Grow Hanging Strawberries in Rain Gutters

Strawberries in rain gutters is becoming a popular idea. Not just strawberries either, but all kinds of fruits and vegetables can be grown in gutters. The great thing about some of these plants — like strawberries — is if you have them above, they’ll hand down and create a hanging garden you can pick from.

How do you make a strawberry rain gutter garden? Easy: you get rain gutters from a home improvement store (or if you can get used ones, great). Now there are different ways to have the gutters. One way is like the picture above — hanging. They used rebar tied together to raise the rain gutters.

Another way is to mount the gutters in rows (like shelves) on the side of a building. To do this, you just get some 1x1s (or any other size lumber you want to work with), and attach those vertical on the south side of a building. Then you attach the horizontal rows of gutters with the gutter attachments (they come with or can be bought for the rain gutters) to the 1×1 verticals.

In either case, you want to drill holes in the bottoms of the rain gutters so that they don’t flood and spill soil and nutrients out over the edges. Rain gutters are small compared to the soil that’s in a bed garden, so it can be tricky to keep them wet (they’ll dry out fast) but also to keep them from flooding.

After you’ve drilled drainage holes, you add a layer of cloth (any kind of cloth) to the bottom of the rain gutters. This is just to add a layer of separation from the soil, so water will drain out of the bottom even better.

The benefits of the rain gutter gardens for strawberries are the same things as the trickiness of them. Bed gardens can get too wet for strawberries and strawberries can get packed too tight. So the drainage and spaced-out-ness of the rain gutters is a plus — so long as you keep them watered properly.

So with the holes and cloth preparations done, you can mount your gutters. About a foot apart is good to allow sunlight to each plant.

Even if you buy rain gutters and 1x1s from a hardware store — everything all new — it should still only cost around $100 dollars. And it should only take 1 day to make a hanging or shelf garden for strawberries, tomatoes, or whatever else. And you will have saved a lot of yard space for the amount of strawberries you can grow.

NOTE: strawberries from seed can be hard to grow. But the tricks of growing strawberries are best left for another article

Some pictures of a building-side mounted garden from SUB.urban.EXPERIMENT

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