Growing vegetables in drainage pipes on wall

by Debra
(New South Wales, Australia)

I wish to grow some lettuce, strawberries and herbs on a wall in a container. A TV show I saw the other night said to grow them in plastic guttering. My husband suggested plastic drainage pipe with sections cut out.

I am concerned with chemical leaching into the vegetables. Is this a problem? Can you suggest natural options?

Comments for Growing vegetables in drainage pipes on wall

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Jun 12, 2010
Plastic Pipes Do Leach
by: Scott

Yeah. Leaching can be a concern. But if you compare it to the Chemical maze you play with from vegetables grown on farms with synthetic fertilisers propping up dead soil and sprayed with the biocide mix...well...maybe leaching from plastic isn't so bad.

And then you also need to consider that most of the food we purchase is contained in a plastic wrap of some kind as are most of the beverages we buy.

You're not going to run away from plastic leaching anytime soon. But having genuinely healthy food which you grew yourself in organic soil is one of the few ways you can give your body the strength it needs to defend itself from damaging chemicals.

Work with what you have and look for ways to make it better.

Big Love

Jun 16, 2010
Vegetables in guttering on wall
by: Megan

Most plastics don't leach chemicals unless they come into contact with heat or acid contents, such as foods like tomatoes, lemons etc.

I'm almost certain there would be no chemicals leaching into the soil and your plants from plastic guttering or pipes. Many plant pots are made from plastic remember.

Growing veggies in a vertical garden like you propose requires a well planned set-up. You need an irrigation system or else you will be constantly having to water because the plants are in such a confined space. They must also be regularly fed with liquid fertilizer as their roots can't spread out and go deep looking for food and moisture.

Send in a photo if it works!

Jun 20, 2010
Get Real
by: Scott

Ok. Enough probably's and Maybe's. Lets look at some facts.


Beware of numbnuts who tell you most plastics don't leach. Grow your own food and stay healthy anyway.

Jul 11, 2010
Plastic leaching into soils
by: Megan

Interesting links and it's another aspect we have to look into to avoid harmful chemicals.
Basically the minimum precautions one should take would be to make sure any new plastic guttering, or in fact any plastic, was well and truly flushed out or washed before use.
Even though there may be tiny amounts of the dioctyl phthalate plasticizer leaching into soils, it's not known how much, if any, might be absorbed by plants.

Jul 11, 2010
What about chemical leaching of tires??
by: Anonymous

I grow lots of veggies and fruits in large tractor tires filled with dirt. Can their be harmful leaching from the tires???

Jul 25, 2010
Plastic or tires chemicals in garden
by: Megan

Regarding using tires for planting vegetables in, have a read of this information: Safe to use tyres in garden

Jul 30, 2010
Veg in drainage pipes on wall
by: Dooley W

On the page about tires being used to grow veg in, there's a comment about sealing the insides of tires with non toxic paint before use.
Therefore I guess the same sealing could be done for plastic plant pots or the drainage pipes on a wall used for growing veg.

May 04, 2012
by: Anonymous

This is what one of those articles says: "Abstract Toxic dioctyl phthalate plasticizer leaches from new plastics used in closed
aquaculture systems. Closed systems employing new plastics probably should be flushed for about 10 days with warm fresh water before they are put into use." and that is in "closed aqua culture systems" so not completely relevant

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