PVC construction

You can build all kinds of shapes and forms putting together PVC pipe.

If you live where irrigation systems are a natural part of landscaping you are familiar with the commonly used white PVC pipes. The very thing that makes it easy put together these pipes makes it ideal for other uses. And it makes PVC pipes with all their various connectors into handy, inexpensive outdoor construction materials for any climate.

Made out of resilient vinyl, these irrigation materials come in a wide assortment of lengths and widths. They have connectors that allow them to be assembled into almost any form or structure. The hollow pipes are lightweight, slightly flexible and capable of conducting liquid and air. Easy to cut, PVC pipe can be used to create skeleton forms for many different uses.

Here is a sampling of some of the garden structures you can build with PVC irrigation pipe. Not only is construction easy – rather like assembling simple Lego pieces — but it will be inexpensive and you can simply disassemble the pieces when you are done. Or you can glue pieces together for a more stable, permanent construction.

  • One application might be to a box form or a square tunnel made from PVC then creating walls with chicken wire, hardware cloth, or even shade cloth for outdoor pet enclosures or exercise structures. You can also build jumps and other pet sports game pieces for exercise.
    PVC jump

    This is a simple dog jump assembled with PVC.

  • Another handy garden use for PVC might be to assemble plant stands or tables topped with a thin piece of flagstone, wood or another tabletop material.
  • Pond supports can be cleverly built out of plastic pipe. A basic table format will remain open at the pipe ends so the water fills inside so the structure sits at the bottom of the pond. This way you can set potted bog plants so they sit in water in the middle of the pond where they would not find a perch otherwise. The PVC is safe even with fish – many other materials could prove to be toxic.
    Blooming lotus plant

    This lotus plant (blooming in pink) is sitting in a pot set on a PVC underwater table.

  • Make posts out of 2”or 3” ABS (black plumbing plastic pipe) or the larger pipe sizes. These can be connected with rope, netting, wire grids or other materials to create fencing. Posts can also be used for electrical fencing since they will not conduct electricity.
  • Build a trellis in any design to create a form for climbing plants to clamber up. The design is limited only by your imagination.
  • Archways and gates are a variation on the concept of building a trellis. If the trellis or gate needs to be stabilized, the ends can be sunk in cement footings. Gates can be attached with hardware or simply joined with PVC connectors.
  • Another easily built structure that can help in the garden is a shade ‘house’. A basic square skeleton shape fitted together in any size can make the perfect way to shade delicate or newly planted plants when the top is covered with shade cloth. A light cover like this can be used for hot or cold spells and can protect the plants beneath for a whole season if necessary.

Try building any of these structures out of PVC for quick, easy and inexpensive help in the garden. Then use your imagination to create something out of this irrigation pipe that will make your garden more fun or efficient.