Make seedling planters from re-cycled PVC guttering.

f(Click on any image to see a larger view)

My good neighbour Sam and his business partner Anthony of EJ Building & Roofing both know I love to recycle and make things from a wide range of discarded material and they have been very generous giving me off-cuts of roofing felt, roofing laths and more recently some lengths of deep guttering, all of which otherwise they would have to throw away . Roofing lath is usually treated rough sawn 2” x 2” and so versatile . Because they generate and supply me with more than I can use for my various projects, I also cut surplus into log lengths as  we have a wood burning open fire in our front room. I have used the deep guttering off-cuts  to make a number of seed planters for windowsills and for use in my greenhouse. I have used them rather like shelves to hold growing medium or as troughs which simply sit on any flat surface.

The technique is to carefully cut them to the length you need and make wooden internal end stops to create a deep trough for potting compost. The off-cuts I was given were brand new but be extra careful if the guttering you are using has been used because all plastics become brittle through constant exposure to the UVA in sunlight so liable to crack and break if you don’t saw them to length carefully.

To make the stops you simply use a pencil to draw the profile of the gutter onto a scrap of soft wood using a hand held jigsaw.

gMark out using gutter end as template & cut out with jigsaw

Once cut and the edges smoothed with glass paper I drilled three pilot holes through the PVC gutter edge and used screws to hold them in place  , one for each side and one for underneath. It doesn’t matter if the stops are not a perfect fit and no need to seal them in using silicone because you need the compost to be able to drain.

eEnd stops screwed in place


Once the stops are in place you can add two rectangular off-cuts, one either end so that the finished planter is stable.

cScrew rectangles to each end to stabilise planter

I have made one such planter to fit  the awkward space next to the glazed door of my greenhouse trimming one end at an angle to  allow the door to open and close and one of the end stops moved back a couple of inches to accommodate.

dshelf type version (cut at angle one end to accommodate door swing)

Why not check out how to make more substantial planters and window boxes using a simple construction method  with, for example  decking board- ideal as it is treated , generally better quality wood than pine planking and often guaranteed for ten years. Here is a link to that and other planter ideas

Ideas for Making Planters and Window Boxes from Decking boards and other materials.

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