Grow Strawberries in Upcycled Rain Gutters


I was browsing the Internet one day, and saw a photo of strawberries growing 8-10′ off the ground in containers that looked a lot like rain gutters.

What a great idea! But I didn’t have a place that I could build something high off the ground like that. Hmmmm…what I do have is a nice, sunny spot of the house next to the herb garden.

Old pieces of rain gutters

I remembered that there were a few pieces of old rain gutters behind the garage, so I dragged them out to see if they would work for what I had planned.  Yep!!!  Three lengths that would fit nicely under the window above the herb garden.

Three pieces of old rain gutters
Three pieces of old rain gutters

Cleaned, ends capped and seams caulked

I cleaned them off with a little soapy water, rinsed them off with the hose, and let them dry off in the sun. While they were drying, I went to Home Depot and got 6 end caps for $1.50 each, and then went over to the discount store and picked up some wrought iron brackets, which were also $1.50 each.

Fitting and crimping the end caps
Fitting and crimping the end caps

I fit the end caps on each end of the gutters, and crimped them on with some pliers.  It took a little wiggling and struggling to get a few of them on, but eventually, I got all six caps on.

Caulking the seams
Caulking the seams

Next, I got out the caulk gun and laid a heavy bead of caulk along the seams of the end caps.  After I got the caulk on, I ran the tip of my finger over it to smoosh it into the seam and smooth it out.

Fill with potting mix

Once the caulk dried (I let it sit for about two hours), I filled the gutters with a mixture of peat moss and potting soil. Then I transplanted the everbearing strawberry plants I had growing in a strawberry jar.

Wrought iron brackets hold the gutters

I measured for where the brackets would be placed, and pre-drilled the holes for the screws.

Pre-drill for the brackets
Pre-drill for the brackets

Positioning the gutters

Since the gutter pieces were three different lengths, I used the longest one for the bottom and have the shortest length at the top, just under the window. This is what it looked like when I was done.

Filled with soil and planted
Filled with soil and planted

The entire project cost $19.50!

The roof overhang keeps heavy rain from beating down on the plants and washing the soil out of the gutter/planters. Since the area is in full sun for a good part of the day, I watered the plants a few times a week.

Runners make more plants!

Once the plants began to shoot off runners, I moved the runner so it would root in the spaces I left between the plants for just that purpose. If the birds happen to discover my new strawberry garden, I have a length of Bird-X netting all ready to tack on to the shingles, and drape over the planters.

The first strawberries
The first strawberries
I planted some marigolds in with the strawberry plants
I planted some marigolds in with the strawberry plants
And the plants attract butterflies too!
And the plants attract butterflies too!

Planting the strawberries up off the ground is saving so much space, and is also keeping the berries clean and ready to eat!

Strawberries & Herbs
Strawberries & Herbs

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