How To Build A Vertical Garden Pyramid Tower For Your Next DIY Outdoor Project

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Having the correct planting space is usually a problem when trying to plan your new garden layout. If you don’t have enough room to plant this year try going vertical. This DIY Garden Tower Planter (strawberry planter) will give you the extra gardening and planting space you need. This is a great DIY Garden Project but because of the compound angles that need to be cut, it requires a compound miter saw which does take some skill to use correctly.

This tower set us back around $200 dollars to build ourselves but everything was available at our local home improvement store which makes for easy one stop shopping. This DIY project did take quite a bit of time, approximately 4 days after work, so about 16 hours, which can make for a good long weekend project. Before you plant your seeds, consider using a Hydrofarm germination station to jump start your seeds!

Vertical Garden Pyramid Tower_02

Material’s Needed For Garden Tower (with prices):
1 – 4″ X 4″ X 6′ Cedar Wood (for main center post) / Price = $20.00
11 – 1″ X 4″ X 8′ Cedar Wood (for structure) / Price = $100.00
1 – 3′ X 3′ Plywood (for base) / Price = $15.00
1 – 2″ X 2″ X 8′ Cedar Wood (for top) / Price = $20.00
4 – Casters 4 Pack (bottom wheels) / Price = $35.00
75 – 1 1/2″ deck screws / Price = $10.00
1 – Container Wood Glue / Price = $7.00
Gravel / Price = $5.00
Dirt / Price = $7.00
TOTAL COST = $219.00

There is a book with these building plans and 17 more awesome DIY garden projects perfect for your new garden this year that can be found here.

Extra Tips: We varnished the plywood to try to save the laminate to make it last more than 2 or 3 seasons. We also added a layer of rocks and gravel underneath the dirt to try to help with water drainage.
Also, since the upper most layers will dry out the fastest, in the future we want to rig up a time controlled spray irrigation line from the very top of our garden pyramid planter. By doing this the top layers will not dry out and the water will also trickle down to the base layers ensuring even watering if we time it correctly. We were thinking of using a large PVC pipe with small dripping holes to water our strawberries. We may build another one and make a space in the center piece of our cedar post for the PVC pipe to fit into. Then we would fill the PVC pipe with water and let it drip downward. We will update this page as we make changes and tweak our design to show everyone automated ways to water your plants.

Vertical Garden Pyramid Tower_09Our wood has been cut and we have secured our main
base structure together with screws and wood glue.

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After the glue was dry we mounted the structure to the base with our wheels.

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Once the main structure was attached we put the wheels on the base.

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Here are our soil holding boards cut to size.

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Once cut to size we cut the angles required and mitered the boards.

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Our 2X2 cedar pieces for the top of our garden planter after we glued them.

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The first board to hold our garden soil in place is attached.

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Our first load of dirt is in place in our bottom garden tier.

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We slowly added the cedar boards from the bottom up and filled with dirt.

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Took a long time but we were progressing upward with our soil tiers.

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Starting to look good as we add more of our soil retaining tiers to our vertical planter.

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HINT: We added the dirt as we progressed upward as it was easier than doing it afterwards.

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The very top of our garden planter is where we will be adding an automatic irrigation system.

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Our DIY Vertical Garden Pyramid Tower completed with Strawberries and Lettuce.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Martha Stephenson April 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm

How does the automatic irrigation system work? I have 3 pyramid planters, and keeping them properly watered is a significant problem!

2 DIY Project Help Tips April 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Hi Martha,
We used a simple $8 dollar water pump and 10 feet of PVC pipe. It works continuously and is completely automatic. We will be taking some photos soon and adding them ASAP.

3 Rhonda Williamson May 27, 2013 at 5:04 am

Your tower looks wonderful. I’m very interested in seeing the photos of your irrigation system when you post them.

4 Ken August 1, 2013 at 2:05 am

I have built two pyramids this summer. Both have drip irrigation systems I fashioned from Rain Bird parts. The top three rows have one 1 GPH dripper per level. The next two levels have two 1 GPH drippers on each board. I skipped a level and put two 2 GPH drippers on the seventh level. All drippers are nailed to the bottom of the level using Rain Bird parts. I fed the 1 GPH drippers with 1/4″ tubing from a central distributor. The 2 GPH drippers were fed from the central 1/2″ tube that runs about half the distance of the 4X4 post. The hose connection comes out about two feet from the ground and extends just far enough to get your hand on it. This system seems to work, but neither of the pyramids is fully populated, so it is kind of hard to tell.

5 Nancy August 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Why didn’t you drill some holes in the bottom for drainage?
That would be the only thing I would change .

6 DIY Project Help Tips September 4, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Thanks for the tip!

7 George Maximillian Panattoni III January 12, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Also instead of casters you could attach a turntable or Lazy Susan and an additional base.

8 Jane January 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I was thinking that instead of using the 4×4 in the middle, you could use a 4″ PVC pipe with holes drilled throughout. This would be a cheap watering solution. There’s instructions online for making PVC “self-waterers” but the basic premise is being able to “fill up” from the top.

9 Doug January 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Would it work to run a soaker hose in a spiral around your center column? That would allow interior watering, drawing roots deep into the soil.

I guess my major concern is the longevity of the wood. That’s a lot of $ and time for something that might only last a few years. Not sure how you could construct this out of longer life materials though. Perhaps aluminum guttering stacked and set back?

10 Frances Furr March 4, 2014 at 2:24 am

Cedar is used in raised beds, which last a while and it also deters insects. I like this idea.

11 Alison March 5, 2014 at 2:45 am

Very nice post. About how many strawberry plants can you plant in this tower?

12 DIY Project Help Tips March 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm

For strawberries, space them 8 to 12 inches apart, with rows about 1 to 2 feet apart.

13 LaVon O'Neill April 5, 2014 at 12:02 am

I have talked my husband into building me one of these …. He wanted to know what the angle is … the compound miter angle …
Also could you give measurements of boards so I have an idea.


14 Christian Cunard April 6, 2014 at 4:11 pm

I love this idea. My concern is the amount of money out into it for the wood to rot after multiple watering. Is there a way to make this cheaper? I would be making 4 of these. I am also placing the pyramid into a large pot instead of having it on a base with wheels. COuld this be made out of pvc pipe to save money?

15 amber meyers May 1, 2014 at 5:17 pm

I was thinking about the drilling tip, I would also like to toss in the idea of leaving space between the placement of the sized boards and the post. Just enough to fill 1 to 2 inches full of rocks that way as it rains the soil is damp from each of the levels. Note to all those worried about cost, Find local place where random boards and general things are donated to be ‘up-cycled’ OR find a local who has a ‘wood mill’ on their property. These small operations ALWAYS have boards with ‘imperfections’ that can be bought for very, very cheap.

16 Paul M May 11, 2014 at 2:20 am

One thing you can do to prolong the life of the wood is spray the interior (the part that will touch dirt) with plasti-dip. I contacted the company and found out it’s non-toxic and safe to use around plants. I know for certain you can get it at Lowes. I’m sure other places have it, too. But you’re talking major water resistance from the spray.

17 Charlene May 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Looks like a great idea. Am wondering if the strawberry plants would survive the winters, as we live in the Saskatchewan, Canada “deep freeze” where temperatures can reach the low -30’s. I wouldn’t want to have to replace the strawberry plants every year.
Thanks for your advice.

18 J May 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Very nice.

I would have use cedar from top to bottom myself (i have concern with the plywood resistance mid-term, which i do not with cedar).

Also, i’m not sure what’s the middle beam is for, a tipi with 4 corners like that should be strong enought itself, but i guess better safe than sorry. (I’d switch that with a pvc pipe for water distribution, i like that idea from someone above!

Well build anyways!

19 Bill June 5, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Try Trex or another composite material, lasts forever, never rots, costly up front, but over 30 years of life, very cheap…

20 Aaron A Aveiro October 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

We are a small organic farm specializing in vertical farming/gardening. The simplest way to address the watering and this would lend to the aesthetics…
run a waterline up two sides in the center of the 2x’s….then two lines to the boxes.

21 WoodsAnthony January 9, 2015 at 2:35 am

The book leaves out some measurements. For the top of the side pieces of the frame, do you know what the measurement where they meet up with the top trim? The book says to make a 15 degree cut, but doesn’t mention how far in to start the cut. My best guess is 3/4,” but I’d love to hear from you on this.

22 Bucuresti January 17, 2015 at 11:12 am

Can i use these structure for growning chili pepper? Thanks!

23 Sheri January 22, 2015 at 7:50 pm

This is a very neat idea, I like the change to a 4″ PVC Pipe for watering, as for the longevity of this project, could you use these new style of decking boards that are a plastic material, you would actually have something that would not go bad at all.
Would be a great sell.

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