How to Grow Tomatoes in a PVC Pipe (With Images)

tomato plant

Many gardeners love growing tomatoes because they are easy to grow and have many uses.  Having a small yard is not a hindrance. Growing tomatoes in a PVC pipe is a creative way of growing as many luscious tomatoes as you like.

Tomatoes can be grown in PVC Pipes by means of a PVC Tomato Trellis, a PVC Tomato Cage, or growing tomatoes inside PVC Pipes.

These three methods are explained as below:

How to Grow Tomatoes in PVC Pipes

You can build a PVC cage or trellis for growing tomatoes in a PVC pipe. Your tomatoes will be easy to water.

You can store the pipes after planting season. More importantly, they will last for many planting seasons.

A strong PVC pipe cage can provide support for your tomato branches. This is so the tomato stems will not break due to the weight of the tomatoes on the branches.

You can choose from any of the styles of PVC cages.

Method 1: PVC Tomato Trellis

You can create a 3-dimensional PVC cage to support your tomato plants. This PVC pipe tomato trellis is one of the easiest to make.

This will make one PVC trellis that is about 32″ (Width) x 46″ (Length) x 15″ to 60″ (Height).

At the end of the planting season, you can disassemble the cages and store the PVC pipes in one corner.

The trellis will be easy to dissemble because you will not glue the PVC pipes. You will just push the pipes together.

      PVC Elbows                PVC Couplers              PVC Caps

What you Need: 

1 1/4″ x 18” PVC pipes (size 40), 4 pieces

1″ x 44″ PVC pipes (size 40), 6 pieces

1″ x 30 1/2″ 40 PVC pipe (size 40), 6 pieces

1″ 90-degree elbow (with side outlet for schedule 40 PVC), 4 pieces

1” slip couplers PVC pipes (size 40), 4 pieces

1 1/4″ caps for the PVC pipes (size 40), 4 pieces (optional)

What you Need to Do: 

1. Gather all the materials you need.

2. Assemble the top of the PVC trellis. Get 2 pieces the of the 1″ x 30 1/2″ PVC pipes and 4 pieces of the 90-degree elbows with a side outlet.

3. Place one elbow on each end of the PVC pipes. Point all the side outlets downward.

4. Connect 2 pieces of the 1″ x 44″ PVC pipes into the elbows to form a triangle.

5. Slightly push into the soil the preassemble top. This is to mark where you will place the base that will hold your trellis.

6. Assemble the base of your PVC trellis. Get hold of the 4 pieces 1 1/4″ x 18″ PVC pipes.

7. Dig a hole and push the PVC pipe 15 inches into the soil. Gently pull out the PVC pipe and remove the soil inside the pipe.

8. Place back the PVC into the hole. Do these for all the 4 PVC pipes that will serve as the base of your PVC trellis.

9. Connect a 1″ x 30 1/2 ” PVC pipe into each of the PVC bases.

10. Place a coupler on each of the 30 1/2” pipes and add a 44″ PVC pipe to each of the legs. This will extend the height of your PVC pipe trellis.

11. Connect the top to the base.

12. Make sure all the PVC pipes are tightly connected to each other.

You can just place your PVC pipe cage or trellis on the ground. If your area gets to be windy, you can tether the PVC pipe trellis to the ground.

Method 2. PVC Tomato Cage 

You can also opt to build a PVC pipe tomato cage. This is bigger than a trellis and can support larger tomato plants. This cage is for an area of about 6 feet by 7 feet.

T-Shaped Connectors     X-Shaped Connectors


What you Need: 

10 feet x 1/2-inch PVC pipes, 21 pieces

T-shaped PVC connectors for 1/2-inch pipes, 38 pieces

X-shaped PVC connectors for 1/2-inch PVC pipes, 8 pieces

Duct tape

Electric saw

What you Need to Do: 

1. Cut the PVC pipes to the right sizes using your electric saw. To prevent the PVC pipes from breaking when cut with an electric saw, wrap the area you intend to cut with duct tape. Draw your cutting lines on the duct tape.

2. Cut to size the 4 corner pieces and center support pieces of your PVC cage.

3. Cut 4 pieces of PVC pipe at 30 inches each. Each PVC pipe will be buried 10 inches into the ground and the height of the cage from the ground will be 20 inches.

4. Connect a T-shaped connector bracket on each of the four corner PVC pipes

5. Connect an X-shaped connector bracket on each of the four center PVC pipe pieces.

6. Connect the T-shaped connector to the next T-shaped connector with a 1 1/2- inch PVC pipe.

7. Build the short side (6 feet) and the long side (7 feet) of the cage.

8. Make the short side by connecting 3 pieces of 18-inch-long PVC pipes into a long piece using 2 pieces of T-shaped connector brackets.

9. Make the long side by connecting 4 pieces of 21-inch-long PVC pipes into a Long piece using 3 pieces of T-shaped connector brackets.

10. Make the interior pieces.

11. Connect 28-inch PVC pipes to the T-brackets. They will fit into the X-shaped brackets on the top of the center support beams.

12. Cut 3 pieces of PVC pipe 57-inch long. These will be the center grid pieces. Anchor them into the T-shaped brackets of the long sides.

These pieces will tend to droop because they do not have a center support. They, however, will slightly rest on the long center grids which have support.

13. Prepare the corner pieces by cutting 17-inch-long pipes. Connect a T-shaped bracket and, 1 2/2-inch long of PVC like what you did on the previous level.

14. Prepare the center support pieces by cutting four 30-inch-long PVCs. Top each PVC pipe with an X-shaped connector.

15. Arrange the centerpieces as you did with the first level.

16. Add another 20-inch PVC pipe on top of each support post. Top each post with a T-shaped bracket.

Method 3: Growing Tomatoes inside PVC Pipes

If you want to grow larger, healthier, and faster-growing tomato plants, grow them inside the PVC pipes.

What You Need: 

PVC pipes

Post Hole Driller

What you Need to Do:

1. Boreholes at one end of your PVC pipe using a drill and bit. Makes sure the holes are 1-inch apart.

2. Drill about 10 more rows of holes. Each row should be 1-inch above the row below it.

3. Dig a 12-inch diameter hole that is 12 to 18 inches deep for each of your tomatoes Each tomato plant hole should be 18-24 inches apart.

4. Remove dirt from the holes you dug.

5. Mix the dirt (it is assuming it is rich and soft) with potting soil and some manure (preferably chicken manure).

6. Place the tomato plants into the holes you dug.

7. Fill each hole with the soil mixture. Make sure to place the soil mixture around the tomato plants so it can hold the plant upright.

8. Push the soil down. This will make sure the soil is compacted around the tomato plant and can still support it.

9. Dig a hole as close as you can to the tomato plant. Avoid digging into the hole of the tomato plant.

Make sure, too, that the holes at the bottom of each pipe should have the same depth as the bottom of the tomato plant holes.

10. Connect one end of the PVC pipe with drill holes into the pipe hole. Fill the pipe with the soil mixture. Keep the pipe in a vertical position as you fill it with the soil

11. Make sure the PVC pipe and tomato plant are firmly in place.

12. Fill each PVC pipe with water. The water will reach the ground through the holes in the PVC pipe. This will moisten the soil near the roots of your tomato plant.

When your tomato plant starts to grow, place a PVC pipe cage around them for protection and support.

PVC Pipes Are Available and Cheap

PVC pipes are easy to find and cheap. They have many uses other than just for indoor plumbing.

Many creative people have extended the use of PVC pipes to their gardens by building a PVC pipe garden.

Growing Tomatoes In Cages

Growing tomatoes in cages is not a new thing. Most tomato cages were typically made of flimsy wires that normally lasted for one or two growing seasons.

The cycle of buying wires, building the cages, throwing them away, and building new ones can be annoying and expensive.

The PVC Pipe Cages Will Last a Lifetime

PVC pipe cages and trellises for your tomatoes will last a lifetime. They are easy to make and look sharp, too.

Shaping and cutting PVC pipes to build your cages requires no skill and a little effort.

Growing In PVC Pipes Save a Lot of Space

Growing tomatoes in PVC pipe also saves a lot of space in your garden. Plus, it keeps your tomatoes off the ground. This way the tomato fruits are visible and will not rot.

Using PVC pipes in your garden may not be in line with growing plants and the natural environment. But, why not? PVC pipes are sturdy materials and relatively cheap.

Besides, why throw away used pipes when growing tomatoes in a PVC pipe is feasible.

PVC Pipes

Tomato Plant Care

You ill need to nurture your plant even when growing tomatoes in PVC pipe. Here are some tips to ensure your tomato plants grow healthier and faster.

These Tips Will Ensure You Have an Abundant Crop: 

Make sure to give your tomato plant uniform and a continuous supply of water. Avoid giving your plant too much or too little water.

The roots of your tomato plant can drown with too much water. Too little water, on the other hand, will hinder the plant’s growth.

Tomato plants do not need too many nutrients, but they should nevertheless have a constant supply of them. Follow the instructions on the package of the fertilizer for best results.

Your tomato plant will need a lot of sunlight. The leaves of the tomato plant need sunlight so they can supply the plant with energy for photosynthesis.

The plant also needs sunlight to turn raw materials into plant food. Your tomato plant should get at least 8 hours of sunlight per day.

The roots of your tomato plant should be able to breathe freely. Without air, some portions of the roots will suffocate and die. Make sure the soil is loose to allow good drainage.

Protect the leaves and roots of your tomato plant from strong winds, extreme temperatures, disease, pests, weeds, as well as beasts and birds.

Tomato plants thrive at night temperatures of between 550 and 750 to bear fruits. Some tomato varieties will need lower or higher temperatures.

Follow these tips and your tomato plant will not need too much care and protection. These tips will also ensure your tomato plant will produce perfect and juicy tomatoes.

Other Uses of PVC Pipes in the Garden 

There are endless ways on how to use PVC pipes in your garden other than using them to build tomato cages, trellises, and planting tomato plants inside them.

Here Are Some Garden Projects You Can Do With PVC Pipes: 

Vertical Towers. You can use long pieces of PVC pipes to create a vertical garden in small spaces. Make holes in the sides of the pipe and fill it with soil.

Then plant vegetables, herbs, or flowers in the holes. You can also position the PVC pipe horizontally and create a hydroponic garden.

Elevated Planters. You can use short pieces of PVC pipes as planters. You can sink the PVC pipe into the ground, add soil, and plant flowers. You can position the pipes at different heights in beds.

Seed Planters. Make a PVC pipe seed planter, so you no longer need to bend to drop seeds into your garden.

Plant Cage. You can surround your plants with a plant cage made of PVC pipe to keep rabbits, deer, and other critters from chewing on your vegetables.

You can also cover the cage with a net to protect your plant beds.

• Drip Irrigation. You can lay down grids and lines of thin PVC pipes in your vegetable garden. Drill some small holes in the sides of the pipe.

Attach a hose at the end of the pipe for easy dripping of water.

Garden Tool Organizer. You can attach several short pieces of PVC pipes to the wall of your gardening shed or garage.

You can use them as holders for your rakes, hoes, shovels, and other garden implements.

Final Thoughts

PVC pipes are waterproof, lightweight, and cheap. Those three qualities alone make them a popular material for many gardeners. With a lot of creativity, you can build cages and trellises for your tomato plants. You can even plant your tomatoes inside a PVC pipe.

Growing tomatoes in PVC pipe is a creative and efficient way of ensuring healthy, fast-growing fruit. It also gives you an abundance of glorious, succulent, nutrional tomatoes.

Perhaps, after reading this article, many people will be performing ‘makeovers’ in their gardens and even growing tomatoes! What a great idea – better get started now!

Jenny Marie
Tribal Writer

Edited By
Patricia Godwin

Patricia Godwin

Patricia has many years of experience as a content writer on various subjects, but her first love is gardening. She’s never met a plant she didn’t like and, consequently, she writes about every type of plant you can think of. Once an avid gardener with a herb garden, a succulent rockery, and a rose garden – to mention a few. Nowadays, she’s constantly on the move searching for interesting plants to bring to your attention; and explain to you all the details you need to grow, care and maintain these plants.

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