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My Gutter Salad Garden

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I’m soooo excited! After pinning a gorgeous picture of someone’s gutter garden a while back, I got my husband to make me my own! I shared last week some plans for my “real” garden – but it’s 2 miles away and not the most convenient for when I just want a quick herb or a bit of lettuce. So I decided that a gutter salad garden would be a lot of fun to try.

And wouldn’t you know it? We had some old gutters lying around – perks of a husband in the remolding business… He drug me out to the scrap pile a couple weeks ago and I picked out my gutter.We decided to attach it to the side of my porch – right inside that door is my kitchen so it’s only a few steps for me to grab my herbs.


The first thing we had to do was cut it to size. Then he installed the gutter mounting hardware and screwed it onto the side of the porch.


Then we drilled some drainage holes in the bottom.


Added a few rocks and then filled it with re-claimed dirt.


That icky looking porch floor has since been painted red. It looks much better. I should have updated my picture…Part of my spring cleaning is also to spruce up the outside of the house and make an appealing entrance. I’m on the lookout for thrifting finds! And I might go snooping around my father-in-law’s barn. He has all kinds of treasures waiting for me out there. But I digress…


Then, I planted about a third of the gutter with lettuce. And guess what I found growing out there this weekend? BABY LETTUCE! I’m so excited. I started some herbs in my basement to go out there when it warms up (and frost danger is over). And, I plan to plant more lettuce next week.

I also went out to check on my big garden. I haven’t really done much out there since I reported last week. I was excited to find baby peas today. I’ll have to get their climbing fence installed pretty soon. And, the green onions I transplanted from my old garden look great. I also weeded my strawberries and was glad to see them looking good. Finally, I found baby rhubarb – also at my house. I almost starting drooling over the rhubarb. Can’t wait for the rhubarb!

I get the biggest kick out of seeing things I’ve planted – actually growing. It’s such a thrill. And so, so easy. Really, if you’re on the fence about gardening, just give it a shot. It’s so incredibly worthwhile.

For more great gardening ideas, check out Jami’s Tuesday Garden Party. I’m linking this post up over there.

Linking Up: Tutorial Tuesday; Anti-Procrastination Tuesday; Handmade Tuesday; Frugal Tuesday; Hearth and Soul Hop; Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; Healthy 2day Wednesday; Simple Lives Thursday; Transformation Thursday; Creative Juice; Homestead Barn Hop; The Cure for the Common Monday; Monday Mania; Homestead Helps Wednesday Homestead Hop;

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About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankAngela says

    Hi Michelle,

    I love it! I am in gardening mode too; fixing up my compost, planting lettuce, spinach and turnips…and this gutter garden idea is fascinating. I think there were a couple of similar items in our yard when we moved in; tiny, long gardens on trays sort of. I will haul them out from the depths of the backyard and see what I can do with them, great idea!

  2. blankCarrie @ My Favorite Finds says

    Ok. This is one of the coolest things I”ve ever seen! I wonder if I could adapt this for our small housing division lot? This is awesome! Thanks for sharing at Handmade Tuesdays.

    • blankMichelle says

      As long as it doesn’t break any covenants you may have, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Good luck! I’d love to hear if you do anything like this. 🙂

  3. blankJess says

    My husband has the green thumb in our relationship. He loves to garden and I don’t mind the fresh and tasty produce. We just moved to the desert though, so figuring out what grows here and when has been quite the learning experience.

    • blankCorey says

      I recommend having him or both of you looking into Hydroponic Gardening; it is great for Desert climates (just have to keep the water cool is all). I am building a system out of 4 inch pvc, that will be wrapped in reflective paper, and during the summer, the reservoir will be partially burried to keep the nutrient/water solution cool. It would work for the desert as well.

  4. blankDiana says

    What a great idea! My husband built me a Salad Table for Christmas, which is kind of similar concept. However, my lettuce planted 2 weeks ago has caught up with the lettuce planted in the Salad Table back in late Jan or early Feb. Not sure if it was using leftover bag of plain top soil in the table — I was in such a hurry to get it done I didn’t bother with making or buying a better mix — or if the concept will work better here in the south for growing fall through winter.

    p.s. Like your comment verifier so much better than the wavy words that I can’t hardly read!

    • blankMichelle says

      Is it getting hot down there already? Lettuce is a cool weather crop. I’m hopeful that mine does well – we’ll see. Stay tuned for progress updates!

  5. blankMelinda says

    What a great idea! My big garden isn’t quite 2 miles away – but it is a far hike when one needs a little spinach for a salad!

    I’m also a home schooling mom living down in south central Iowa. I’m excited to check out your blog and get to know you better!

  6. blankBeth Anne @ Thrifty Living says

    Love this! I wish we had space for a gutter garden, but that’s not really an option in our townhome. Have to stick with our raised bed garden for the time being!

  7. blankAnn says

    This is one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever seen. Makes me wish we’d have had the gutter company leave some of our old gutter behind when we replaced ours a couple of year back. Happy growing.

  8. blankHeather says

    This is such a great idea! Reminds me of one I saw last year for strawberries. Sections of gutter in a sort of tall rack formation, with each level slightly angled down to the next on alternating sides so that, when watered from the top, the water would find it’s way to the bottom to be pumped back up. Really have to keep my eyes open for some gutter pieces. Thanks for another great idea!

  9. blankJen says

    Saw this on Pinterest. Such a great idea. I was thinking of something like this, but we are cutting a tree down this weekend to be able to allow more sunshine and expand our garden. We did plant spring veggies for the first time this year and have baby peas and beets. So exciting!!! Enjoy your new garden!!!

    • blankMichelle says

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll post progress – I so hope it works. 🙂 Congrats on your spring veggies. I have to get out there and plant more. I’m also growing beets for the first time ever. Not sure what I’ll do with them, but we’ll figure it out when the time comes.

  10. blankDeb says

    I love this idea! I too saw one on pinterest and want to plant a gutter garden. Can I ask… what type of lettuce do you have in yours? Also what else can you reccomend veggie wise that you think may do well in a gutter? Thanks so much for any info

    • blankMichelle says

      Deb, I planted a mesclun mix type lettuce. I also plant to plant a few herbs. I think spinach might do ok – definitely you’d want to stick with smaller veggies as the gutter’s not that deep. I’m guessing no carrots, for instance! 😉 I’m not sure what else I’ll plant in there. I’ll update when I add more!

  11. blankPolly says

    Michelle, about planting carrots: there are so many varieties out there! One called Parisian should work perfectly in your gutter garden! They are about the size of a golf ball…maybe a little smaller and round. Check them out…they should be perfect for your gutter garden!

  12. blankshiloh says

    what a super cool idea! It’s like a window box for your deck. I’ve never seen one of those before, but I think it looks so cool.

  13. blankJessica N says

    It looked like you used a metal gutter, is that correct? I would be cautious about using a vinyl gutter because of chemicals that might leach into your food. My only other caveat would be not using really old gutters if they’re painted and you don’t know for sure what type of paint they contain. This is an awesome idea though, I’d love to see some updated pictures of your gutter garden as it grows!

    • blankMichelle says

      Yes, metal – not vinyl. EEK! Great caveats. I’m pretty sure there’s no lead based paint on that thing, but I’ll take a look at that. And I will post pictures soon! 🙂

  14. blankCorey says

    Awesome Idea, Michelle! Is the gutter from the house/roof dumping into your gutter garden? Didnt look that way. Might be a cool way to water it (would probably want a carbon filter on it though). Thanks for sharing, glad I found your site!

    • blankMichelle says

      Hi Corey, No our house gutter doesn’t dump into that. I’d be a little worried that it would flood too much water into during a heavy rain, but it is something to consider! Thanks so much for sharing my post on your page. 🙂

  15. blankCynthia P says

    Wow! Who woulda thunk it . . . gardening in a recycled gutter? Well, you of course!
    What an utterly fantastic idea, and right outside the kitchen door, too!
    Now . . . to find me some old used gutters . . . . looking . . . . . looking . . . still looking . . . .

  16. blankAdrienne says

    What an awesome idea! I am bookmarking this so that when we get our own house again, I can be sure to include it in the gardening plans! This would be great and what a space saver. Thanks so much!

  17. blankSusan Estes says

    I have had a small garden in my front yard for several years and I do like fresh herbs. This would do well for the herb garden. Thank you

  18. blankCarla says

    HOA’s in our area would never go for this. However, it might work inside the back fence. I’m going to have to get creative. I believe personal responsibility is the key to being prepared for all of life’s events.

  19. blankVicki says

    I would like to put a gutter garden around my deck. The deck has no railing and has a deep drop off. I want to plant lemon grass to keep Mosquitos away and add a type of short wall (if you can imanige). I need to find out it the lemon grass will grow in shade. The trees canopy the whole back yard. Not much sun at all.

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