Gutter Garden: Growing Your Food in a Small Space

Juneau Empire

We love a good small-space garden design challenge, especially when it involves finding new and creative ways to grow your own food. Suzanne Forsling of Juneau, Alaska, wanted to grow vegetables, but only a tiny sliver of her outdoor space—an alleyway between her house and the neighbors'—gets any kind of sun. Wanting to save money, maximize heat and protect her plants from wildlife, she came up with the idea of using rain gutters as planters along the wood siding. Details, and more small-space kitchen garden inspiration, after the jump...

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Suzanne's solution is inexpensive and practical, of course, but we actually think it's got aesthetic appeal too. We love the look of the long, narrow planter boxes lined up under the window. She shared her solution in the Juneau Empire; you can click over there for the whole story and detailed instructions, but here are a few tips we gleaned:

• Drill plenty of holes in the gutters for drainage.
• The first time you water, allow water to drip between the gutters and the siding (this time only!) in order to wash out any soil that might be trapped against the siding.
• Each time afterwards, water cautiously, with a watering wand or can, to prevent water from becoming trapped against the siding, and to avoid excess drainage... you don't want water pooling up so close to the foundation of the house. (You could also use drip irrigation for even better control.)

We'd love to know if anyone else has tried this. Here's some more inspiration from Apartment Therapy for those looking to grow this year's vegetables in a small space:

10 Inspiring Gardens for Growing Food in Small Spaces (from The Kitchn)
The Small Space Raised Garden
Vegetable Garden Using Repurposed Furniture
Planning the Garden: Vegetables (and the Occasional Strawberry!)
Food Map Containers: Portable Vegetable Gardening

(Via NotCot)

Photos: Suzanne Forsling