Gutter Gardens Grow Produce Without Taking Up Space

If you'd love to do a little at-home gardening but don't have much space to do your planting, a simple gutter garden might be the perfect option.

Alaskan news site Juneau Empire features a smart, simple idea for planting a small vegetable garden with very little space: A windowbox garden built from gutters. In Alaska, this idea solves a few problems for the author:

We live near the glacier, so the soil is cold and has very little organic matter, there are lots of big trees shading it, and we have all the slugs and root maggots anyone could want, with porcupines, cats, bears and ravens meandering to boot.

There is only one side of our house that gets much sunshine, and, of course, that side of the house has the smallest yard.

Even if your garden doesn't face the same problems, the idea behind the gutter garden could be perfect if you're low on space but would kill for some homegrown veggies.

How does your garden grow? [Juneau Empire via Make]


    This would work well with an aquaponics setup. Fish + veggies. is a good place to check it out.

    and not much weeding.

    This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted

    Just wondering what kind of veggies work in such a small space?

      Terri, I grow all kinds of lettuce, beets, Swiss chard, turnips (for greens only), the kale was terrific this year, green onions, you get the idea. Any vegetable that has a relatively small root ball. They do need to be watered frequently, but I find that particularly relaxing. Glad you like the idea.

        What a brilliant idea, deserves an Oscar or Nobel Prize - really I live in South Africa and have just moved to a small complex no space for ad veggie garden but a long wall that gets sun, and wow, never thought, will use this brilliant idea and your list of what to plant in reply to Terri, did you think this up?
        Can also pass on to my staff to grow their own veggies, can buy old guttering and fix it up for them - well done to who ever thought of this

        Brilliant! Besides leafy greens, green onions, and some herbs, there is a variety of carrots I grew last year that are short and round that would work perfectly in a gutter garden. I can't wait for March to get my gutter garden started!

        Love the idea.

      we tried letuce , spinich, and radishes

    do I slope the gutters for water runoff or do I make holes along the base?

      Yes, I would also like to know how the watering works - does one make small holes somehow and would you need mesh of sorts?

    Will it work on the shady side of my Arizona house?

      i have a garden on the shady side of my house in la paz county. :)

    @terry...most greens, most herbs, and sugar peas would be the best bet. nightshade plants (i.e. tomatoes, squash) & roots would not work because of their weight and the obvious limitation on space.

    love the idea, am in pretoria, south africa, small garden, wonderful idea

      Hi Gwen,
      Live in Jo'burg, found your comment about veggie garden in gutters when visiting the sight, what an idea to pass on to people who live in squatter camps etc. We have just moved to a complex and tiny garden but long wall at side of house perfect for idea. Good luck with yours,


        Re watering: What I would do (off the top of my head) is this: If I used several gutters, I would fix them to the wall at an angle, alternating which side is higher. This way you could potentially water them all from in one go, which should be cleaner and simpler. May have to be fine-tuned for practicability.

        Regards from the Mother City.

    I LOVE this! I will definitely see what I can grow this way!

    I love this as I live in a townhome and do not own the land around my house. However, I have pernamant siding. Holes in the siding would not work for me. I will look for some kind of clip as I really want to try this.

      look further down to see how we did it.

    Just wondering what supports the weight of 8 to 10 feet of soil and plants?
    I can see a small rack made of 3/4 inch PVC pipe. (not to over complicate it.)

      We live in Illinois and have tried this and used stair step stringers and made them the width we needed. We added some support so it doesn't get whopper jawed and tip over. We can put 6 gutters on the stringers. 2 on each step. We used the plastic gutters and cut then on half so they're shorter and added scrap wood to the ends to make endcaps , drilled tiny holes in the bottom and covered the holes with landscape fabric to keep the soil in.

    This excites me! Looking so forward to the answers!
    I have siding as well and had no clue that holes were a 'no no'.

    How did you support the length? Will they hold some stones in the bottom so we don't over water?

    I love your idea but how do you hook the pots to the gutters

    This is such a brilliant idea!! I love it, and may have to try it in some way... So cute on the side of the house!! Thank you for sharing your idea!! Looking forward to finding more!
    come on over for a visit...

    I think I will try this, but I will afix to my fence so as not to put holes in my siding.

    Wow, great idea. The only issue I have is that most gutters are made from steel which will rust, but you can buy plastic ones from hardware centres.. My husband runs gutter out of aluminum, I'm going to get him to run some smaller ones for flowers :)

    If it's really hot and sunny won't it damage the plants to have so little protection on the roots?

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