How to Build and Grow a Lettuce Gutter Garden
How to build the gutter garden.
Using a sawzall and a metal cutting blade, I cut the gutters into four pieces. Well, with help for the husband. The first two gutters are complete gutters that have the down spout hole and the third and bottom gutter is made up of the two leftover pieces. It was just the way I layed it out so the downspouts of the gutters would be the gardens drainage.
Plant in your gutter garden.
After the soil settled, I sprinkled my seeds, as even as I could, throughout the gutter. I tried not to get right against the edges. My zone is 8a and for me March is the time for me to plant lettuce or when I measure the temperature of the soil and it reaches about 50 degrees F. I use a simple meat thermometer to measure the temperature of my soil anywhere in the garden including the gutter gardens.
Addition of old window screening.
This screening barrier has been working great in so many ways. It has kept falling nuts and obtrusive animals out but also allows water and sunlight to get in. Being a mesh netting the rain water actually gets trapped on the screening and drips slowly onto the soil.
You can see to the left how the lettuce has absolutely no problem germinating under the window screening. But it is a problem when the lettuce and spinach gets too big for the screening but hasn’t grown enough to be removed. So I came up with a genius, yes genius, way to give the lettuce more room, old electrical wire bridges. All I did was find some unused…not attached to electricity mind you…thick electrical wire, cut it into pieces that fit my gutters and raised up the screening, and stuck them in. I use three per gutter. Make sure you cut your window screening a little longer then the gutters so when you raise it up, everything will still be covered. Once your lettuce grows in fully, you can remove the bridges. Typically, the squirrels will leave my gutters alone once they are full of greens.
The window screen also helps during those crazy and out of character snow storms. My tender spinach is being protected from the nearly of two inches of snow in this picture. The screen kept the heavy snow from crushing the plants and kept off the ice burn that may of taken place. It is very easy to throw the snow off as well; just lift of the window screen.
Now it’s time to harvest and eat your own lettuce!