Create Your Own Vertical Gutter Garden
There are plenty of people who love the challenge of gardening, but are unable to engage in this hobby in the traditional manner. Many of them live in urban environments where there is no open space available. But now there’s good news for these gardening aficionados who may be living in an apartment, condo, duplex, or dorm room.
Introducing: the vertical gutter garden!
This trend is sweeping through many cities and other densely-populated areas, because it allows green-thumbed individuals to “get their garden on” without taking up a large amount of space. Vertical gutter gardens are actually mini-gardens which are planted and nurtured inside sections of guttering that you would otherwise find on the roof of a house or building. And the best part is they are small enough to be placed on a patio, balcony, or windowsill.
It’s fairly easy to construct your own vertical gutter garden. First, obtain a few sections of aluminum, PVC, or plastic gutters from a hardware or home improvement store along with the proper number of endcaps. You can mount each section on a wall or fence using screws, nails, or hangers; but be sure to leave at least a foot of clearance between the top of one gutter section and the bottom of the next one. Then put an endcap on the ends of each section to keep the soil in.
Another alternative is to hang your vertical gutter garden from the ceiling or roofline. You’ll need to drill holes in the bottom of each gutter section, through which you will run lengths of chain, heavy twine, strong fishing line, or steel cables (with one end hanging from a hook at the top). Fasten bent rods or metal slats to the bottom of each gutter section to keep them from sliding downward.
Shallow-rooted plants like violas, marigolds, and pansies tend to grow better in vertical gutter gardens. If you’re looking to raise produce, consider planting spinach, kale, arugula, or root vegetables like radishes or beets. Herb gardens containing cilantro, chives, and parsley are also a favorite choice.
Try to place your vertical gutter garden where it receives at least four hours of sunlight daily. For non-hanging gutter gardens, be sure to drill a few holes in the bottom to allow dirty water to drain out. And while you won’t have to worry about ground pests like slugs or snails, you might have to take steps to keep out winged bugs, birds, and/or squirrels or other furry critters. Consider covering your vertical gutter gardens with mesh or plastic sheeting, and place obstacles designed to thwart the path of squirrels.
Maintaining a vertical gutter garden is fun, therapeutic, and rewarding. So grab some gutters and tools, assemble your vertical gutter garden, pour in some soil and seeds, and start watching your garden grow!