Adding a herb & veggie gutter garden
Here's how to install your very own gutter garden for herbs or small vegetables to supply your kitchen with fresh produce.
With all the mini home improvements taking place at my house the small veggie garden that I had outside the door is no more. To take its place, and hopefully keep the kitchen supplied with fresh herbs and salad veggies, I planted a gutter garden on the one wall in a sunny spot.
With dogs and a cat at home, having a gutter garden is also a great way to keep pets out of the beds, or peeing on the plants and watching them wither and die. The gutter garden is mounted on a west-facing wall, so it gets plenty of morning and early afternoon sunshine.
This area used to have a garden shed that was falling apart at the seams, and was used as a dumping ground while the improvements were being done. Now, all the rubbish has been removed, the gutter garden set up and I will be building a potting table and adding big bins for larger veggies.
PVC gutters, end caps and brackets
SX8 wall plugs and screws
Top soil and potting soil
Seedling herbs and veggies
Impact drill or Bosch PSB 18 LI-2 Combi Drill
8mm masonry or all-purpose drill bit (I used an Alpen drill bit)
Handsaw, jigsaw or Dremel DSM20
Tape measure and pencil
1. Mark the location for the brackets for the PVC gutters. Use a spirit level to check the horizontal level. Also mark the position for drilling the holes for mounting the brackets to the wall.
2. To cut the gutters to length I used a Dremel DSM20. With one hand you can hold the tool and turn the pipe with the other hand... easy! You can also use a handsaw or jigsaw to cut the PVC pipe to length.
3. The pipes fit easily onto the wall mounted brackets.
The 3 metre long gutters cost R105 and the end caps R52 each and each pipe was cut in half for the staggered arrangement. I still have one half section left that will be mounted in a sunny spot for more herbs.
4. Along the length of each pipe I drill a 6mm drainage hole. This will prevent water from building up in the gutters and ensure plants are happy.
5. A layer of landscape fabric was cut and laid over the top of the drainage holes to stop soil erosion.
6. Each gutter was filled with a mixture of 50 percent top soil mixed with 50 percent potting mix. The potting mix will keep the soil nice and loose and add nutrients to the mix.
GOOD TO KNOW
Getting everything ready and mounting the gutter garden took just under 2 hours.
The gutters are mounted and now it's time to add the herbs and veggies. The staggered arrangement allows for taller plants to reach a good height. I will be mounting a frame and wire support once the cherry tomatoes get bigger.
At the moment the herb and veggie gutters contain basil, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, parsley, spinach and thyme. I have a separate system planned for eggplant and cucumbers, as well as large planters being set up for cabbage and a system for potatoes.
Some of the flower beds in the garden have already been planted up with spinach, rosemary, and a few other herbs, and soon I will have everything I need to make a quick and easy salad - freshly picked from the gutter garden.