DIY Gutter Garden

8 Materials
1 Hour

"Mommy, when can we start a garden?"
"Is it time yet?"
"Are we ready yet?"
My five-year old has been asking for a garden since last year, so I thought it was time to dig in. But there really wasn't anywhere to dig in our yard. No worries. If you are looking to start a garden with limited space, just start one on a wall or fence.
We had great light on the fence, but you can build a gutter garden on a wall, in a stand, or actually hang them from a ceiling with rope.
If you search "gutter garden" on the web, you will find endless examples. Just know you will be limited with the kinds of plants you grow, as you need ones with a shallow root system. Strawberries, lettuce, and herbs are great choices.
I decided on two 10' sections of vinyl gutters. I also purchased the end caps and gutter hangers which I thought would help keep the shape of the gutter after it was filled with soil.
Our fence is kind of ancient, and I felt we needed to reinforce where the gutters would hang, so we screwed in a few pressure treated 2 X4's. Tom's getting it done with the screw gun. :)
Then it was pretty simple to hang by putting screws into the hanger. They also help to keep the shape of the gutters after you fill them with soil.
Don't forget to drill drainage holes.
We mixed some nice top soil with compost and filled our gutters and flower pots. The little lady was thrilled to finally be getting her hands dirty.
We planted some flowers . . . .
. . . and lettuce . . .
. . . . and strawberries.
Then we just watered and waited . . . . for our harvest. ;)
UPDATE: So, we are three months in. And now we have an update . . . . . .
We still have strawberries, and they did very well, the ones that made it, that is. I had transplanted the strawberries from someone else's garden, so I blame their death on my inexperience. But we did have three harvests with our lettuce.
I've replaced many of the flowers, since they did not bloom all summer.
Herbs love the gutter garden.
What I've learned about our gutter garden:
1. Birds love strawberries. Make sure you cover them up with netting.
2. Not all flowers will bloom well in shallow soil. Will have to do research on better garden flowers for longer blooms next year.
3. Lettuce and herbs are the way to go.
4. If you are going away for a week in the summer, expect on coming home to a thirsty garden.
5. If you plan this with your 5 year old, yup, you'll be doing it all by yourself.
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
31 Creative Garden Features Perfect For Summer
31 American Flag Ideas That Will Fill You With Pride
16 Creative Ways To Upcycle Pallets
Craft Organization Ideas Mom Will Love
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
15 Amazing Ways To Get Your Patio All Ready For Summer
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
16 Brilliant Wire Basket Hacks Everyone's Doing Right Now
30 Unusual & Helpful Gardening Tips You'll Want To Know
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
30 Essential Hacks For Cleaning Around Your Home
Painted Therapy

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Sweet pea
    on Oct 29, 2018

    what's the name of the pink flowers?

    • EmmaSurf
      on Nov 9, 2019

      Moss rose is portulaca and a member of the purslane family, but not the same exact type as the purslane that is sold as a vegetable. The moss rose is easy to grow and will grow well in drought or in a rock garden and will creep a bit to fill in spaces. It comes in so many colors now that I use it a lot to add color interplanting around succulents.

  • Tricia Rogero
    on Nov 5, 2018

    Did you use any sort of endcap to keep the soil from spilling out? Love this idea!

  • Sarge
    on Nov 9, 2018

    Just wondering... any reason for the elevated "garden" versus planting right into the soil? The grass seems plush so I'm thinking the plants will thrive there just as nicely.

Join the conversation

2 of 60 comments
  • Louise
    on Nov 9, 2019

    Fab idea ..looks amazing ..little kady should be pleasd :) also flowers an herbs looks cool thanks for shareing 👍

  • Edna Wiser
    on Nov 12, 2019

    Yeah, I was inspired. I have lost a leg recently, so the raised feature is attractive to me. I would probably plant a variety of succulents in the gutter garden. They don't need lots of care (incl. water), and don'tt require much dirt. Thanks for the inspiration. Edna Wiser, Sulphur OK.

Your comment...