- 13 DIY Gutter Garden Ideas to grow plants vertically. Perfect for small spaces, you can also use them to create privacy or for decoration!
- 2. PVC Hanging Gutter Garden
- 3. DIY Rain Gutter Garden
- 4. Self Watering Rain Gutter Garden+Fish Pond
- 5. Vertical Kitchen Gutter Garden
- 6. DIY Gutter Garden
- 7. Gutter Garden on Deck
- 8. Basic Gutter Garden Tutorial
- 9. Hanging Vertical Gutter Garden
- 10. Strawberry Gutter Garden
- 11. Hanging Herb Garden with Stand
- 12. Polka Dot 3-Tier Gutter Planter
- 13. Rain Gutter Centerpiece
- What’s a Gutter Garden?
- Various Types of DIY Gutter Gardens
- 1. Rain Gutter Garden
- 2. PVC Pipe Hanging Gutter Garden
- 3. Self-Watering Gutter Garden
- 4. Vertical Indoor Gutter Garden
- 5. Deck Gutter Garden
- 6. Freestanding Herb Gutter Garden
- 7. Repurposed Garden Centerpiece
- 8 Greenhouse Gutter Garden
- Who Needs a Gutter Garden?
- The Benefits of Gutter Gardens
- Downsides to Maintaining a Gutter Garden
- 13 Creative and Innovative rain Gutter Garden Ideas
- 1. Vertical Wall Planter
- 2. Over-The-Railing Planter
- 3. Painted Rain Gutters as Fence Decoration
- 4. Rain Gutters as Deck Planters
- 5. Hydroponic Rain Gutter Garden
- 6. Strawberry Planter
- 7. Hanging Gutter Garden
- 8. Rain Gutter Indoor Herb Garden
- 9. CISTA Rain Water Harvesting System
- 10. Succulents Table Planter
- Overcoming the Challenge of Gardening in a Rental
- Costing materials at the local Home Depot = $33.90 – You will need:
- What can you plant in a gutter garden? Anything that you can grow in a 4-inch pot.
- 20 Easy DIY Gutter Garden Ideas
- Metal gutters recycled into planters, perfect on the side of a woodshed
- Rustic vintage gutter recycled into a flower planter
- Gutters repurposed for herbs in the kitchen
- Lettuces and mixed herb gutter garden
- Spice up your dinners with fresh herbs! Build a simple stand to make a hanging gutter planter and fresh herb garden.
- Vertical gardens are a fun way to inject some refreshing foliage into any space
- How to Build A Gutter Garden
- Rain Gutter Garden
- Hanging Vertical Garden
- Living Wall
- Related Gardening Hacks
13 DIY Gutter Garden Ideas to grow plants vertically. Perfect for small spaces, you can also use them to create privacy or for decoration!
Dress up your boring wooden fence or walls using aluminum gutters following this idea. You can grow shallow rooted annuals, greens, herbs and plants nasturtiums in this setup.
2. PVC Hanging Gutter Garden
Gutter Gardens can also be used as a privacy screen, plus they provide planting space. You’ll need PVC white gutters and a few other materials to complete this project given here!
3. DIY Rain Gutter Garden
This DIY rain gutter garden idea is practical and low maintenance. Check out the informative DIY post here!
4. Self Watering Rain Gutter Garden+Fish Pond
Follow this exclusive guide here to build your very own hydroponic rain gutter garden with the 40 feet of vertical growing space and 50-gallon fish pond!
5. Vertical Kitchen Gutter Garden
Grow lettuce, spinach or any of your favorite greens in this vertical patch. Check out the detailed DIY post here!
6. DIY Gutter Garden
The Hometalk.com has a very basic DO-IT-YOURSELF gutter garden post available with step by step instructions, so check that out!
7. Gutter Garden on Deck
This DIY idea here shows you how to install the rain gutters on the deck railing. A smart and inexpensive way to add some vertical growing space.
8. Basic Gutter Garden Tutorial
Learn how to build a rain gutter garden by spending less than $50 following this viral tutorial article available at the PreparednessMama!
9. Hanging Vertical Gutter Garden
You don’t always need a wall, fence or railing to attach the rain gutters, hanging them is also an option. The step by step tutorial is here!
10. Strawberry Gutter Garden
Growing strawberries vertically in the gutters can be a nice space saving option; the DIY tutorial is available here.
11. Hanging Herb Garden with Stand
Create a productive hanging herb garden with plant stand; you can even keep it on your balcony, rooftop or patio. The tutorial is available at Her Tool Belt!
12. Polka Dot 3-Tier Gutter Planter
This super cute 3-tier hanging gutter planter is exceptional to look at. You can complete this project following this tutorial given here!
13. Rain Gutter Centerpiece
Rain gutters can also be used as tabletop centerpieces for both indoors and outdoors. Grow succulents or other suitable plants in them and decorate with candles. We found the idea here!
When it comes to gardening, there are lots of fun and inventive ways to grow your favorite flowers, herbs, and veggies. Whether you’re hoping to save space or money, or you enjoy finding unique planters to make your space stand out, a gutter garden is easy to build in a variety of ways. The design options are endless, but we’ve rounded up some of the best for you to try out.
What’s a Gutter Garden?
Basically, these gardens are usually made using old rain gutters. These are easily upcycled and repurposed into planters in a variety of clever and inventive ways. The name is a misnomer, however: you don’t actually need to use rain gutters specifically to make one of these space-saving gardens.
Some people get creative with gutter garden ideas, using the materials they already have around. Some alternative options often include using PVC pipe or even bamboo rather than a metal eavestrough.
The concept is simple: you just use the gutter as a long planter. These create suitable growing spaces for smaller plants like strawberries, herbs, and lettuces. They can even help you adequately water your garden with less effort. The possibilities for your garden are endless.
Various Types of DIY Gutter Gardens
When gutters are painted and a few holes are drilled into the bottom, you’ve got a homemade planter perfect for your garden. These vertical green wonders can dress up boring wooden fences, walls, windows, or hung up to create privacy screens. They make beautiful additions to your home and yard, and best of all, they allow you to grow food at home.
The following types of DIY gardens are easy to build, practical, and low maintenance. Yet, they’re all creative and stunning ways to take advantage of plants that grow well in a smaller space.
1. Rain Gutter Garden
Photo credit: Pinterest
Use an old rain gutter (with a few holes drilled into the bottom for water drainage) to dress up any wall around your home. Many people install these gardens into sheds, walls of their home, and wooden privacy fences for support. Plus, you can take it down and move the garden should you need.
2. PVC Pipe Hanging Gutter Garden
You don’t need an actual gutter to build a gutter garden, and you don’t need to always attach them to a wall or fence. PVC pipe is a great alternative. Because the material is more lightweight than aluminum, you can string several of them together and hang them vertically to create a living privacy screen.
3. Self-Watering Gutter Garden
Although it’s a practical and extremely low-maintenance way to grow food, a vertical, self-watering gutter garden may take a bit more work and planning. In contrast, a hydroponic rain gutter system means you don’t need to water your garden, saving you time later.
4. Vertical Indoor Gutter Garden
Indoors, gutters work well for growing herbs, lettuce, spinach, and other greens you use when cooking. Vertical gardening saves space while the convenient location means all you need to do is pick what you need when you need it. You’ll never have to go outside to collect foods from the garden again.
5. Deck Gutter Garden
When installed directly onto a deck railing, inexpensive gutters help you take advantage of previously unused space. It’s a smart way to grow, and you don’t need to walk far to reach your harvest. If your deck is located off your kitchen, even better! Plus, keeping your crops closer to your home may protect them from animals like deer.
6. Freestanding Herb Gutter Garden
A freestanding garden works well in urban settings. They allow you to grow the herbs you love to cook with directly in the kitchen or placed on a rooftop, patio, or balcony. If your home doesn’t receive the best sunlight, you can even move them to a sunnier location during the day and store them inside later. Pallets also work well as supports for a freestanding gutter garden.
7. Repurposed Garden Centerpiece
Photo credit: Melody Brooks
Gutters can also make perfect tabletop centerpieces. Plant gorgeous succulents, herbs, or veggies and decorate your kitchen or patio table with candles to create a stunning space. Some people even go one step further and install the gutter directly into their wooden table, cutting out a rectangle to install it permanently.
8 Greenhouse Gutter Garden
Photo Credit: 100 Dollars a Month
Gutters are a great solution for limited space, and as such are ideal for greenhouses. Do you need to grow more food? Or simply want to use your greenhouse space in a smart, well-thought-out manner? Either way, hanging gutters or stacking them vertically (or both) allows you to grow more, with less.
Who Needs a Gutter Garden?
Gutter gardens work well for growing plants that you’d typically place in a 4-inch pots. They allow you to grow many plants and herbs, and gardeners typically use them to grow annuals with shallow roots, along with herbs, greens, and flowers.
Common plants grown in gutters include the following:
- Salad greens
- Asian greens
- Spinach or Mustard
- Snap peas
- Bunching onions
- Annual flowers
Gardens made using gutters are also ideal for people who have a limited amount of space. Home gardens can take up a lot of room, but gutters allow even renters to plant without worrying about leaving their garden behind when they move or paying extra costs.
The Benefits of Gutter Gardens
Gutters make gardens that are a work of art. They’re fun and interesting to look at, and they dress up any home while removing the appearance of clutter. Here are some of the top benefits this garden will land you:
Small Space Garden Solution
Living in a tiny home or small apartment may mean you don’t have much space for plants, but vertical gardening is a solution many urban settings adore. Basically, it allows you to take advantage of the unused space above your head.
If you rent, your landlord may not want you to dig up the grass or complete landscaping work on their property. You may not even have much of a yard to work with at all, and this is where gutter gardening becomes especially convenient. Similar to container gardening, gutters are lightweight and easy to move around your home.
The price of installing a gutter garden at home is less than building a raised garden bed or using multiple planters. This is especially true if you repurpose gutters youhave laying around in storage. Even if you buy the materials you need, you’re probably looking at spending around $35 at Home Depot. Gutters are an affordable alternative.
Because you can build your garden in multiple ways, you can stack the gutter vertically or install them in strategic places to create privacy or decorate your yard. A boring wooden fence or shed wall is instantly dressed up with plants and flowers.
Keep Pets Out of Your Plants
Animals you may have around the home (like dogs) enjoy digging in yards and gardens. A raised garden bed or garden patch may be out of the question for you, yet gutters are too small for dogs to play in. Better yet, they can be hung vertically to avoid pets from reaching your plants whatsoever.
If you have pet birds, however, be sure to only grow nontoxic plants. Do some research to find out which plants are safe for your bird species, to avoid any accidental poisonings.
Downsides to Maintaining a Gutter Garden
Drawbacks come with everything, and planters are no different. Below are the most important cons to using gutters as planters:
Soil Dries Quickly
If your planters are in a full-sun area, the soil may dry out easily and quickly. This can cause your plants to weaken or die off, especially if you don’t set up a self-watering system. The materials you use to build your garden are vital. White plastic gutters, for example, can help reflect sunlight and heat away from your plants. In contrast, dark gray or black metal may heat up under the harsh sun.
On the flip side, watering and drainage is a serious issue if you don’t drill holes into the bottoms of your gutters. The water may not always drain out enough regardless, so planting drought-tolerant plants is an ideal alternative for many people.
If you select plants that grow outwards rather than up, their growth may cause the dirt to fall out of the planter. Try placing each plant closer together in order to seal the dirt from escaping. Alternatively, try planting succulents, or use chicken wire or mesh to hold the soil in.
Pre-made vertical gardens are expensive, and fancy gutters can cost more than traditional pots. Sure, they’re easy to set up and all the hard work is already done for you. However, building your own garden is much more affordable and can often be created using materials already in your home.
Once you’ve designed your ideal garden, check out these tips on maintaining your gutter plants.
13 Creative and Innovative rain Gutter Garden Ideas
The rain gutters are installed at the top of the roofs so that it can provide drainage to the rain water and voids them to pool on the roof which may cause them to leak or become moist which can also be dangerous for the house. These rain gutters are made from different materials such as plastic, PVC and other metallic material like aluminum. While the rain gutter can be very beneficial for protection of the roof and drainage of the water, but do you know that they can be excellent for gardening too?
There are many rain gutter gardening ideas present on the internet while others can do it by just using their creativity and imagination. They can be excellent planters for different types of plants and can actually be an amazing decorative piece for the exterior and interior of the house as well. Many people prefer gardening in the rain gutters because they don’t take much space and either can be hanged or fixed with the walls. These ideas are highly recommended for those people who have limited space in their house but love gardening. Moreover you can also decorate and paint these rain gutters to look even more attractive. Below mentioned are 15 gutter gardening ideas which will surely light up your house:
1) Strawberries in a rain gutter trees
The strawberries are one of those fruit plants which don’t need a deep space to grow. Since they can be grown in a shallow space and the rain gutters are shallow containers they can be very ideal for the growth of strawberries. You can make the complete area with these decorative rain gutter trees and enjoy fresh berries right at home.
2) Plant seasonal flowers in your rain gutter
One of the cutest small gutter garden ideas includes planting different flowers, especially the seasonal ones such as marigolds, violas and pansies. These flowers are small and may bloom beautifully in their seasons. The bright colors and the lovely smell can be an excellent decoration for the exterior of the house. You can hang these rain gutter lines on the walls and plant a variety of these flowers so that they can make your house look bright.
3) Hanging gutter garden can be a great outdoor decor
The rain gutters can actually be a great container for hanging pots. This is one of the best vertical gardening ideas where you can plant those plants which don’t need deep containers and can grow well in a shallow area. You can hang these rain gutters in a vertical position, especially by attaching them to the ceilings of the house. They look the most amazing with the seasonal flowers hanging by the patio.Get the video tutorial
4) The in budget rain gutter gardening
The rain gutter is a great in budget gardening idea. If you are on a low budget and space, then simply use unused rain gutter, add some soil in it and then plant some seeds of those plants which don’t require much area to grow. They can be hanged by the ceilings or can be hanged on different trees and also drilled in the wall.
5) Herb gardening with rain gutter
Many people love growing herbs in their house, after all it is a great idea to grow herbs right in your house and not to go to the market to purchase a certain herb. With rain gutter, you can actually make a wonderful herb garden right in these pipes. The best idea is to hang them outside the kitchen window. You may just have to reach out and pluck a few herbs whenever there is a need.Get instructions on how to build these hanging rain gutters.
6) Aquaponics or self watering rain gutter garden
If you’re interested in raising fish and also want to enjoy some fresh veggies too then you can build this aquaponics or self watering rain gutter system that works together.Read the instructions here
7) The red chili rain gutter garden
Red chilies can easily be grown at home. When it’s time to harvest, the entire plant can be full of red chilies. If you want to add some spice in your home food, then making a chili garden can be a great idea, especially if planted in the rain gutter. You can make an entire area for these red chilies.
8) Lettuce in rain gutter garden
Lettuce can be a great leafy vegetable to be grown in the rain gutter garden. They can be planted vertically on the lines and you will be able to produce the lettuce right in the comfort of your home. You can now enjoy fresh lettuce salad every day.
9) Gutter garden plants for indoor planting
There are many gutter garden plants available in the market. Many of these plants can be planted in very small containers and then those containers can be kept in line on the rain gutter. They can be excellent for indoor planting.
10) The pvc rain gutter garden
You can use pvc rain gutters and joint them around a two stand vertical frame. Make a small holes in the upper portion and fill them with soil.Now you can plant peas in them. They can be excellent addition to your garden and will look unique.
11) Rain gutter or Trough garden.
This is stunning gutter gardening idea for those who live in apartments or in a limited yard space.You make rain gutters as a base of colorful plant buckets and their roots will grow towards water source so you don’t have to water overhead.
12) Self watering rain gutter garden
The rain gutter garden can be made with different small rooted plants. However another idea for these rain gutters is that it can have an automatic watering system, especially for those plants which require a lot of watering.This has lot of self watering rain gutter gardening ideas.
13) Cactus rain gutter garden
You can easily grow a variety of small cactus in your rain gutters. These rain gutters of small cactus can then be mounted on the side of home,near a window or on a balcony.
If you’re interested in using the gutter of your home as a planter, here you’ll find some neat Rain Gutter Garden Ideas that you can make yourself.
When you look at a rain gutter, what is your first thought?
It’s probably not that it would make a fantastic planter, right? But they do! There’s an incredible amount of projects that are easy to complete and don’t require a lot of materials that will help you turn a simple rain gutter into a project to be proud of!
You could paint your gutters and attach them to a fence, create a hanging tiered planter that is easily moved, or you could even attach multiple gutters to your deck or porch railings to create a unique and easy-to-care-for garden that’s easy on your knees. We even tracked down an indoor project you can create for your indoor kitchen herb garden, and included more decorative planter options as well.
From more simple displays to utterly unique products designed not only as planters, but as rain harvesting barrels, you’re sure to find both awesome products for those interested in sustainability, and great DIY projects for the whole family!
1. Vertical Wall Planter
Attaching simple white rain gutters to a wooden pallet is a great way to make a sturdy vertical wall garden, and it’s great for raising lettuce, as shown in the image below!
2. Over-The-Railing Planter
Attaching a few over-the-rail hooks to a regular old gutter turns it into a pretty railing box, perfect for plants with shallow roots.
3. Painted Rain Gutters as Fence Decoration
Some gutters are more ornate, and can be painted with metallics or pale colors to create a vertical stacked garden on your fence or shed.
4. Rain Gutters as Deck Planters
Try attaching rain gutters to both sides of your deck railing. You’ll get a pop of color you normally wouldn’t on an elevated or enclosed deck.
Source: The Urban Hearth
5. Hydroponic Rain Gutter Garden
Who said plants need soil to thrive? This squirrelly drainage pipe allows a garden to exist even on the side of your home!
Source: Progressive Gardening
6. Strawberry Planter
Elevated rain gutters make for great DIY strawberry planters. Just make sure to secure the gutters well, so you don’t end up losing your crop!
Source: The Perfect DIY
7. Hanging Gutter Garden
If you’ve a pergola in your garden already, you can easily add this DIY hanging rain gutter planter to your landscaping. It doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it has the potential to add a enormous pop of color!
Source: Good Home Designs
8. Rain Gutter Indoor Herb Garden
We’ve seen a lot of outdoor gutter ideas, but what about an indoor planter? Try spray painting sections of gutter in chrome and attaching them to a thick chalkboard to make a beautiful, personalized indoor herb garden that won’t take up any countertop space!
9. CISTA Rain Water Harvesting System
This amazing modern rainwater harvesting system that can collect up to 100 gallons at a time. An ivy is planted at the bottom, which gradually grows up and throughout the entire metal structure. This beautiful alternative to a traditional rain gutter is both environmentally friendly and a gorgeous planter.
10. Succulents Table Planter
A rain gutter can also be used to create a wonderful outdoor centerpiece complete with succulents and candles. You’ll want to add handles so you can take it inside during inclement weather.
Source: Melody Brook
Popular Garden Ideas
Popular Garden Ideas
Overcoming the Challenge of Gardening in a Rental
I have several gardening challenges I’m trying to overcome. First, we are living in a rental right now and they are not really keen on us digging up the grass area.
I find this curious because I think that having a few garden boxes would definitely increase the value of a yard. I will keep trying. In the meantime container gardening is my friend.
The other challenge can be my daughter’s dogs – they like to dig, so even if I could get approval to put in raised beds, the dogs would get to them in an instant.
I’m still searching for more solutions, but here’s the first thing I’m going to try. I’m putting up a gutter garden on the fence. It was easy to do – we did it in about 30 minutes. When the time comes to move to our permanent home, it will also be easy to remove.
Costing materials at the local Home Depot = $33.90 – You will need:
-2 – 10-foot aluminum gutters
-4 end caps (2 right & 2 Left)
-4 special hanging screws
-Drill and drill bit, screw
-A small tube of glue or putty to secure the ends
-Potting soil or compost
I chose the east facing fence because I’m living in Texas and the afternoon sun can be intense. The east facing fence will get full sun until about 2 pm, and then it will be in the shade. This will give me at least 7 hours of sun in the winter and hopefully shade the garden in the hot summer months. I’m concerned that it will get too hot in the afternoon and that I will have a hard time keeping it watered during the hottest part of the day.
If I was still living in a colder climate I would probably choose the west facing fence to maximize the warmth of the afternoon sun.
1. Make sure you have sturdy fence posts between 6 ft and 8 ft apart. You do not want your fasteners at the exact ends of the gutters. They will be placed on the fence at an angle so excessive water will drain out.
2. Drill a few holes in the lower ending edge of the gutter. I made my top gutter drain into the one below. The bottom gutter will eventually drain into a watering can or bucket.
3. Place the end caps on each gutter section and use the glue or putty to secure them. The glue was an afterthought for us, but the end caps tended to pop off without it, so I had to add it after the gutters were hanging.
4. Use the special gutter fasteners and hang them at a slight angle so the water will drain. That’s it! You have gutter gardens ready for planting.
5. I saved some pecan shells from our harvest earlier in the month, so I added those to the bottom of the gutter. I think it will help with drainage. It may not really be necessary here in Texas, but it certainly would be if I were living in a wetter climate. You don’t want your plant roots to get waterlogged.
Next, I added bags of Organic Potting Soil (affiliate link). Each gutter took a 50-quart bag. Use the lightest soil you can find. If you are concerned about moisture retention, add a bit of peat moss too.
What can you plant in a gutter garden? Anything that you can grow in a 4-inch pot.
- Lettuce, Salad Greens and Asian Greens
- Spinach and Mustard
- Radish and other small root vegetables like carrots or beets
- Snap peas
- Chives, Garlic and Bunching Onions
- Mint (be sure and contain it or expect a full gutter full)
- Marjoram and Thyme
For under $50 I have created a functional but removable garden that I’m very pleased with. I can’t wait for the bare root strawberry starts to arrive, they are going to be planted in the top gutter garden. The bottom is already filled with snap peas, radish starts, and leaf lettuce. I will update picture later in the season.
Have you had success growing in small spaces? Share your ideas in the comments section below.
Just because you’re short on yard space doesn’t mean that you can’t grow an amazing garden. With the aid of reclaimed gutters and a little imagination, you can design a vertical garden for very little money and grow all kinds of plants, flowers and vegetables. Ideal for small patios and balconies, these space-saving, sustainable gardens provide a green outlet for those stuck in smaller living spaces, and they add a pleasing natural aesthetic to your outdoor décor as well.
Gutter gardens have been growing in popularity as plant-loving city dwellers search for new spaces to indulge their need for green. You can turn any unused sunny space into prime garden real estate with a few recycled gutters. Ideal for growing shallow-container plants like lettuce, strawberries and scallions, gutter gardens can be assembled in a few hours and enjoyed all summer long.
First, find the gutters that you want to use. Rain gutters are easy to find and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, including plastic, aluminum or copper. Choose one long gutter, or go for several shorter pieces and create a stacked design for your garden.
Next, decide where you will put your new gutter garden. All you need is a sunny space that catches the bright rays at least four hours a day, with enough vertical height to fit the number of gutters that you have. You can attach the gutters to the back of a door with nails or clamps, or hang them from a fence or wall with rope. Some people even attach several rows of gutters to the side of their houses or garages.
If you are buying your gutters at a hardware store, don’t forget to buy endcaps as well. If you are using reclaimed gutters, you may have to get creative and fashion your own. With a little elbow grease and basic hardware, you can create a multi-level garden in a very small space.
Don’t forget to provide draining for your plants, as good drainage is essential for plant growth. You can either drill holes in the bottoms of your gutters, or hang them at a slight angle so that excess water slides away. Make sure your gutters are securely attached or hung, and then fill them with organic potting soil.
Now choose which plants, flowers or vegetables that you would like to see, smell and eat. Many of the most popular kitchen plants do very well in shallow containers, including:
Thanks to their elevated existence, gutter gardens resist rabbits, bugs, slugs and other pests that troll the ground for food. The added height also makes gutter gardens easier to harvest than traditional gardens, with no bending over or back pain.
Water your gutter garden regularly at the soil level, and it should produce flowers, fruits or vegetables throughout the entire summer season for you to enjoy.
Gutter Gardens & How to Make Your Own
courtesy of Houzz.com
The first time I saw a picture of a gutter garden, I was hooked and had to have one for myself. It was so neat and organized-looking, and it shouted “Low Maintenance”, which is right up my alley.
The picture on the left shows the gutter garden I built, but there are lots of different styles and materials you can use. Some people make hanging gutter gardens that are not attached to a wall. I’ve seen others that run back and forth diagonally to create an easy watering system. Of course some people also have plants growing out of their rain gutters that have gotten clogged with debris (ok, that’s a joke).
There are so many benefits to gutter gardens – but even if you don’t care about those, they’re cool to have anyway.
1. They are Cheap and Easy to Make
You can pick up basic materials at your local home improvement store very inexpensively. If you can glue, drill and put dirt in a container, this job is calling your name.
2. You Don’t Need a Large Yard
Gutter gardens are vertical, so they take up virtually no floor space. This means you can live in a very urban area and grow as many plants as your wall space can accommodate.
3. They Keep Plants Safe from Lots of Pests
If you’re worried about gopher, raccoons, dogs or other plant predators attacking your plants, fear no more! Gutter gardens high off the ground can keep your plants alive and happy.
4. You’ll Suddenly Have Lots of Friends
Once people see your awesome gutter gardens, they will be amazed, ask you where you got them, then find out you made them yourself and then think you’re super cool. Well, maybe.
If you are looking for a more industrial look or simple design, a gutter garden may be just your style. You can plant a bunch of different plants or herbs in a single gutter, and watering and drainage can be extremely easy if you hang your gutters at a slight angle.
I’ve seen gutter gardens that are 12 feet long that extend alongside of a house. You can also cut gutters to a shorter length and “stack” them one above the other, letting the top drain into the gutters below it.
A nice benefit to growing plants in gutters is that you can place them high enough where pets and other critters can’t get to them. This is especially important if you are growing edibles.
All you need to do is go to your local home improvement store and get yourself some rain gutter with end caps and supports. You can attach these to a wall or a fence or build a frame (see video below) to attach the gutters together and then hang them.
Materials are very inexpensive, plastic being cheaper than steel. They are also both very durable so they will last you a long time.
Tip: Something to keep in mind when planting in a warm, sunny location is the color of your gutter. Darker gutters will heat up the soil more and may dry out plants faster than a bright white gutter that will reflect light and heat. Since gutters can’t hold as much dirt as a typical pot, this can can have a bigger impact on your plants.
Note: I actually used steel gutters in the photo above, since I liked the industrial look – and the location is mostly shaded so heat wasn’t an issue.
What to Plant:
As I mentioned about, gutters don’t provide lots of space for soil, so it’s best to grow smaller-sized plants or ones that don’t need a lot of space for their roots. This can also help with the weight of the structure if you plan to hang it on a fence where you may be concerned with weighing it down too much.
Herbs are awesome for this reason, but lettuces are also popular. Annuals could work quite well, especially if you are creating a gutter garden as a work of art in your backyard.
I didn’t want my gutter garden to stress my fence out. The gutters and other material are light, but the dirt combined with water can get heavy. Therefore, I did a few things to keep the garden as light as possible:
1. I planted smaller herbs. They don’t grow big, and they need less dirt.
2. I used styrofoam in the base of the planter instead of pebbles. You may not need either if you are using plastic gutters.
3. I used a narrower taller gutter instead of a wider gutter that would likely need more dirt to cover the plants’ roots.
4. Using an existing support beam (or adding one of your own) can help distribute the weight of the garden more evenly.
Some Things I Learned:
Since gutters can hold many different plants together, it’s important to avoid using fast and spreading growers, like mint (no offense, Mint!), that will overtake your other plants. That is, of course, unless the entire gutter is mint.
Instead of having water simply drip out of the base of the planter, I glued a 3/4 drip line to the base and directed the extra water to a nearby planter holding another plant. No wasted water and no messy dripping. Gorilla Glue worked for me, although you may need to re-glue it occasionally if the tube gets jostled frequently.
Making an Herb Gutter Garden…
growing herbs in gutter gardens care great because they are generally smaller and lightweight. My garden contains spearmint, orange mint, lemon balm, parsley, cilantro and basil. Here is a list of other herbs that you can usually find at your local nursery or garden center. You can also start your garden from seeds.
– Rosemary and Lavender (although these can get big if not trimmed regularly)
20 Easy DIY Gutter Garden Ideas
Do you admire the hanging gardens of Babylon which is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world? Maybe we cannot replicate the same put you still could make your “small” gutter garden! Designing and growing your herb garden is fun and exciting. You can choose from the simple rectangular patio design to a quarter-circle… No matter how basic your DIY ability, it’s easy to create a great feature vegetal wall.
Table of Contents
Metal gutters recycled into planters, perfect on the side of a woodshed
Grow your own “gutter” strawberries, could be made on the side of a shed!
Rustic vintage gutter recycled into a flower planter
This would make a good centerpiece for an outdoor table setting.
Gutters repurposed for herbs in the kitchen
Lettuces and mixed herb gutter garden
Spice up your dinners with fresh herbs! Build a simple stand to make a hanging gutter planter and fresh herb garden.
Vertical gardens are a fun way to inject some refreshing foliage into any space
Need more ideas for your garden? Check out this post: 20 Cheap Garden Fencing Ideas
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How to Build A Gutter Garden
Those of us who live in urban areas often don’t have the space to grow all of the vegetables and herbs that we would like. Gutter gardening is a space-saving method using vinyl rain gutters as planters that can be placed in any available space you might have. Vinyl rain gutters are inexpensive and easy to work with – they come in 10-foot lengths that can be cut with a hacksaw to fit your particular situation.
They can be as simple as a single gutter mounted on a fence, or elaborate hanging gardens located on a deck or patio.
Personally I have a small area at the back of my yard where I mounted a couple of gutters on a fence and I can grow vegetables from early spring until late in the fall.
Here in USDA Zone 6 I begin in April, planting green onions and leaf lettuce as well as spinach. Any cool-weather shallow-rooted plants, such as radishes, will work in a gutter garden. Annual herbs are a perfect crop to plant for the warm summer months. As fall approaches, you can begin to plant your second round of cool-season plants which will produce up until a hard freeze.
Here’s how I built my fence-mounted gutter garden. Over the past few years, I’ve found this method works well for me, but feel free to adapt it to your particular situation.
- vinyl gutter, sold in 10 feet lengths at hardware and home improvement store
- end caps – two for each section of gutter you plan to usea
- a 2×4 board for each section if you’re mounting your gutter garden on a chain link fence
- galvanized screws for mounting gutter to the 2×4 board
- large stainless steel hose clamps
- drill and bit to drill drainage holes
- hack saw
- crosscut saw
How to build your gutter garden:
- Determine the length of your gutter garden.
- Cut the gutter to the desired length using a hacksaw.
- Snap the end caps onto each end of the gutter.
- Cut the 2×4 board to the same length as the gutter.
- Screw the gutter to the 2×4 but don’t tighten completely.
- Slip the hose clamp between the gutter and the 2×4.
- Tighten the gutter to the 2×4.
- Drill drainage holes into the bottom of the gutter every 3 to 4 inches.
- Place the hose clamps around the top rail of the chain link fence and tighten.
Attach the gutter to the 2×4 with galvinized screws
I like to use a mixture of half commercial potting soil and half compost for my medium. I line the bottom of the gutter with a strip of newspaper to prevent the soil from clogging the drainage holes. (Note: I used landscape fabric to line the gutter the first time and found onion roots grew through the fabric and made them hard to pull; newspaper works just fine.)
Considerations for siting your gutter garden
- Make sure your gutter receives full sun – minimum of 5 to 6 hours daily.
- If mounting onto a wooden fence you may eliminate the 2×4 and mount the gutter directly to the fence.
- If you have a deck with a railing, mount the gutter garden to the railing and plant with herbs or shallow rooted flowers. (Imagine having fresh herbs growing just steps away from the kitchen!)
- If you have a roof over your deck, gutter gardens may be hung in tiers with chains.
Gutter gardens are a creative, versatile way to garden in just about any location – I hope you’ll give this space-saving method a try next year.
Vertical gardens are a great option for gardeners who have limited space to work with. There are a number of ways you can implement vertical gardening. Here a few ideas to get you started.
This post may contain affiliate links.
A simple way to create a vertical garden is to place a trellis in a large container. You can steady the trellis by placing it against a wall. This method is quite effective for freeing up space in your garden.
If you don’t have a garden, this is a great way to create a small garden on your back patio.
Certain types of vegetables lend themselves well to growing on trellises. Plants that grow in vines, such as green beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, and even small melons, grow well on trellises.
These inexpensive trellises you can order from Amazon are made especially for pots and containers.
Rain Gutter Garden
You can use rain gutters to create a great vertical garden. Rain gutters can be attached to the sides of buildings, on a fence, or even to your porch or deck railing. Rain gutters come in 10-ft lengths.
Just cut them to the desired length. One rain gutter will make two nice 5-ft planting containers.
For each rain gutter planter you will need two rain gutter end caps to glue on to the ends of each rain gutter.
Use a drill to drill small holes in the bottom of the rain gutters for drainage.
Lastly, attach the rain gutter to the fence with the screws that are designed to attach rain gutters to your home.
Fill the rain gutters with potting soil and then plant your seeds or bedding plants. These planters are great for planting lettuces, spinach, herbs, or even strawberries.
Hanging Vertical Garden
This vertical garden is a creative way to recycle a hanging shoe organizer, the kind that you hang in your closet that has pockets all over the front of it.
This kind of garden would be suitable for planting lettuces and herbs. If you don’t have room for a garden, but can hang something like this on your porch or even in a room of your home, you will have fresh herbs and salad fixings any time.
You will need a strong pole (like a curtain rod) to hang the shoe organizer from. It will be quite heavy with the dirt and plants added to it.
Mount the pole to the place where you want the shoe organizer to hang from.
Next hang the shoe organizer from the pole with some strong hooks, such as utensil hanging hooks.
Fill all the shoe pockets with potting soil, filling to within 1 inch of the top of the pocket, and plant your seeds.
Make sure to place come kind of tray or trough beneath the shoe organizer to catch any dripping water.
Water plants slowly so that they do not overflow into each other. If water does not drip out of the pockets when you water, then poke a few small holes in each pocket to allow drainage.
If you want your garden to be a work of art, consider creating a “living wall”. There are kits you can buy that are specially designed frames that allow you to plant your plants right into the picture frame.
These living walls look great hanging in your sunroom, or on a wall on your porch or patio. Indoor living walls are truly a work of art, brightening up your living space while also helping to purify the air in your home.
You can find some great living wall kits on Amazon.
You can also purchase modular panels to make your living art as big or as small as you wish, making them completely customizable to suit your needs.
Plants that grow well on living walls include geraniums and asparagus ferns. Succulents are also favorites for small living walls, because they have shallow root systems and do not get overly large.
Related Gardening Hacks
- DIY Clay Pot Wreath
- How to Hang a Flower Pot on a Fence
- DIY Recycled Pallet Planters
- 8 Ways to Keep Birds Out of the Garden
Follow my gardening board on Pinterest.