because it has a broad base, you won’t need a foundation for it.

Use 2: Drip Irrigation System

Another good outdoor use for PVC is to make a drip irrigation system for a garden patch. The best part about PVC pipe is that is can made into any square or rectangular shape. Measure out the area of your vegetable garden, including the distances between the rows of crops. Construct a single layer frame of pipe with the cross pieces running exactly where there are gaps in your garden. Make a completely sealed frame then drill small holes at different down-facing angles wherever it comes into contact with vegetables. With the right size threaded piece, you may even be able to connect a garden hose directly to it. Your crops will be evenly watered without being saturated with your makeshift irrigation system.

Use 3: Plant Hanger

If you have hanging plants, whether vegetables or otherwise, that stay outdoors, make a light frame for them with PVC pipe. Depending on the weight it will support, you may need to build a foundation for the frame out of wood blocks or bricks. Putting the feet of the frame through one or two stacked cinder-blocks might just do the trick. Build your frame in the shape monkey bars with two parallel cross pieces and several perpendicular pieces to join them. This type of frame will give you all the hanging space you need.