Last year when the big ice storm hit our town a huge tree limb fell on our roof leaving a lot of damage. One of the things that was damaged was the 50′ long gutter on the front of the house. It took MONTHS to get it replaced (if you want to see steam come from my ears, get me talking about dealing with contractors and insurance companies), but eventually we got a new gutter installed. I made the contractor leave the damaged gutter. I’m sure he thought I was crazy, but I’d seen something on Pinterest that I wanted to try.
If you have read my earlier blog post about my raised beds, you know that the soil in my area is nothing but acidic sand. The first year we were here and I started a garden I amended and amended the garden patch with loads of compost with little affect. Anyhow, I’d seen on Pinterest how someone had taken gutters and used them to plant strawberries, so I wanted to give it a try.
I had to cut the seamless gutter in twain and close up the open ends before mounting it to my privacy fence. I also took a large nail and hammered holes through the bottom of the gutter every six inches or so for drainage. After I got all that finished, I put leaves in the bottom of the gutter to keep the soil from running out with the first rain. Then I filled the gutters with ‘Mater Maker compost (made here in South Carolina) and planted the bare root plants I’d gotten from parkseed.com (another SC company). I had 75 plants, so I was only able to get 50 of them in the gutters. I had to put the other 25 in other beds around my yard. So far they are looking beautiful! I’m anxious to see how well this works out. I know I’ll have to run some drip lines up there, but that’s fine. I always have to do a lot of watering here in the summer, but maybe this will minimize the amount of water I’ll need to use on my strawberries.