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Lawn & Garden

Vertical Garden Build


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 walk through of our build process. Enjoy!

Size of Vertical Garden Build:  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
  • 1”x2” whitewood
  • 2@ 32” length
  • 1@ 20 ¾” length
  • 1@ 15” length
  • ¼” plywood sheeting
  • 1@ 19 ½” x 32”
  • 1”x4” whitewood
  • 4@ 12” length



Layout your materials as if they were a kit. This makes assembly much faster and organized.

Bed Assembly


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Now take the middle support we didn’t screw in previously and slide it up and flush with the top board.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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.


Step 7

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.

Step 8

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.

Step 9

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.


View of french cleat


Step 10

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.

Step 11

Repeat this with the 20 ¾” long 1”x2” along the top and the 15” long 1”x2” along the bottom.

Step 12

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.

Step 13

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.

Step 14

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.

Step 15

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.

Step 16

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.


Step 17

Before we add soil we need to add our irrigation. We used a simple PVC drip irrigation set up.

Step 18

Make “X” shaped incisions in the plastic liner at the 1” holes we drilled into the soil bed in step 4.

Step 19

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.

Step 20

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 ;)




VG4a.jpgView of Water inlets at the top


Step 21

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.

Step 22

With the bed full, place a layer of weed block tightly across the top, and staple into place.

Step 23

Reattach the lattice.

Step 24

Wait 2-3 weeks before standing up your garden to let the soil settle and the plants take root.

Step 25

Hang your vertical garden with the French cleat, or stand it up on its base.

Step 26

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.




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Posted 2012-03-04T21:17:23+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL Chris_HD_ATL

The video should be in your email from Home Depot.  Here's the link:,AAAAD2AZimE~,cuHgoGQ9jPlQCSggbUs5K0WpAbCB1kyh&bctid=1542969592001

Posted 2012-04-12T13:20:20+0000  by meekocat_2002

Not sure if this will help but I saw this on the Today show about 2 days ago and it was beautiful.  I haven't read through the instructions completely, but I do remember them saying that once it is complete you need to leave it flat for 3 weeks so that the roots can take hold and the dirt can settle.  Maybe you can view it on the Today's show website. Good luck

Posted 2012-04-15T15:48:07+0000  by lisac

I started to build this and began cutting the pieces and discovered some problems.  In the list the 3 1X6 pieces are supposed to be 18".  yet in the instructions it says take the 3 15" inch pieces ? the list of pieces has the 1X2' piece for the bottom as 15", yet in the video it fits end to end, but not if the frame is 18" wide. Can you clarify the measurements for me?

Posted 2012-04-18T00:20:51+0000  by jimbo4720

could somebody explain to me how you water the bed and how often.  Thanks

Posted 2012-04-22T02:31:43+0000  by rockhound

Hi jimbo4720 sorry about the delay in getting back to you guys about the garden. You're right there is a typo in the materials list the 3- 1"x6" wood should be listed as 15" instead of 18". I've corrected it in the initial post and again apologize for the confusion.


For those wanting a more detailed walk through of the addition of soil and planting, I unfortunately don't have access to the original as it's living the life of a big time star :robotindifferent:.


I did however build another :robotvery-happy: and will try and get a planting video up soon.

vertical garden 2


Also if there are any build related questions you have we'll be happpy to answer them.








Posted 2012-04-22T13:36:14+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL

Hey rockhound the garden has inlets at the top. These are actually the tops of the PVC water lines running into the garden. I found the easiest way to water is to utilize a small funnel.


As to how often you water that really depends on the type of plants you go with. You'll want to water whatever plants you have as recommended, for example succulents require very little water whereas annuals may need water every couple of days. Keep in mind that since the garden is vertical you'll need to strike a balance as you don't want to over saturate the soil.




Posted 2012-04-22T14:04:18+0000  by Chris_HD_ATL

This sounds like a great idea! Do you have any photos? I'd like to add it to my Pinterest idea board. Of course, I could buy new gutter materiel at HD.

Posted 2012-04-23T15:33:49+0000  by moochiedale

I really like this idea. I am a visual person so I would love to see a picture. I'm all for recycling anything and this is a good one.

Posted 2012-04-24T20:00:15+0000  by nanachele
I would love to build this one. I have lot's of old gutters. I'm pretty much a visual person. Please add a photo.
Posted 2012-04-26T18:07:07+0000  by hunyok66

Nice idea, but the weight could be an issue for mounting, especially w/the combined weight of moist soil + plants.  I'm wondering what effort it took to set up the complete box, as in the demo photo, 3' above ground.  The hinge system would make it easy to set the box, but would be pretty heavy, even to adjust position.  Probably would take 2 or 3 people to do it safely.


Also, not sure about the use of clear polyfilm for waterproof liner as per the video demo.  The written instructions suggest pondliner which is much more substantial & long wearing than the clear stuff.  It's thicker & bulkier than 2mm polyfilm & trickier to manipulate but 3 wks of sitting flat & filled should control any errant corners of the liner.  Pond liner is available through different companies on-line, some sell smaller sized remnants which would work for a small project like this.


But the weight!

Posted 2012-05-01T20:44:11+0000  by marhar123
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