Growing Spinach on a Bicycle Wheeled Vertical Garden

July 6, 2012 by

Here’s another cool spin on recycled bicycle wheels for the edible garden, this time upcycled into an urban hydroponic vertical garden wall.

For his Bike Rim Planter, which extends from the wall by steel supports, Brian Carter replaced the bike’s rubber tires with rockwool slabs, a favored hydroponic growing medium. After wrapping the slabs with a porous fabric which he sewed to the wheel rim, he planted Red Malabar Spinach seeds every six inches.

Evaporation and Saturation Generate Mobility
The bike garden wall uses a single drip-feed hydroponic system that emits drips of water onto the top rim of the wheel between nine and twelve o’clock. As the planting media becomes saturated, the weight causes the wheel to begin turning and, as a result, the entire rim gets irrigated.

Shift Happens
Another benefit, claims Carter, is that the climbing plants respond well to the shifting center of gravity during the wheel’s rotation.

Carter designed the planted wall as part of his course study with The Horticultural Building Systems Lab, under Richard L. Hindle, Assistant Professor of  Landscape Architecture at The University of Oregon. Professor Hindle’s research focuses on technology in the garden and landscape, with an emphasis on material processes and innovation.


  1. Catherine Wachs said:

    This is ingenious!

    — July 12, 2012 @ 18:17

  2. Marty said:

    Now, if you need renewable power to pump the water for this system, add more bicycle components to make a wind powered water pump:

    — July 17, 2012 @ 13:58

  3. Josh Ward Garden Design said:

    What an ingenious idea. Great for city greening and water run-off projects.
    Josh Ward Garden Design

    — August 10, 2012 @ 08:03

  4. Agen Bola said:

    What an ingenious idea. Great for city greening and water run-off projects.

    — August 16, 2012 @ 22:18

  5. Daniel said:

    It’s beautiful. Thanks for share. I will try it next time.

    — May 31, 2013 @ 03:21

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  7. Thundergroundcollective said:

    What other vegetables would be suited for these kinds of growing conditions?

    — November 20, 2013 @ 20:54

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