How to Make Gutter Gardens

By Leland | May 17, 2013

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If you’ve always wanted to make the most of a small space while adding some greenery to your life, gutter gardens may be just the right addition to your home. Gutter gardens can be added to almost any wall, fence, or flat surface outdoors. To make your own gutter garden, follow these ten simple steps!

1. Measure the length of the surface area you be using. Decide whether you want multiple gutters, and how they will be arranged. If you have pets or animals that tend to linger in your yard, take the distance from the ground into consideration. If you have children who will help tend the plants, make sure the gutters are low enough that they can reach. If you have decreased mobility, consider placing them at chest height to avoid strain.

2. Purchase or find guttering that fits the measurements you need. Aluminum gutter sections are typically ten-feet long, so you may need to cut them depending on the space you’re trying to fit. Make sure to pick up end gutter caps for as many gutter gardens as you are making.

3. Use a hammer and nails or screwdriver to poke holes in the bottom of each gutter section. The holes should be approximately four inches apart from each other to allow water to drain and prevent the roots from rotting.

4. Thoroughly wash down the inside of each gutter section. If you want to paint the gutters, apply oil-based primer to each section, and then use a full acrylic paint or gutter-specific paint. You can also go to your local hardware or home and garden store for insight on the best exterior paints to use. Let the paint dry as necessary.

5. Hanging the gutter sections depends largely on the surface area you’re using. If you will be attaching them to a fence, you can do so by drilling more holes in the gutter and fastening hooks, nails, or metal wiring through them. You could also screw the gutter sections directly into the fence, or into a few wooden boards for extra support.

6. Attach the gutter end caps to each gutter section, and add U-clips or gutter hangers to keep the gutters from being too front-heavy and sagging when filled with soil. You will need approximately four or five per ten-foot gutter section.

7. Pour vegetable potting soil into each gutter section until they are filled within one inch from the top. Pack the soil well, and create a one inch deep trench running through the middle of each gutter section.

8. Sprinkle the seeds of your choice into the trenches according to each package’s directions.

9. Water as need be.

10. Enjoy watching your beautiful, skinny gardens grow and prosper!

This guest post was submitted by Lauren from Michigan Cedar Products, a cedar log siding and paneling company based in the Great Lake State. View their products here.

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