strawberries grown in a rain gutter

Rain Gutter Gardening

I like low maintenance gardening. This is one reason I love rain gutter gardens. We installed four 5 in. x 10 ft. aluminum gutters on an arched trellis which has made it very easy to walk along to check on strawberries and herbs growing in them.

To get started we used

  • 5 in. x 10 ft. Aluminum Gutter
  • Drill
  • Aluminum Right End Cap
  • Aluminum Left End Cap
  • 5 in. Aluminum Fascia Brackets (4-Pack)

We began by drilling 1/2 inch drainage holes every six inches. We then assembled the gutter with the end caps and used the brackets to attach to our existing trellis with zip cords.

It is key to think about your location and how much sun your gutter will get. For us, our gutters were in direct sunlight all day and I was not in a position to water daily or more. Therefore, I packed shredded paper in the bottom of the gutter to the center height of the gutter. I filled the rest of the gutter to over the top with soil formulated for container gardening. As the season progresses the soil will settle in the container, I did find myself adding dirt between seasons and cultivating the dirt to help aerate it.

Gutters are very exposed to the elements so picking the right plants are key to your location. Our gutters often freeze and take a brutal winter hit so many of our plants are treated as annuals. We have learned seeds do very well in the soil and drainage as do adding live strawberries we have thinned out from other areas. Gutters are ideal for

  • Italian cooking herbs: thyme, oregano, parsley, basil
  • Latin cooking herbs: cilantro, oregano, thyme
  • Herbs: dill, rosemary, chives
  • Companion: strawberries, beans, lettuce, asparagus

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