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How to Grow Lettuce in PVC Pipes

Quinn Marshall

Lettuce is a fast growing plant with shallow roots that can be grown in a variety of containers, including halved polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, pipes. You can place the PVC pipe either outside or in a garage or basement for winter growing. Seeds are sown into soil contained within the PVC pipe.

Lettuce can be grown indoors during winter.

Once grown, you can then harvest the lettuce in the way same as outdoor-grown lettuce, though the yield may be less than the results from a normal garden.

  1. Cut an 8-inch diameter PVC pipe in half lengthwise so that you have two long PVC pipe halves. A table saw is ideal, but you can also use a hand saw. Use a tape measure to find the halfway point, then mark the measurement with a permanent marker. Saw on the line.

  2. Drill drainage holes into the bottom of each PVC half using a drill and 1/2-inch drill bit. Space the drainage holes approximately 4 inches apart.

  3. Press a cardboard square against one end of the pipe and trace the pipe shape using a pencil. Cut out the shape and stick the wedge into the PVC near the end; this will serve as an end cap to keep the soil from falling out. Repeat for the opposite end. Hot glue the cardboard in place if it won't stand on its own.

  4. Fill the PVC pipe with potting soil or compost. Moisten with a spray bottle and water. Sprinkle seeds onto the soil and cover lightly with soil based on the seed packet's information section.

  5. Mount florescent lights over and drainage collection pans under the PVC pipe if it is located indoors.


You must supplement the potting soil with plant food occasionally to provide the lettuce with nutrients.