How To Build a Gutter Garden: DIY Guide
Originally contributed by Daniel Read
Daniel is a self-taught handyman who believes that anyone with a can-do attitude is capable of any home renovation project. What he lacks for in skill, he makes up for in spirit. His mantra is that there is a spirit of a handyman inside all of us.
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
- Drill Gun
- Indoor/Outdoor Silicone Caulking Gun
- 2 Gutter End Caps
- Gutter Nail Sleeves
- Gutter Nails
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.
Position The Nail Sleeve
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.
Secure Gutter To Railing
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.
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.
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.
Transplant Plants Into Gutter Garden
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.