Monday, May 13, 2013

Rain Gutter Garden

Part of being prepared for anything that life has to throw at you is learning how to do things that will help you survive no matter what problems come along. Be it a sudden lay off, the main bread winner gets sick, rising food prices or what have you. Learning to live a self sustainable life no matter where you live can go a long way to help you get through any rough times.

Gardening and growing your own food is one way to become self sustaining. Some people would be surprised at how much food they could grow every year if only they thought out of the box. When you mention gardening to them they automatically think of a big plot of land of maybe a acre or two. Next they start thinking about all the work involved in growing a garden the way our grandmothers and great grandmothers did. Once they do that they say the heck with it because there is to much work involved.

I have had a 30 ft x 20 ft garden for quite some time and last year I decided to expand on the amount of food I could produce each year. I started by buying two drawf fruit trees. One plum and one cherry.

Cherry Tree

Plum Tree

Even though both of them bloomed this year I will not be able to harvest from them. The branches are to thin to handle the weight of the fruits this year so if any fruit does start to grow I will pick it off and discard it. Hopefully the branches will be able to support the weight of fruit next year.

Since I can not enlarge my actual garden I must find other ways to grow more food. For me going vertical  is about the only way I can enlarge my growing area. This past weekend I was able to add another 40 feet by 6 inch growing space in the form of rain gutter gardening. I bought 4-10 foot sections of vinyl rain gutter, 12 bracing brackets and 8 end caps. I also bought 4-8 foot long boards to hang the gutters on. I didn't have to use the boards but I did it so I would not have to put so many holes in the siding of my garage. 

I drill holes 6 inches apart all along the bottom of the gutters.

Then my son and his friend attached each of the boards to the side of the garage with 3 long 4 inch screws.

Then they used one inch screws to attach the gutter and brackets to the wood.

I have not had a chance to fill them with soil and plant yet because it started raining on us when we were getting the last gutter up Saturday. Yesterday was real windy and then today we work up to a heavy frost and the temp was 28 degrees. By the time I took my son to work at 6 am we had climbed up to a balmy 30 degrees. LOL

Tomorrow I will be filling these with soil and planting them since last night was suppose to be our last frost. I will take some more pictures in an few weeks after the plants start growing good. 

I also ripped out every thing I had in a flower bed I have not used in a couple of years and I am starting it over as a herb bed. Flowers are nice to look at and some of them are edible but I would rather have herbs since I use them in cooking a lot. 

Next on my to do list will be to get two more fruit trees. I want a granny smith apple and a peach tree. Then  next year more vertical gardening will be added.


  1. I subbed to get your posts by email a little while back and finally took the time to look around your blog. WOW, I wish I could live with you for a month to learn even some of what you know. :)
    Thanks for sharing,
    Susie in northern NY

  2. Thanks Susie. What little I know I learn from others. :) I got the idea for the rain gutters off the internet and they are working out really well. I love them. :)