… and into my garden!
Since spring has definitely spring here in Dallas (it’s been in the 70s for two weeks), Kevin and I decided it was high time we got busy on some of our outside projects; we can tile the office or paint the bedrooms when
we’re dead it’s rainy or 110 outside. First on our list was getting rid of the ugly, scraggily bushes in front of the Little House. Thanks to Craigslist, we didn’t have to lift a finger on that. That freed up some time for us to tackle a project we’ve been itching to get going on.
I’m sure most of you have seen the gutter gardens floating around on Pinterest. When I showed the hubs, he was as excited as I was to try them out. I mean seriously, don’t they look awesome??
A couple tips on buying guttering from Home Depot. Don’t bring along your 85lb puppy when you’re going to be wrangling 10′ gutters. Also, it is difficult to fit 10′ gutters and a puppy and two full size people into a 2003 Mustang… but it can be done.
The cost breakdown for the gutters was actually less than we’d expected. We had planned on getting aluminum gutters, but after seeing the cost difference between then and the vinyl, the choice was obvious.
– (3) 10′ White Vinyl Gutters @ $5.23 each… $15.69 (They only had white… maybe we’ll spray paint them this fall)
– (6) White Vinyl Gutter Hangers @ $2.35 each… $14.10 (We used these to give the gutters rigidity)
– (3) White Vinyl Gutter Endcaps @ $2.25 each… $6.75 (I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the right price, but we went with it)
– (1) bag Miracle Grow Moisture Control Potting Soil… $14.47(not organic or anything, but hey, it works)
That brings us to a grand total of $51.01. It may seem like a lot, but we’ll be able to reuse this garden twice a year (spring and fall plantings) for as long as we’re in this house.
We started by drilling holes into the bottoms of the gutters for drainage. We used a regular wood drill bit. It took a second to catch, but then was like drilling butter (why anyone would do this, I’m not sure. Maybe Wisconsin butter sculptors?).
When the gutters were sufficiently holey, we slid on the hangers and wrangled the end caps into place. They have a rubber seal on the end that made them more than a little difficult to get on the gutters. We finally figured them out though and were ready to get hanging.
We didn’t actually use the hangers to hang the gutters. That would be too obvious (and you know how we feel about obvious around the LH). Instead, we used super short (ie. 1/2″) wood screws to hang them. We used the shorter screws to that we wouldn’t end up with a bunch of screws sticking out the back of the fence on our neighbor’s side (Hi Haven!). We put five screws in per gutter, evenly spaced.
Please excuse the blurriness in that picture. I was holding the gutter for Kevin while taking the picture. Pretty talented if you ask me, considering how clumsy I am.
One 64-qt bag of potting soil was just enough to fill the three gutters. Of course, we knew before hand it would be. Being the engi-nerds we are, we calculated the volume of the gutters before buying the soil so we’d have enough. To make adding the soil easier, we poured from the big bag into a smaller one. Not the most elegant solution, but it was better than doing it one handful at a time.
We planted spinach in the top and bottom gutters (we like spinach… in salads… sauteed with garlic… mixed with ricotta and stuffed into giant shells). In the middle gutter, we planted half mescalin, a lettuce mix, and half green onions. We’ll be able to get veggies out of these gutter gardens probably until mid-to-late June, when the Texas sun will fry any baby greens we’ve got growing. We’ll be able to plant again in October, though, and enjoy until the first frost in December.
We’ve yet to see any seedlings yet, but we’re supposed to get a good weekend of rain (followed by more glorious, warm sunshine) so we expect to see them early next week. Since we finished the gutter gardens, we’ve started building our raised garden bed just below. It’s about half finished and we hope to be able to share it next week.
Indiana Beals approves this message (and notes that the fence needs to be restained).
Have you started gardening for this year? What do you want to plant (or would you plant if you had a garden)? I really want to try growing some heirloom veggies in our raised bed. Any suggestions?