Gutter Garden




About: A DIY enthusiast.

This is an instructable of making a gutter garden which will save a lot of time watering and used less water.

Step 1: Items


  1. Gravels (enough to fill about 2" of height of the gutter)
  2. Aquarium filter mesh
  3. Rain gutter
  4. 5" of 1/2 PVC tube (or any size)
  5. Compost soil


  1. A drill with #7 bit (or any size of bit as long as the hole doesn't get cloggedwith dirt and let the excess water flowed)
  2. A garden spade
  3. A pair of gloves

Step 2: The Making

  1. Firstly, I drilled a hole at one end (prefer the left end) of the gutter approximately 2" from the base. The hole will act as a drainage for the excess water.
  2. Then, I fill the gutter with the gravels until 2" of height.
  3. I placed the PVC tube up-right at the another end (prefer the right end) of the gutter.
  4. Next, I lay the filter on top the gravel.
  5. I finished the process with a layer of soil and finally, I plant some greens.


  • For watering the plants, I will pour the water into the tube and stop when the excess water starts flowing through the hole.
  • It will be a while before you need to water the plants.
  • Beside using the gutter garden to plant greens, I also use it as a nursery for banana seedling and other plants before transplant on the ground.

Step 3: A Staggered Option

If you have a limited space, you can opt for a staggered layout of your gutter garden. It will be some time before you'll need to refill the water reservoir. This layout is aquaponic-ready.


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    4 Discussions


    2 years ago

    do the roots grow into the mesh? is the soil deep enough for the roots to grow?

    I've done gutter gardening with just soil and some pebbles in the bottom and it is a huge hassle to water it daily because it dries out so quickly! I'd like to try this.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Some of the plants have roots that do grow through the mesh. I've a 8 inches deep gutter. Minus the 2 inches of gravels, 6 inches of soil, IMO, is adequate for most plants, eg. herbs.

    Another thing, the used of potting soil must taken into account of high percentage peat and perlite. Do read the composition label at the pack.

    I also have had the same problem as yours when initially, I used the same gutter technique for gardening. However, after I make some minor modification to the system, I having no problem so far.

    I hope that I've answered yours questions.

    Thanks for commenting.
    Happy gardening!


    2 years ago

    i have been looking to do something like this for my balcony for a while now. Would the water go bad in the gravel pit overtime and need flushing? I am no green thumb and this setup would fix at least part of my trouble.... overwatering!

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    You can set the timer to flush the contained water once or twice a day. Let it run a least 15 minutes in one setting to circulate the entire system. If you do it manually, I suggest to flush once in a week.
    Also, if the water in the reservoir become bad overtime, it's time to change the water. You can also add water-based fertilizer in the water.
    You will never overwatering the plants because the roots aren't flooded due to the separation by the filter and the overflow hole. Another benefit is the soil always moist by the wicking effect.
    Thanks for commenting.