Upcycling a rain gutter to make a lettuce, herb, and vegetable garden is a simple project that can be made in less than an hour that can provide a harvest for weeks. This post will walk you through some of the considerations before making a rain gutter garden for lettuce and things you should be aware of.
When you think of gardening, do you automatically think of ample land space, a huge backyard, a farm, or a greenhouse of your own? I'm here to talk about how you can do it even if you have a small house or even if you have an apartment by introducing gutter gardening using upcycled rain gutters.
Gutter gardening does not mean you have to use the rain gutters you have on your house roof. Those rain gutters are purposely reused to capture rain and direct it away from your top.
However, if you have bits of old rain gutter laying around, you can have them recycled to make your gutter gardens. In this way, not only can you grow many plants and herbs in the comfort of your home, but you are also contributing to our environment.
I'm sharing you the best tips and tricks to bring your gutter garden ideas to life and achieve a thriving lettuce garden.
In This Post
All About Gutter Garden Trends
You may have heard about gutter gardens, as the gutter gardening trends have been increasing in popularity. For those that live in the city, using upcycled (or even new) gutters is a great way to reinvent the idea of container gardening.
It is unclear who made the idea of growing your plants in a gutter. However, we all know that it is an innovative and creative alternative to planting flowers, herbs, and vegetables to people who do not have a large yard.
Designs of Rain Gutter Garden
If you are excited already on what to plant on your gutter garden, planning on what design for your gutter garden is also exciting and something to look forward to. Yes, your gutter garden is not limited only to recycled rain gutters. You can try other materials, design, and where you want to place your gutter garden ideas too!
Here's a list of ways you can design rain gutter gardens that will help you in deciding if gutter gardening is right for you.
A free-standing gutter garden is a type of gutter garden design that you can install anywhere you want – may it be indoor or outdoor. However, you have to keep in mind that there should be sufficient sunlight for the plants you intend to grow.
Typically, a free-standing gutter garden are supported by a wood frame. You can also fit it with a set of wheels so you can quickly transfer your gutter garden indoors during rainy weather.
One of the pros of this gutter garden design is it will not be tough to look at your plants or herbs after it. This garden has the benefit of being conveniently accessible.
Against Wall or Fence
A classic idea to design your gutter garden, this type of design is also commonly known as a vertical wall gutter garden. This design typically attracts people who do not have big floor space, such as people who live in apartments in a very urban area - as they are only hanging on a wall or in your fence.
This gutter garden design also looks great if you are looking into decorating your walls or fences.
Against a Deck Railing
If you want to decorate your deck railing, putting your garden gutters in your deck railing will be a lovely idea. Placing flowers on your deck railing will charm the decor for your house. While putting herbs will be more functional if you get food benefits into your deck railing.
The Against a Deck Railing Design advantage is that it is adaptable, and you can use this idea for your balcony. If the sunny side of your place is in your deck or balcony, this could be a great choice to place your garden so the sunlight can easily reach your plants.
Best Things to Grow in Gutter Gardens
A typical gutter only has limited space. However, you can plant any herbs and flowers that can fit in a four-inch pot. It is best to choose any plants that have spreading roots.
I made a list of some of the most popular things to grow and plant in your gutter gardens.
Lettuce (most popular)
If you love salad, you might as well love planting lettuce in your place. Lettuce is the most popular plant to have in your gutter garden, as growing them is less expensive than purchasing them at a store.
One of the plants that have a shallow root structure is strawberries. They can grow in limited space, and if you decide to hang your gutters, it is a great way to keep them away from slugs and snails as they are off the ground.
Spinach and Mustard
Spinach grows similarly to mustards. Both plants can also be grown vertically.
Chives also have shallow roots to grow in rain gutter gardens. They are sun-loving plants, so it is best to place them outdoors where the sunlight can reach the chives.
It is easy to plant garlic in your gutter garden, as they are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. You only need to dig a gutter-shaped trench and place the cloves out along the row, starting at one end, before watering them in.
Many herbs can grow in gutter gardens. Some of them are basil, dill, and cilantro. It is best to place the gutters near the kitchen to have easy access when you are cooking.
Supplies and Materials for a Gutter Garden
No worries if you do not have any rain gutters to recycle. All the supplies and materials you can use for a Gutter Garden can be found at Lowes or Home Depot.
Lowes and Home Depot have an online store, so if you are looking for convenience, this will be an excellent option for you to shop your supplies and materials for Gutter Gardening.
Aluminum gutters are more durable and lightweight. However, you can also choose PVC pipes, bamboo, or other wood materials. Keep in mind that some materials such as plastic could break down after some years if exposed to sunlight.
The material that attaches to and closes up the end of the gutter is known as a gutter end cap. It is needed for gutter gardening to close the end of your channels.
Glue and Putty
A glue and putty is used to attach the end caps to your gutters.
Potting Soil or Compost
Having potting soil or compost is a popular way to achieve a healthy plant. They help grow the plants by enriching the soil.
How to Make a Rain Gutter Garden for Lettuce
Frequently Asked Questions About Using Rain Gutters for Gardening
Yes. Lettuce itself is one of the most popular plants to grow in gutter gardens. Vertical gardening is perfect for lettuce as they thrive in shallow pots.
It is very safe to grow vegetables in gutters. For some, planting your vegetables or fruits like strawberries is a great way to keep them from pests on the ground, such as snails and snugs.
Also, you can be sure that your vegetables will not be touching the ground.
Having your gutter gardens is a fantastic method to enjoy a delicious salad every day at your home, as you can grow many vegetables in your gutter gardens. Some vegetables that you can grow in gutters are greens like lettuce and spinach, radish, mint, basil, rosemary, thyme, snap peas, etc.
Vegetables and other herbs are not only limited to your gutter gardens. You can also grow fruits such as strawberries in your gutter gardens and flowers that best decorate your deck or balcony if you intend to put your gutter garden in that place. Keep in mind that most plants with shallow roots are best for your gutter garden.
There are many reasons why you should have your gutter garden. Gardening alone has multiple benefits. They can help you build strength, boosts your mood, and help reduce stress.
While there are also many gutter gardening benefits, they are affordable to create and do not need ample space, so you can quickly grow your plants in your area.
However, there are only a few plants that you can grow in gutter gardening. Most of the plants that you can grow are herbs because they are do not grow big and are lightweight.
It is only easy to make a gutter garden. The supplies and materials you need are affordable and very accessible to purchase. At the same time, it is also a fun way to make better use of or decorate your wall, deck, or balcony spaces.
Overall, having your gutter garden is an innovative and cheap way to have your garden, even in a small space. I hope this blog helps you to start your gutter garden.
Other Tips and Tricks
Use hay or straw to keep the moisture in your gutter gardens, especially in the hot summer weather.