Victory Garden – now with more gutter gardens!

So, on a suggestion from my co-gardener Alisha, who has friends who are redoing the gutters on their house, I decided to give gutter gardens (albeit in modified form) a try in the Victory Garden, as well.  The story follows.

Construction

The design you see here is another Michael A Repas Special (namely: it is from scratch and overly well-secured with more screws than are entirely necessary, but will never EVER fall apart as a result).  Came up with this as I went along, but from the beginning I figured the basic design of the compost tumbler’s base was sturdy and rugged, so start there – 2×6 pieces of pressure treated lumber so it could be free-standing (early on, I recognized that the fence in my yard likely isn’t strong enough to be load bearing, so I nixed that part of the plan).

The rack is built, with one gutter for sizing

The rack is built, with one gutter for sizing

My schedule being what it is (unholy, busy, unnatural), I have done a lot of “come home after work and then make progress on the gutter rack until after dusk” evenings recently.

the gutter rack is approx the same height and dimensions as the compost tumbler

the gutter rack is approx the same height and dimensions as the compost tumbler

due to my work schedule, many nights of working under moonlight have occurred

due to my work schedule, many nights of working under moonlight have occurred

The basic intention with gutter gardens is to do leafy greens and have them thrive… but I figured if I was going to build a rack, it would make sense to include smaller gutter sections on the sides, for spices and the like (especially things like mint, which will spread like a weed if left unchecked).

planting some alma paprika indoors to get it prepped to go outside. Please listen to this while viewing this image.

planting some alma paprika indoors to get it prepped to go outside. Please listen to this while viewing this image.

MFALCON easily handles gutters longer than its internal length

MFALCON easily handles gutters longer than its internal length

The actual gutters we were going to get from Alisha’s friends came in an initial installment of two 6’ish foot sections, with some rust on them… which, after a slowdown in the ETA on the remainder of the gutter getting to us and considering the longevity of the pressure treated lumber rack versus metal… I realized I would just go get vinyl gutter new from the ‘Depot, to make this project last for many years to come.  The gutter itself was less than $6 per 10 foot piece… the damned fitted end caps, however, were not so cheap 😦

wooden shims, even cracked, are a cheap and low profile way of securing the gutters to the rack

wooden shims, even cracked, are a cheap and low profile way of securing the gutters to the rack

a little bit of end cap silicone'ing prior to work so I can go home and plant

a little bit of end cap silicone’ing prior to work so I can go home and plant

Extra gutters, extra planting

To get the 6-foot sections of vinyl gutter I wanted, I had to buy six 10-foot sections of gutter… which meant a fair amount left over.  Given the six 1-foot sections for spices on the sides of the rack, that left four 4-foot sections and an oddball size… which meant a small stand-alone inclined plane for the uniform sections; and then bolting the metal gutters and  the remaining oddball vinyl piece to the side of the raised beds, within which I will try my hand at growing corn!

(photo of stand-alone gutter sections)

(photo of the corn gutters mounted to the side of the raised beds)

Composite garden, next to the compost

The other, other, other, other, other (etc ad infinitum) way I spent money at Home Depot on this Victory Garden was on three large, blooming foxgloves, which were on sale for $3 each.  Though the Transmogrifier compost tumbler does a good job of keeping the smell down, it does still smell directly around it; also, I love to try and leave places better than I found  them… so I am going to buy seeds of different perennial flowers native to this area of CT, and plant them in this small flower bed (and perhaps around the yard), as an investment in the house’s future once I am  gone.  Plus, it will make the air around the Transmogrifier smell better, too!!

Planting

SO.

After a lot of work in rain, shine, darkness, and calm… and then 10 days spent at home, things have begun sprouting rather nicely, wouldn’t you say??

planted and sprouting

planted and sprouting

 

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