How to Make a Hanging Gutter Garden





Introduction: How to Make a Hanging Gutter Garden

About: I like putting old stuff to new use and instructables is a very useful site for that. I clean gutters for a living which would explain if my instructables are more gutter-rich.

If you want to have a more untraditional and bizarre garden in your home, why not try making yourself a hanging gutter garden. It is quite easy and cheap and it looks great. It is suitable for growing spices, strawberries or other shallow-rooted plants.

Step 1: Find Yourself Some Gutters

The idea of the project is that it is really cheap and affordable. You can always buy brand new gutters, but it is useless. If you haven't changed your guttering system and you don't happen to have old gutter pipes laying in your back yard, you can always go check the neighbours. You can also search at sites such as Craigslist, eBay, Gumtree or similar one.

Step 2: Clean Them Thoroughly

There should be no dirt, rust or flaking paint as you are going to grow plants in them. Be sure the old paint isn't lead-based as lead poisoning is a very unpleasant experience. You can use a power washer or a hose for the water treatment. After that, apply soapy water and scrub hard with a good scrubbing brush. Make `em shine.

Step 3: Paint the Gutters

This step is optional, but it is very beneficial and I wouldn't advice you to skip it. The painting will increase the gutter's durability and it will protect if from rusting. Plus, the whole idea is for the gutter garden to look awesome. Pick a bright colour that will match or contrast your home.

Step 4: Drill a Series of Small Holes at the Bottom

If you have pot plants you should know this step. The holes will be your garden's drainage path.

Step 5: Select a Suitable Site on Your House

Ideally it should be a sunny spot, protected from strong winds. The South wall of your house (North if you are reading this from Australia) is usually the best place. Your fence is an alternative. Measure carefully and cut your gutters accordingly.

Step 6: Attach Your Future Gutter Garden

This step varies, depending on the material you're attaching your gutters to. If it's wood, you can simply drill holes in the gutters and nail them. For cement or bricks, it might be a bit different. You should consult with your local hardware store on that. The bottom line is you have to tighten the screws and make sure the construction will stand the extra weight once you put soil in it.

Alternatively you can make a frame out of pallets like in the picture. It is more work-demanding but sometimes it can be the only option.

Step 7: Add Soil and Plant the Seeds

Pick a suitable soil for the plants you've chosen to grow. Have in mind that the gutters aren't very deep and whatever you decide to plant should have shallow roots. As said, herbs and berries are a nice choice, but you shouldn't be limited to them only. Don't fill the gutters all the way up with soil. Leave some space to protect the plants as well. Adding a fertilizer might be a good idea.

Step 8: Water Regularly and Enjoy Your New Gutter Garden



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    Hey Franko

    Nice writeup on a great project. You should swap steps three and four on the post since you obviously drilled the holes before you painted which is critical advice for protecting all the metal. I will be trying this method in the future. It's a great use of old gutters. I thought of something similar using old gutter for a hydroponic flow system by adding some kind of aluminum cap and connecting runs vertically with pipe to have a gravity flow system with a pump in a vessel at the bottom.



    I've been meaning to do this idea too for a long time. It's gonna happen this year I hope

    I was planning on doing is exact thing with a slight difference. I was going to use triangles at each end for a stand. My concern is that I'm in the Mojave with temps exceeding 115 F at times. I'm not sure what Garden plants may be able to weather that. I was going to try strawberries and lettuces. I'm glad you mentioned drainage holes. I totally spaced that in my planning. Glad to see is method works.

    I would like to know how to actually attach the gutter to either the wall, the fence, or some other thing. I like your idea and I think that it is perfect for my yard.

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    Your local hardware store has "hangers" for the gutters and will usually have any style to fit the gutters you have. I would recommend getting the hangers as they support both sides of the gutter rather than just the side that is next to the wall. The hardware store should also have end caps for the gutter if you aren't setting them in a framework. The most common style of gutter is what they call the "K" style. When you look at the end, it looks like a K.

    Awesome idea , you could use a full length gutter or two an use rainwater to supplement the watering needs of the plants by linking them to the gutter on your roof...daisy chain them together with tubing ..mount at a slight angle an let gravity do the work letting water flow by each plant ...almost like the barrels flow on the Donkey Kong video game lol

    when i made my gutter planters i added planks of feather edge board to increase the depth and allow more room for the roots. i use sprinkler hose (not soaker or weeping hose) the one with the tiny holes along its length on a watering timer. its all fixed to concrete fence panel supports and the fence panels using the normal guttering fixers.

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    thanks for the elaborations but without some proper pics and installation hints you'll just torture us, basically =)

    Step #4 is hilarious. The roots of pot plants would be to long I think and growing them on your house or fence might not be such a good idea. Thanks for I had a little laugh to begin my