A little gutter update

It’s been almost a month since we built our gutter garden, and a few days ago we had our first salad from early greens.

Check it ouuuut.

See the sugar snap peas climbing up my make-do-with-what-you-have trellis? It doesn’t look pretty, but the peas don’t mind. This is something I inherited from my dad. Why buy a trellis when our house’s previous owner left this fence thing behind the shed?

And that’s our sage on the right. I picked that up in the alley behind our last house. Someone left it by their trash can — another trait I inherited from my dad. Thanks, Dad!

The sage plant is one of two outdoor plants that survived David’s birth. Everything else shriveled and died under the harsh combination of August in Richmond and neglect.

Back to the gutters. We had sprouts almost immediately.

The buttercrunch lettuce is doing great, and so is the arugula.

Arugula is delicious. I want to eat it on everything. Sandwiches, salads, pizza, my morning cereal.

We have some very very early spinach (spinach seems to take a little longer to mature. We have more mature spinach in the planter seen here.)

The mesclun is the only thing that’s not faring well.

It’s eaten up, and half of the seeds didn’t even sprout. Inchworms have descended into our yard like paratroopers, so maybe they’re the culprit. Interesting that they don’t bother the other greens, but they’re all over the mesclun.

I’m also wondering if, because it’s higher and harder for me to check, the top gutter isn’t getting the water it needs.

We’ve had some warmer weather and I’ve been trying to remember to water more.

Hopefully we’ll be eating from the gutters for a while.

Never thought I’d say that.


  1. Candace April 18, 2012

    Looks awesome! Well done Amanda!

  2. Katherine April 25, 2012

    Cute gutter comment at the end.

  3. Allyson Reed May 24, 2012

    This looks great!! I am definitely going to take your advice about the extra watering! Do you think it would help to put one of those soil/bed/planter liner things in the bottom? Like maybe it would hold more water that way?? I am new to gardening, so I have no idea. Thanks for the update!!

  4. tomamanda May 24, 2012

    If you mean a liner to stop drainage (so water would pool) then I’d say no. Most plants grow best with LOTS of drainage, and pooling water could cause mold, etc. <br>I drilled a lot of holes into my gutter (you can see them in my first post) and I’d say you need at least half the number of holes I have, that might help. They don’t need a ton of water each time, just frequent waterings. (hope that makes sense!)

  5. shaina June 14, 2012

    Inchworms! Oh my gosh thank you SO MUCH for solving that little mystery for me! Yes, they love my mesclun as well.

  6. Melissa June 15, 2012

    so great! Greens do well in cooler weather, right? I’m thinking of planting some containers at the end of the summer so we can have some fall salads.

  7. shaina June 19, 2012

    I know it’s been awhile but I thought I’d chime in to agree not to let the water pool. I would try adding peat moss (either mix with soil or layer on bottom &amp; top). It helps retain the moisture, drains well, and is really lightweight.

  8. […] gutters are still doing great, but the only thing growing in the ground is grass and our neighbor’s […]

  9. Marilyn April 12, 2013

    Gutter Gardening is such a great idea!


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