Gutter gardening is ideal for individuals who are limited in space, or for those who wish to maximize the space they have. Growing food is ideal, however, growing foods in a gutter is creative and out of the box.
Why is Gutter Gardening Beneficial?
Gutter gardening, who would have thought? It is an unconventional method for gardening, but one which works well.
This gardening method is idea for those who rent since it can be constructed and moved easily. Condo or townhouse owners can also use gutters as a form of a garden. However, gutter gardening is not only ideal for individuals with small space living.
Because of how they are used, gutters can be used on properties of any size. The gutter garden can easily be mounted to fence posts, wire tied to metal fencing, or secured onto buildings and structures. Additionally, custom build frame can be constructed to hold multiple gutters. This last method works well with large wheels secured to the frame, allowing it to move around the property as a tractor would.
Above all, gutter gardening is ideal for kids. Because of the size and where it can be installed this little garden is ideal for a young gardener.
One last tip, growing in a gutter will help to keep a large majority of pests away. The Pacific Northwest is know for the slugs which thrive here. However, since utilizing this method of gardening I have no issue of slugs in the gutter garden. Additionally, the gutters deter chicken from getting to the produce. Especially if they are high enough.
Gutter Gardening – What to Grow
Because the depth of a gutter is short, only a few inches, anything with a short root system grows well in a gutter garden. Think about it like this, anything which can be grown in a 4 inch pot can easily grow in a container garden like a gutter.
- Persian Carrots
- Bunching Onions
- Salad Greens
This list is only the beginning of what can be grown in a gutter garden. Industrial gutters are larger and deeper in depth. These larger gutters allow items like beets and onions, as well as, melons to grow well in them.
Raised bed and container gardening is ideal for locations in which hard pan is an issue.
Gutter Gardening – Materials
- 10 foot Aluminum Gutters
- Gutter End Caps
- Gutter Spacers
- Hanging Screw or Wire Tie
Gutter Gardening – Instructions
- Using a metal hole boring drill bit drill holes into the bottom of the gutter every 24 to 30 inches for water drainage.
- Next, apply cap ends to the gutters.
- Secure the gutter gardens to wood fencing post, onto building, or customized structures with 2 inch screws. Or use wire tie to secure gutters to metal fencing posts.
- Finally, add raised bed soil and compost. Direct sow seeds or plant starts.
- Due to the weight of the soil gutters tend to cave inward. Gutter spaces allows the gutters to maintain the form needed in order to garden properly.
Secured the gutters to wire fencing with the use of wire tie. Attach gutters to a structure or wood posts using multiple 2 inch screws.
Placement, Watering, and Tips
Because of the shallowness of the gutters and the heat of summer the soil can dry out quickly. I would advise utilizing a drip system and watering twice a day – in the morning and after the sun sets.
It is best to place the gutters facing east. This allows for morning to early afternoon sunlight, preventing the gutters from being in the sun during the hottest time of the day.
Take time to inspected the gutters at the beginning of each growing season. Also, mix existing soil with fresh, adding compost as needed.
I am often asked if growing food in aluminum or galvanized containers creates a metallic taste in the foods. The answer is, no. The next question, am I concerned about metal leaching into the soil and contaminating the soil? Once again, the answer is no. Use newer containers and nothing second hand. This helps to identify the age and whether it is lead free. Make sure to learn more about selecting the best containers for the job.
Interested in learning more about utilizing and building a container and raised bed garden? Take a look at Container Gardening: 250 Designs and Ideas.