DIY Gutter Garden

8 Materials
1 Hour
Easy

"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.

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.


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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Sarge Sarge on Nov 09, 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.

  • Sandy Lindquist Sandy Lindquist on Mar 11, 2020

    I am reading the materials list and on the gutter hangers it says that particular package fits all 5 inch gutters except plastic gutters. Is that why the close up photo of the gutter did not seem perfectly flush with the 2x4? Or are there different sizes of gutter? I hate to rely on hangers if they wont work with a plastic gutter!

  • Jillian Jillian on May 29, 2021

    Good Question!!! I'm near Phila. I think I will leave them out, maybe cover the whole thing in some plastic. Do you get below 0 degrees? If not you should be ok.

Comments

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3 of 82 comments
  • Jillian Jillian on May 26, 2021

    yes! this is perfect for my fence where I only have a small spot of sun. I'll do strawberries next year.

    • Linda Roark-Strummer Linda Roark-Strummer on May 28, 2021

      Wondering if you would have to take the strawberry plants in every year to over winter. I live in NE Oklahoma and it CAN get cold depending on Mother Nature's mood. icon

  • Earnie Earnie on May 27, 2021

    Love, love, love this idea.

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