Sunday, June 23, 2013

Busy Week Part 3-Gutter Gardening

gutter gardening
Thanks to Larry Hall from YouTube I couldn’t get the idea of growing my own vegetable garden out of 5 gallon buckets.  I had spent most of my day going to antique and junk stores with my son.  The prices were not what I was willing to spend and I kept thinking about this idea and how I would rather spend money trying it out than on some over priced junk.   I had shown a few of his videos to my husband-he was impressed, but not in the green light kind of way.
We didn’t get home until 3:30 in the afternoon and I showed my daughter what I was talking about.  She was enthusiastic about helping me with it so we headed off to the Home Depot again.  The supplies needed for the irrigation system are simple-2 lengths of 2x4 10’ pressure treated wood, 1 10’ length of vinyl gutter, and two end caps.  I couldn’t find the screws and rubber washers called for in Larry’s directions so I just bought the screws sold for the gutters (2 boxes of 25 each).  I didn’t buy any glue-the gutter end caps I bought snapped on with a foam gasket.  I figured if the screw holes leaked I would just stick some caulk on the screw heads.
We laid the 2x4’s out and put the gutter caps on.  Screwed the gutter on the top edge of one 2x4 about every 6”, and worked the same way on the other side.  I was thinking we might have to dig in the scrap pile to find a few lengths of 2x4’s so we could get it outside, but it was it surprisingly sturdy.  I had to add a few bricks leftover from my path the even it up where the ground slopes. 
The next list of supplies include net pots used in hydroponics, 5 gallon buckets, potting soil, hole saw, and plants.  I didn’t want to hunt all around town in search of the net pots that I doubt are sold here locally.  I also lack patience for ordering online, besides they are too spendy for what they are .  My solution was going to be plastic drink cups with holes or slits cut into them, but I couldn’t find any with the right diameter.  He calls out for a 2 7/8 hole saw which I forgot to buy at Home Depot.   Walmart had 2 1/8 so I had to find something to work with that size.
gutter gardening
Guess what we had for our dinner that night?  My daughter managed 4, I had 3 and my son refused to eat more than one-I think he grabbed a sandwich afterwards and disappeared from sight.  I didn’t want to mess around with a craft knife and cut out holes.  Since the plastic is flimsy it is hard to drill.  We ended up grabbing a swimming noodle to jam in there for some resistance.
gutter gardening
I drilled my holes in the bottom of my buckets-I figured 8 would fit nicely on the gutter.  I took the drilled yogurt cups and filled them with potting soil-firmly.  Soaked them until the water was running through the drilled holes and put them in the holes in the buckets.  I used two scrap 2x4’s to prop my buckets off of the ground.  I Filled the buckets with soil and tamped down in the center of the bucket to encourage the wicking action.
gutter gardening
Planted my vegetables and watered them until it was draining out of the bottom of the buckets.  I did one at a time so I could place them on the gutter as I went along.
gutter gardening
My work station:
gutter gardening
We started actual work at 6:30 at night and finished up around 9:00 pm.  It probably added a 1/2 eating the yogurt and drilling the holes in the cups.  This area of my yard is part sun so I am hoping for the best.  When my husband gets home from his trip I want to disguise the buckets with some lattice-I don’t want any hassle from my homeowner’s association.  We had a good rain the day after, and I need to figure out how to prevent some of the splash back on the siding.  I know my husband won’t like the mess it is making.
gutter gardening
I planted 3 different kinds of tomato's, a couple of different cucumbers, green peppers, orange peppers and one blueberry plant.  If it works out I’d like to go buy some stair risers and go vertical with two more gutters.  I’m hoping to plant some broccoli in the Fall.
Comments are welcomed and appreciated!
If you like this post, you may also enjoy:
Raised Garden Bed 

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