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Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

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Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  madnicmom on 8/24/2011, 6:52 pm

I just put this up today. It's filled with MM. Anyone else tried/heard of this?


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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  camprn on 8/24/2011, 7:01 pm

I have not yet tried gutters, but have used plenty of other shallow containers. I think Boffer has something going in gutters. Here is a previous thread.
What are you growing in your gutter? LOL Wink

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 8/24/2011, 7:58 pm


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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  madnicmom on 8/24/2011, 8:47 pm

WOW! I missed that thread. I was without internet for 2 weeks in April. Mine is level with holes drilled in the bottom. They are metal but for 0.99 I couldn't beat the price to try this route.



I plan on trying radishes,lettuce and spinach



So Boff, how did it turn out for you?

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  boffer on 8/24/2011, 9:03 pm

I haven't done an end of season wrap-up on my gutter gardens yet.

As expected, there's plenty of MM to grow lettuces, spinach, and radishes.

What I observed this year, that took me by surprise, was slowness of growth in small volume containers as compared to my SFG TT's.

My gutters were only five feet away from a TT that I grew the same lettuce and radishes in. The growth in the gutters was much slower and subject to bug damage; everything grew normally in the TT without bug damage.

In the 1x1 box that I built for my carrot contest with Josh, the seeds germinated and grew much slower than the same seeds I planted the same day in my TT carrot box.

Tomato plants that I put in containers grew slower than the tomatoes in TT's.

Those were my observations; I'll be trying gutters again next year. I had an unusually cool spring and early summer, and I attribute the slow growth to that. Although there is plenty of growing medium for the plant to thrive, the small volumes of MM just don't hold heat over night.

I can only guess that a similar growth slow down would happen when temperatures are at the high end of normal growth.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  madnicmom on 8/25/2011, 2:02 am

That's funny you say that because I've noticed that also. Tomatoes in buckets were awful small in size compared to my raised beds even with MM. thank you for the input.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  middlemamma on 8/25/2011, 4:02 am

I love the idea of the gutters...and I love what you did madnicmom!

Next year no lettuce is going on sfg's... Evil or Very Mad I got all of 2 salads and I planted a ton of lettuce. SLUGS! So next year its containers for lettuce for me. Think I'm gonna get some dollar store bowls, the big mixing bowl kind and use those around my deck rail.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  littlesapphire on 8/25/2011, 9:13 am

I had container tomatoes last year along with the tomatoes in raised beds, and the container tomatoes were also much smaller than the raised bed tomatoes. I wonder if it has anything to do with the root system. Although my tomatoes don't dig deep in my SFG boxes, they spread very wide. I think I found tomato roots across half the squares of my 4x4 box last fall when I cleaned it up. Maybe container plants don't get very big because they don't have as much room to spread.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  boffer on 8/25/2011, 2:19 pm

This pic is from a month ago. I started planting in March on the bottom left; each plant marker is about one week later. I planted about one linear foot per week for about 3 months. You can see how erratic germination and growth was. I haven't harvested anything. No slugs though!

@littlesapphire wrote:I had container tomatoes last year along with the tomatoes in raised beds, and the container tomatoes were also much smaller than the raised bed tomatoes. I wonder if it has anything to do with the root system. Although my tomatoes don't dig deep in my SFG boxes, they spread very wide. I think I found tomato roots across half the squares of my 4x4 box last fall when I cleaned it up. Maybe container plants don't get very big because they don't have as much room to spread.
There's no doubt that roots don't respect grids! You can see some pictures of roots here.

Members CarolinePhillips and JayBird both grow tomatoes (for profit) in greenhouses, at times using 5 gallon buckets and even some smaller pots.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  mijejo on 8/25/2011, 2:41 pm

I know of a guy that used gutters for hydroponic plantings in a sunroom which provided decent natural light, but he also supplemented with artificial tube lighting.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  Chopper on 8/26/2011, 12:28 am

@boffer wrote: I had an unusually cool spring and early summer, and I attribute the slow growth to that. .

Haha, as opposed to your unusually cool spring and summer last year? Smile

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  middlemamma on 8/26/2011, 12:35 am

Razz Good one Chopper!



Poor me and boff....we did have terrible cold spring last year and were so hoping it would be better this year...and what did we get? EVEN COLDER AND LONGER than last year! NO FAIR!

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  boffer on 8/26/2011, 12:36 am

Ha! It's verifyably worse this year. I just quit complaining about it!

I did break ground for a summertime greenhouse this past week, so the weather next summer should be unusually warm!

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  middlemamma on 8/26/2011, 12:40 am

No kidding boffer!

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  madnicmom on 8/31/2011, 7:20 am

Just wanted to say that most of the lettuce and one spinach plant have poked thru the MM. I'm actually surprised but the weather here has been picture perfect.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  TN_GARDENER on 8/31/2011, 7:49 am

@mijejo wrote:I know of a guy that used gutters for hydroponic plantings in a sunroom which provided decent natural light, but he also supplemented with artificial tube lighting.

Yes. Gutters and/or large PVC pipes are pretty popular with hydroponic and aquaponic gardeners.

I have some rubber maid totes that I did some experimenting with this year. I simply filled them with pea gravel and used mainly compost tea to fertilize them.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  Mamachibi on 8/31/2011, 8:33 am

I did mainly rubbermaid totes this year too. I'm wondering about a row of gutter around the top of my fence for interplanted lettuce, kale and flowers. I can't grow enough lettuce to meet our requirements (our pets eat it) and any additional gardening spot is a candidate!!

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  FarmerValerie on 8/31/2011, 9:31 am

We may have to move everything this fall/next spring, we need more "pasture" (paddocks really) for our goats. I have been searching for innovative ideas, and this is one I am seroiusly considering. I'll have a few boxes for some things, but I am hoping to use buckets and gutters full of MM. Mainly for space saving and also for watering.



http://www.youtube.com/user/larrylhall#p/u



July update on his gutter garden.

http://www.youtube.com/user/larrylhall#p/search/1/cd_NUqazoq0



August 28

http://www.youtube.com/user/larrylhall#p/search/3/S9Y7aUu2JKk

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  westie42 on 8/31/2011, 10:52 am

Larry Hall’s gutter trough method is exactly what I have in mind for next years garden expansion experiment. The stuff I grew this year in wicking buckets with MM was by far the best production including SFG, the ground, just regular troughs with MM and assorted objects stuffed with MM. The 5 gal wicking buckets easily let me go away for a week or two without any worries concerning watering plants. Currently I have been away from that home for 3 weeks and the neighbors say everything still looks good. I would like to find about 40 or more 5 gal pails (cheap of course) to start with. Since I collect plenty of rain water piping it to the (toilet type float) valves Larry Hall uses in his rain trough reservoirs should make that method easy to use and I know from my own experience it will grow productive plants. Mostly his method greatly simplifies watering provides a premium medium MM and is containerized. I think if it had been me coming up with that set of methods it would be patented but thru a food providing charity. Larry seems happy with just showing off his pet project but it impresses me a lot, so far. Check out his smoker too it is not explained just boasted on but seems a beauty made from an old stainless steel commercial refridge or freezer. Val since I think I have a good idea of some of your permaculture goals you need to look at this guys videos on rocket stoves for outdoor canning. I plan to make one or two for next seasons canning both to get the heat out of my house and to use free fuel for virtually all my canning. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzfaHdoiyUo . Next there are some nifty solar dehydrators to make but at the moment cant provide exact details. Will post or Im you when that idea and solar cooking options make clearer sense.

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Re: Gutter Gardening, anyone else tried it?

Post  FarmerValerie on 8/31/2011, 11:10 am

I've seen the rocket stoves, I heard about them from Jack Spirko's podcasts. There are many others who do the gutter system like Larry does, in fact he got it from someone else.



As for cheap buckets see if you have a Firehouse Subs near you, they sell thier pickle buckets for $2, and the money goes to the firefighters relief fund for injured firefighters and their families. If not, when you get back check to see if any local restraunts sell or give away their pickle buckets. Yes, they smell like pickles, but a bit of bleach, and some sun take care of that. Also, I DO NOT like Lowe's buckets, they have a film inside them that comes off when they have water sitting in them for more than 24 hours. I don't use them in the garden becuase of that film. Home Depot buckets are okay they don't "shed". I just prefer a "food grade" bucket if I can find it, and FH Subs are easy to open when using them for storing bulk food (flour, sugar, etc). Sherwin Williams buckets are okay for outside use too, but as for storing foods, they are a you know what to open, I have torn off many fingernails. I know I need a bucket opener, and those twist lids for 5 gal buckets, but my need list varries from hubbies..... Thanks for thinking of me!!!!

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