Gutter Talk: Expand Your Vertical Gardening With Gutter Gardens

Home & Garden Blog

If you're thinking of replacing those worn out, dented, rusty old metal gutters with some nice, new vinyl ones from a company like Rainbow Gutter Co, you may be thinking of ways to repurpose the old ones. If you're a gardener, you're in luck, because gutter gardening is hot, not only in small space gardens but anywhere you have a little space you would like to devote to growing some food.

Why a Gutter Garden?

It turns out that rain gutters are the perfect size and depth for growing a number of edibles, such a lettuce, small greens, radishes, herbs and even strawberries. Of course, they are wonderful for succulents and flowers too. If you have a privacy fence, gutters are perfectly suited for hanging on it to use that wasted space. They are perfect for apartment balconies and walled courtyards. In fact, gutter gardens can be hung from railings, porch overhangs, or stacked on stair stringers. If you're brave, you can even hang them on the side of your house. There are myriad creative ways to turn old gutters into useful growing space.

What Do You Need to Turn Gutters Into Gardens?

If you're dealing with old metal gutters, you'll need a hacksaw with a metal cutting blade or tin snips. A saw makes a neater cut, which makes it easier to put on the end cap. For vinyl, a hacksaw or PVC saw is fine. Other things you will need are

  • measuring tape to measure where you are putting them and cut them to the proper size
  • marker to draw the cutting lines and mounting spots
  • drill to make holes for mounting and drainage
  • gutter end caps
  • glue or adhesive for end caps (optional)
  • hammer or screwdriver
  • nails or screws
  • washers

Depending on how you are mounting your gutters, you may need one or more of the following

  • stair stringers or wood for building a frame
  • gutter brackets for mounting on a fence or on a wood frame
  • chains, hanging hooks, washers and bolts for making a hanging gutter garden
  • weather-resistant paint to spruce up those repurposed gutters

There are so many different ways you can build gutter gardens with your old, repurposed gutters. Which one you choose depends on where you live, how much space you have and your particular likes and dislikes. Get creative with paint, spray them all white, or leave them rusty and rustic. What counts is that they aren't going to the landfill, but being used to grow food to nourish your body.

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9 May 2016