DIY Gutter Garden

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"Mommy, when can we start a garden?"
"Now?"
"Is it time yet?"
"Now?"
"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.
Time: 1 HoursDifficulty: Easy
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
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.
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
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.
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
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. :)
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
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.
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
Don't forget to drill drainage holes.
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
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.
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
We planted some flowers . . . .
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
. . . and lettuce . . .
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
. . . . and strawberries.
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
Then we just watered and waited . . . . for our harvest. ;)
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
UPDATE: So, we are three months in. And now we have an update . . . . . .
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
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.
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
I've replaced many of the flowers, since they did not bloom all summer.
  • diy gutter garden, fences, flowers, gardening, repurposing upcycling
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.

Suggested materials for this project:

    Painted Therapy

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

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      • Joffler
        Joffler Houston, TX
        on May 13, 2014

        I've seen this before and its a great idea. When I'm older and unwilling to bend over or go down on my knees, this will be the answer. And with a 2 yr old in the house, I may be doing this for her next year.

        • Douglas Hunt
          Douglas Hunt New Smyrna Beach, FL
          on May 13, 2014

          What a wonderful gift to give your daughter. And gutter gardens are also great for those with mobility issues.