Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

General discussion regarding the techniques and methods used to successfully grow tomato plants in containers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old January 23, 2012   #1
whistler
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: PA
Posts: 100
Default Gutter Gardens - Are They Safe?

Someone sent me a photo today of a couple of rain gutters that were attached to the side wall of a house and planted with lettuce / onions / radishes, etc.

Sounds like a brilliant idea to add extra growing space, but I'm concerned about possible issues from growing in a metal (aluminum) container.

Anyone here know if this is safe for growing food, or who I can contact to ask about safety issues? Perhaps I could line the gutters with plastic first (more $$$ though...)?

I suppose a gutter planter would easily work for flowers, but I could really use the extra space for salad greens and such.
whistler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23, 2012   #2
Wi-sunflower
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,200
Default

Unless you are using old recycled gutters, many of the gutters available at the building stores ARE plastic.

I haven't seen them on the side of a house, but I have seen systems using them for lettuce in greenhouses.

Carol
Wi-sunflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23, 2012   #3
BigBrownDogHouse
Tomatovillian™
 
BigBrownDogHouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northern Illinois ZONE 5a...wait now 5b
Posts: 907
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whistler View Post
Someone sent me a photo today of a couple of rain gutters that were attached to the side wall of a house and planted with lettuce / onions / radishes, etc.
There's a few folks in the neighborhood that have their annual maple tree gardens growing in their gutters every late Spring.

Opps! Guess that's another topic!
__________________
Brian
BigBrownDogHouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23, 2012   #4
Worth1
Tomatovillian™
 
Worth1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Austin TX Metropolitan Area
Posts: 9,326
Default

I have new aluminum seamless gutters and I feel they should be used for what they were intended for.

Rain drainage away from your foundation.

The idea of filling them with wet soil could only promote rot on your house---maybe.
Besides there is no way I could talk my wife into collecting lettuce with a ladder.
Not with a store down the road.


Worth
__________________
Dont feed the homeless and they will go back to their natural habitat.
Worth1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23, 2012   #5
whistler
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: PA
Posts: 100
Default

These would be new gutters, totally separate from my existing house gutters, which would still be used to keep the water away from the house foundation.

I'd like to attach the new gutter gardens to my deck railing for easy access.
whistler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23, 2012   #6
Zana
Tomatovillian™
 
Zana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,687
Default

Whistler,

Are you thinking about hanging these on the walls rather than at the edge of the roof to grow the lettuce? I've seen this, using the widest available gutters....and mostly plastic ones. I've also seen them mounted at different levels on fences for vertical gardening in small spaces. As long as you cap the ends you should be good.

But the plastic could break down over years of exposure to UV rays.

Zana

added - You were obviously adding the above post when I wrote mine. Should work on the railings with no problem. But use wide ones.

Last edited by Zana; January 23, 2012 at 06:25 PM. Reason: adding
Zana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23, 2012   #7
Keiththibodeaux
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 466
Default

Odds are your a months worth of your deodorant has more aluminum than you will ever get from your lettuce.

Last edited by Keiththibodeaux; January 23, 2012 at 07:11 PM.
Keiththibodeaux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23, 2012   #8
Worth1
Tomatovillian™
 
Worth1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Austin TX Metropolitan Area
Posts: 9,326
Default

Well in that case go for it.

Worth
__________________
Dont feed the homeless and they will go back to their natural habitat.
Worth1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23, 2012   #9
jennifer28
Two-faced Drama Queen
 
jennifer28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital
Posts: 963
Default

When my husband and I moved into our house a few years ago, there was a metal gutter garden system attached to the side of the cement wall of our garage. It was pretty cool. We bought this home because of the numerous gardens and beds set up all over the property. We bought the home from the daughter of the original owner. She told us he had this gutter design for at least ten years and they grew many different crops in it. The man and his wife lived well into their 90s, so I don't think the gutter gardening harmed them. Sadly, the daughter took down the gutter garden system before we closed on the house. We actually wanted it left there, but oh well. Anyway, sorry for the ramble, but I think if it is set up correctly it is fine and won't hurt you or your house foundation.
jennifer28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3, 2012   #10
bigmeanmamma
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 18
Default

Whistler someone sent me an email about gutter gardens too! I have a fence that I could attach plenty of rows on. The aluminium was a concern to me too. I was thinking of maybe using pvc cut in half lengthwise but it looks like vinyl gutters might be an option.

It seems like they would need drainage holes added.
bigmeanmamma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3, 2012   #11
RebelRidin
Tomatovillian™
 
RebelRidin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Maryland's Eastern Shore
Posts: 992
Default

Very cool idea! Sounds great for lettuce, spinach, radishes...

Plastic gutters will be UV stabilized too so sun should not break them down too quickly. Could easily last a decade. if the are mounted properly with sufficient fasteners/support.

For drainage you could just drill some holes. If you have rows of them you can water & feed from the top
/..................../
, , , , , , ,
, ,
...................

let it trickle on through to the next and then drop down to the next row and so on....


Way cool

I need a taller fence!
__________________

George
_____________________________

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure."
Thomas Jefferson, 1787
RebelRidin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3, 2012   #12
Zana
Tomatovillian™
 
Zana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,687
Default

You could always create a freestanding frame to hold them and skip the fence...thereby making sure you can have it where you get sufficient sunlight. You could probably stack them about 4 or more high. Hmmmmm...might have to get busy on my drafting table.

Zana
Zana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3, 2012   #13
laspasturas
Tomatovillian™
 
laspasturas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 57
Default

I've seen them done with plastic and metal guttering. The metal holds up much better under the weight of the soil and looks nicer in general. The plastic can lose a little of its form and start to look a bit saggy.
laspasturas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 4, 2012   #14
amideutch
Tomatovillian™
 
amideutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Germany 49°26"N 07°36"E
Posts: 4,619
Default

Gutters became a favorite of hydroponic growers using the NFT (Nutrient Flow Technique) especially for lettuce as well as strawberries. PVC and aluminum are the materials of choice. Whether you do it hydroponically or use them as a planter filled with growing medium there are a lot of advantaves to this type of gardening. Ami

http://www.homegrown.org/profiles/bl...raingutters-as
__________________
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways,
totally worn out, shouting ‘...Holy Crap .....What a ride!'
amideutch is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:00 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2014 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★