Create a vertical garden
Do you want to grow your own fruit and vegetables, but lack the space? Grow your crops upwards!
You can construct an upright fruit and vegetable wall from aluminium rods welded together to create a structure for hanging pots. Here’s how.
Project supplied by Bosch South Africa
Aluminium welding rods
Paper, pencil and masking tape
Angle grinder or hacksaw
14m of 6mm-thick aluminium rod
Fruit and vegetable plants of your choice
Step 1: Measure the space on your wall and draw up your design on a sheet of paper. Our design measured 1 370mm high x 514mm wide.
Step 2: Cut six lengths of aluminum rod measuring 500mm each. These will become the hoops to hold the plant pots.
Step 3: Bend each of the 500mm lengths of aluminium rod into hoops with an outside diameter of 165mm. Secure one hoop at a time into your workbench vice so that the two ends meet each other. With the two ends touching, weld them together.
Step 4: Take a 1m length of aluminum rod to form one of your trellis’s vertical lines. Fix your first hoop at 65mm, fix your second hoop at 500mm, and attach your third hoop at 935mm. Repeat this process on another 1m length of aluminium rod.
Step 5: Then cut three 500mm lengths of aluminium rod. These will become the horizontal struts. Mark up where the vertical struts will go onto your horizontal struts at 125mm, 250mm and 375mm. Also, mark up the vertical struts, which you have welded with hoops, at 0mm, 440mm and 875mm to intersect with the horizontal struts. Then weld the horizontal struts onto the vertical struts.
Next, take another two lengths of aluminium rod measuring 1m each and weld them to either side to make the external side vertical struts. Take another 1m length of aluminium rod and bend it into an arch for the top of the structure. We used a dustbin lid to bend it around. Weld the ends to the external side vertical struts.
Take a 1m length of aluminium rod, then cut a piece 365mm and weld together to create the centre upright and weld all intersecting points. Add two top upright 325mm sections and weld in place. Finally, add 11mm support struts, two per hoop, which means you will need 12 struts in total.
Step 6: Once you have your structure, make a leaf on a twig and weld it to the top of the arch. To do this, cut one 800mm length of aluminium rod and bend it in the centre into a ‘V’ and then into shapes on the ends which mimic stalks onto which you attach metal leaves.
To make the leaves, mark up and cut out metal diamond-shaped leaf shapes from 1mm thick sheet metal. Once that is done, weld the leaves onto the stalks.
Step 7: You can either leave the structure in its original silver colour or paint it black for a contrasting effect against a wall. Mount your metal structure onto the wall using either hooks or metal brackets.
Plant some fruits and vegetables like strawberries, chillies or tomatoes into the pots you have chosen and then place the pots into the pot holders of the structure. You can even wind some external fairy lights around the structure to give your balcony ambience in the evenings.
The finished vertical garden
Measure the space you have available on your wall.
Cut the aluminium rod to length.
Weld the two ends of the hoops together.
Weld the different parts of the structure together.
Cut out the leaves from 1mm-thick sheet metal.