Salad garden, round two.

Rain gutter salad garden

Our rain gutter salad garden.

We’ve been enjoying fresh spring mix planted in our little salad garden. It’s am improvised garden made with rain gutters and attached to the rails of a deck just behind our kitchen. I got the idea from some similar gardens I’ve seen on the internet. To help compensate for the limited amount of dirt it can hold, as well as regulate the moisture in the soil better, I used another trick I found on the internet and lined the bottom of the gutters with diapers. I used free samples we’ve accumulated over time.

Rain Gutter Planter

For the last few months, we’ve been harvesting enough salad for one meal for four people, roughly every other day, plus enough for my two daughters to take with them for lunch. After months of service, the lettuce plants started getting a bit leggy, so we finally took our last harvest and pulled the remaining roots. I’ve added a little bit of soil to compensate for lost soil and replanted, so in a few weeks we should be enjoying a fresh new batch!

A couple of lessons learned: Small salads, like the spring mix work very well, while other vegetables, like the red chard I tried grew to only eight inches high and became root bound. The chard was delicious, but the time to grow and size limitation make it far less efficient in the size container the gutters provide.

I really like the way they look on the bannister, and although I have a good size yard, using these allows me to very conveniently water and harvest the greens. There’s also an additional benefit. The house lies on a hill, so the deck is effectively on a second floor. That keep pests away, so there’s no need for any pesticides. Organic and fresh, awesome!


Deer force early harvest!

The deer were my friends. Really. Not in a “Bambi, I <3 you, let me hug you” kind of way, but in a “I respect your right to exist and won’t bother you as you eat stuff out of my yard” kind of way.

For a time, everything was fine. They ignored the ugly potato plants in favor of other, more succulent treats, like the narcissus flowers and stems along the fence. I never bothered them, nor approached them, just watched and enjoyed seeing them feed as I had morning coffee…and life was good for all.

Deer in my yard

The fawns striking a "Charlie's Angels" pose.

The whole story, after the jump!

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