gutter garden DIY basil basil and flower planted in a gutter planter secured to a deck railing

How To Build a Gutter Garden: DIY Guide

Originally contributed by Daniel Read • last updated 2/11/2021

15 min.Active Time
$12Cost
BeginnerDifficulty
15 min.Active Time
$12Cost
BeginnerDifficulty

Taking care of a garden can be an incredibly rewarding practice, soothing away the stress of a long day and providing a connection to nature that is sometimes few and far between. Being able to step outside, pick a few sprigs of basil, feel the cool soil between your fingers, and watch your plants thirstily drink in water can have a wonderfully restorative effect. 

Sometimes in an urban environment having your own garden can become tricky if you lack the proper space. Thankfully, a gutter garden is the perfect solution for people looking to bring nature and growth into their home. It takes up very little space, it's easy to build, and it's one of the simplest gardens to maintain. 

Let's Make It

Equipment

  • Drill Gun
  • Indoor/Outdoor Silicone Caulking Gun

Materials

  • Gutter
  • 2 Gutter End Caps
  • Gutter Nail Sleeves
  • Gutter Nails
  • Soil
01/6

Drill Drainage Holes

The first thing to do when creating a gutter garden is to create drainage holes along the base. Using a ⅜ inch drill bit, space each hole out by approximately 8 inches from end to end.

02/6

Position The Nail Sleeve

Spirit Of A Handyman
|
YouTube

The purpose of the nail sleeve is to be a protective cover for your nail as well as a directional guide. Space your sleeves evenly down the length of the gutter, and then position them near the top of the frame spanning the width. The gutter should be sturdy enough that the sleeves are able to balance snugly across the gap without needing to hold them in place.

03/6

Secure Gutter To Railing

Spirit Of A Handyman
|
YouTube

Lift the gutter so that it’s resting against the outer side of the railing where you want your final gutter garden to be. For ease of movement you may want to temporarily hold it in place with a string or bungee cord so that you can use two hands when securing it to the rail. 

With your hammer in hand, line each nail up with a nail sleeve positioned across the width of the gutter. Using the sleeves as a guide, hammer the nails through the aluminum frame until it pierces both sides of the gutter and secures itself into the deck railing. 

04/6

Attach Gutter End Caps

Next, grab your two gutter caps and apply outdoor silicone caulking to the seams. Affix each cap in place on the opposite ends of the gutter closing off the left and right sides of your gutter garden. Once the caps are in place, apply another layer of caulking to the inside seams to ensure a solid seal.   

05/6

Add Soil

Spirit Of A Handyman
|
YouTube

Now it’s time to add your soil! Using a soil composite recommended for the plants you intend to grow, fill your gutter garden completely. If you’re wondering what kind of soil is best for your garden, consider reading through these helpful articles by The Home Depot and lovetoknow.

06/6

Transplant Plants Into Gutter Garden

Spirit Of A Handyman
|
YouTube

And we're done! With only a simple gutter and a couple of tools, we've now created the perfect DIY garden for any urban environment! All that's left to do is show your plants to their new home, then sit back and watch them flourish from the comfort of your own deck chair.

beta