(Natural News) Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a highly economical and versatile material typically used in building, construction and plumbing. It is also durable, lightweight and non-toxic for both animals and humans.
Overall, these qualities make PVC a reliable material for creating tools and small structures for homesteading.
PVC pipes do not expand when exposed to the elements. PVC itself is also safe to use for growing food. These PVC projects can make gardening easier for homesteaders:
- Tomato cages – Climbing tomato varieties need a cage or trellis for support. Keeping them above the ground also ensures that the tomatoes do not rot.
- Cucumber trellis – Climbing cucumber varieties need trellis as well. Build one with PVC pipes.
- Cold frames – These are simple structures set over garden plants in the fall or winter to protect them from the cold. To build cold frames, heat PVC pipes and bend them into the right shape.
- Deep irrigation – This irrigation system allows water to reach plant roots buried deep within the soil. Just drill holes down the length of a PVC pipe and stick it into the soil next to the plant. Pour water into the pipe as needed.
- Handheld seeders – This tool makes sowing a faster and easier process. Its length can be adjusted to the height of the gardener for added ease and comfort as well.
- Ground irrigation – This complex irrigation system is ideal for very large gardens. To build one, link enough PVC pipes to cover the garden space. Drill holes into the pipes. Connect the system to a valve or spout.
- Garden tool holders – Make and use PVC holders for organizing tool sheds.
- Garden hose holder – Wrap your garden hose around this holder for easier access.
- Aquaponics gardening – Cap the ends of a PVC pipe and drill holes large enough to hold plants and seedlings. Pour water into the pipe as needed for a simple aquaponics garden.
- Window gardens – You can also use PVC pipes as plant holders for a window garden. Just drill large enough holes into the pipes, add soil and fill them with plants. Drill smaller holes for drainage.
- Container gardens – You can also set PVC plant holders on the patio for a container garden.
- Small greenhouse frames – PVC pipes are durable enough to fashion into small greenhouse frames.
- Tomato stakes and waterer – Instead of building complex tomato cages, just insert a long PVC pipe into the soil where tomatoes are planted. Tie the stem of the plants to this pipe for support.
- Fruit picker – Link enough PVC pipes and sharpen one end to make a fruit picker.
PVC is also safe to use for projects meant for animal care, such as:
- Chicken feeders – PVC feeders can hold large amounts of feed and prevent chickens from flocking to you during feeding time.
- Hog waterers – Fashion a makeshift stand for watering hogs with large PVC pipes.
- Milking stand – With this stand, you no longer have to stoop down when milking goats. It can also be used as a shearing stand.
- Chicken tractor – Prepare the ground for sowing or get rid of weeds with this lightweight and mobile chicken tractor made using PVC pipes.
- Chicken waterer – Easily provide fresh, clean water for your chickens with this PVC waterer.
- Birdhouses – To build a house for wild birds in the winter, just drill a large hole into a PVC pipe then hang it from a branch or leave it up in a nearby tree.
- Dog cot – Build a cot for small dogs with PVC pipes and a durable fabric like canvas.
- Cooling tubes – Keep animals cool in the summer by leaving PVC cooling tubes in their cots.
- Dog food and water stand – This PVC stand makes eating and drinking easier for bigger dogs.
- Small animal pen – PVC pipes can also be used to build pens for small pets like hamsters or rabbits.
Outside of gardening and animal care, running a homestead still involves various chores, from taking out the trash to cleaning the gutters. Save time on tedious chores and make others easier with these next projects:
- Gutter cleaner – This tool makes it easier to clean gutters. It connects to a hose and sends water into the gutters for efficient cleaning.
- Camp chairs – Lightweight and durable, PVC can be used to make small, portable pieces of furniture.
- Wagon – Solid, metal wagons can be heavy. Build one with PVC for easier transportation around your homestead.
- Clothes rack – You can use PVC pipes to build an indoor or mobile clothes rack.
- Target stands – PVC target stands are great for practicing marksmanship before hunting season.
- Trash bag dispenser – Keep trash bags organized with this simple dispenser. To make one, cut a slit into the side of a PVC pipe as big as a toilet paper tube. Insert the roll of trash bags into either end. Pull the bags individually through the slit.
- Outdoor shower – Outdoor showers are great for removing muck before entering the house. Fashion one out of PVC pipes. Drill holes into the pipes and connect them to a spout.
- Pipe spool holder – Organize ribbons, tape and wire with this spool holder.
- Recycling bin – To build a makeshift bin for holding recyclable trash, heat PVC pipes and shape them accordingly to make the frame. Place a large trash bag inside the frame.
- Waterproof cache – Store important belongings in a waterproof cache made with PVC pipes.
PVC pipes are cheap, easy to use and immensely durable. Improve your homestead on a budget by trying any of the projects listed above. (Related: Homestead must-haves: 4 Off-grid amenities for your property.)
Learn more about DIY projects for your homestead at Homesteading.news.