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PVC Building projects

Posted Thursday, October 31, 2013, at 9:02 AM

As experienced preppers, we have often used PVC pipe to create caches to store emergency items around our property and in strategic locations between work and home. But I've been amazed at how many times we've been able to use PVC to create needed items around our farm. We often have excess PVC pipe laying around, generally excess pieces left over from water line repairs and the like.

PVC pipe comes 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 so a myriad of uses. And, it plays into our motto of reduce, reuse and recycle.

See if you can build some of these ten garden structures with PVC irrigation pipe and connectors. Not only is it easy to construct what you want, 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.

1. One application is to form a box shape made from PVC, then create walls with chicken wire, hardware cloth, or even shade cloth for an outdoor pet enclosure or exercise structure. You can also build jumps and other pet sports game pieces for play. When we were gifted with three new chickens as a surprise, I'm not ashamed to say their first chicken house was made out of PVC and chicken wire.

2. Another handy garden use for PVC might be to assemble plant stands or small tables adding a thin piece of flagstone, wood or other tabletop material for a utilitarian surface.

3. A supporting bench for pond plants can be cleverly built out of plastic pipe. A basic table format will remain open at the pipe ends, so the water fills inside and the framework does not float. This way you can set potted bog plants anywhere in your pond where they would not find a perch otherwise. The PVC is safe even with fish, whereas many other materials could release polluting toxins into the water.

4. Make posts out of 2"or 3" ABS (black plumbing plastic pipe) or the larger PVC pipe sizes. These can be connected with rope, netting, wire grids or other materials to create fencing. PVC or ABS posts can also be used for electrical fencing since they will not conduct electricity. Fill their hollow interiors with concrete if you need strong support.

5. Build a trellis in any design to create a form for climbing plants to clamber up. Designs are limited only by your imagination.

6. Archways and gates are a variation on the concept of building a trellis. If the trellis or archway needs to be stabilized, the ends can be sunk in cement footings.

7. Gates can be fashioned out of pipe and made ornamental with colorful fabric panels. The gates can be attached with hardware or simply joined to fence pipes with PVC connectors.

8. Another easily built structure that can help in the garden is a shade 'house'. When the top is covered with shade cloth, a basic square skeleton shape fitted together in any size can offer a convenient way to protect delicate growth or the newly planted beneath. This light cover can be used for individual hot or cold spells, or for a whole season.

9. Bend 3/4" PVC pipe over the top of a raised vegetable garden bed to make ribs that can support clear plastic or shade cloth. This will allow you to protect vulnerable plants or extend the cropping season for your tender edibles.

10. Using the same concept as above, you can even build your own curved, plastic greenhouse. A low-cost greenhouse like this is ideal for seeding, starting out young plants or even using for storage.

Try building any of these structures out of PVC for quick, easy and inexpensive help in the garden. Once you get the hang of it, you can use your imagination to create anything you want out of landscape irrigation pipe to make your garden more useful or efficient.

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A New York city girl has relocated to the Ozarks and is now having the adventures of her life, living in a cabin out in the country and learning about living an off-grid, sustainable lifestyle.
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