Here’s a simple step by step guide on how to plant strawberries in a gutter. Using a gutter will help organize your strawberry plants and minimize weeds.
Not too long ago we planted strawberries in a basket, and they are doing great! We love strawberries and would love to have lots of them, so we decided to try to plant some in a gutter.
A few years ago the kids and I went to pick strawberries at a strawberry patch. We try to help the kids understand that food doesn’t magically appear at the grocery store. So growing and harvesting food is a great hands on way to teach them this.
We had a great time picking strawberries and ever since Mark and I have dreamed of having our own little strawberry patch.
Why Plant Strawberries In A Gutter?
Strawberries can be a little challenging to maintain. It can be difficult to manage all of their little runners if you don’t have a defined space. If you have a large space for growing strawberries you’ll want to maintain organization of the strawberry plants. If all the little runners just start sprouting up everywhere and producing berries it could become difficult to pick the strawberries without stepping on or smashing other strawberries.
Growing strawberries in a defined and organized area might be your best bet.
This is one of the main reasons we’re using gutters this year. Using gutters to plant strawberry plants will keep the strawberry plants in an organized row. And we’re also hanging the gutter from a fence rail about 4 feet from the ground. This year we’ve had quite a few rabbits help themselves to the garden, so hopefully these strawberries will be out of their reach!
In addition to keeping your strawberry plants organized, using a gutter will help cut down on weeds. Just like raised beds have fewer weeds that are easier to pick when the beds are filled with quality soil, the gutter will be much the same.
Materials Needed For Planting Strawberries In A Gutter
- 2 gutter end caps
- Silicone caulk
- Caulk gun
- Cordless Drill
- 3/4 in drill bit
- Hidden gutter hangers
- wire and pliers (this may not be necessary depending on the length of the gutter)
- Strawberry plants
Directions For Planting Strawberries In A Gutter
Follow these simple steps for preparing the gutter for strawberry plants.
Where Will The Gutter Hang?
First you’ll need to decide where you are going to hang the gutter. This will probably determine how long your gutter can be. Strawberry plants prefer lots of sun, so remember to consider that when choosing the location for your gutter.
We are using a 10 foot gutter that we cut down to about 9 feet. A 9 foot gutter will fit just about perfectly between two fence posts.
But your space may be different. Determine how long you want your gutter planters to be, and then cut them to length.
Then using a 3/4 inch drill bit and a cordless drill, drill drain holes into the bottom of the gutter. Mark drilled the drain holes about 8 – 10 inches apart.
The drain holes will allow for proper soil drainage. Without them it can be easy to over water plants, causing their roots to sit in excess water.
Sealing The Ends
Next, using the caulk gun apply the silicon caulk to the gutter end cap. The silicon caulk will hold the end cap in place on the end of the gutter. This will keep the dirt and water where it needs to be.
For best results, read the directions on the tube of caulk. Our caulk needed at least 2 hours to dry.
Hanging The Gutter
Using the cordless drill and the hidden gutter hangers, hang and secure the gutter to the location of your choice. We are hanging ours on the fence that runs in front of our garden. The top fencing rail is about 4 feet off the ground. Unfortunately, this year Peter Rabbit has really made himself at home in our garden. So hopefully at this height we’ll be able to enjoy the fresh strawberries before the rabbits get them!
If your gutter is on the longer side like ours, I would recommend using some self tapping screws every so often along the gutter to help it attach securely.
Get Ready To Plant!
Now you’re ready to fill the gutter with soil. Be sure to choose a rich soil that can supply the strawberry plants with all they need to grow and thrive.
The soil definitely adds some weight to the gutter. Since our gutter is 10 feet long, Mark felt it was wise to provide a little extra support. He used some wire that was leftover from another project. Mark wrapped the wire around the gutter a few times and used pliers to twist the ends making the wire fit snuggly around the gutter. This extra support will help the gutter keep its shape.
Mark is adding the final touches to the wire supports.
These strawberry plants look like they need some water! With a little TLC hopefully they’ll spring back to life soon!
What Are You Going To Do With All Those Strawberries?
Try these delicious recipes!
And remember strawberry tops make excellent treats for your backyard chickens!