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.
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).
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 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).
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 😦
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!!
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??