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Strawberry gutters....help!

Posted by onafixedincome z8-9 CA (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 12:38

Okay, I'm trying something new this year to keep the slugs, snails and chickens out of my strawberry plants. I was thinking about somehow hanging gutters on the chain link fence (going post-to-post, not on the netting) but can't figure out the best way to support the gutters so they don't buckle or cave.

Is a 1x2" board behind the gutter, sufficient? What's the best way to fasten the gutters to the board and fence?

Any assistance is most appreciated--I've about 70 plants waiting for a decision here.... :)


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RE: Strawberry gutters....help!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 14:09

Let's talk about feasibility for a sec, first? You'll be planting in the gutters? How deep are they?

Al


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RE: Strawberry gutters....help!

Deepest and widest I can find--not sure of dimensions--I'm going to be looking at the roofing places to see what I can scrounge as my finances are sharply limited.

Soil is no problem--it's vermicompost of a rabbit manure base.

I know I'm not a lot of help, huh.... :( Sorry...


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RE: Strawberry gutters....help!

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 22:30

If your container is shallow, you're going to need something that drains very fast. Gutter material is typically about 3-1/2 - 4" deep, so if you try using a soil that supports 3-4" of perched water, as many commercially prepared soils do, you're going to end up with problems, so please keep that in mind, both when you select your container, and when you decide on a soil. If you do decide on a bagged soil, do come back so we can talk about how to set up your container, and I'll help with some tips that will help make sure you can get it to drain well.

Al


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RE: Strawberry gutters....help!

  • Posted by alameda 8 - East Texas (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 23:43

I saw a tip in a gardening magazine about starting seeds in gutters. As luck would have it - I had to replace a gutter, so now I can experiment. I plan to have holes drilled in the bottom of the gutter for drainage. I will have it mounted on a fence on a board [I have horses - will put it in a place they cant reach]. The only thing I plan to plant in it is daylily seeds. It will be near a water source so wont dry out [unless I forget to water]. I wouldnt think gutters would be deep enough to grow plants with much root system, but you never know until you try! Good luck.


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RE: Strawberry gutters....help!

Interest in growing shallow rooted plants in gutters attached to fencing is catching the attention of many gardeners. In this case I would suspend a gutter on a chain link fence with nylon clothesline rope looped twice around the gutter, knotted and then tied to the fencing, each rope support spaced about every 2'. Should be easy to set up. The gutter will need gutter end caps at both ends to prevent soil from washing out. Holes poked in gutter for drainage. I would use tapla's soil mix which should drain well. Here in the south I have friends who have winter grown lettuce, chards, mesclun and cold hardy herbs in gutters with success. Suspect strawberries should also be happy and most attractive dripping over gutter side.


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RE: Strawberry gutters....help!

I'll be using my 'usual' soil for around here--rabbit manure-based vermicompost, mixed with a higher-than-usual amount of DryStall to make sure the drainage is good and that the mix will last a while.

The problem with tying as described above is that there is a strong tendency for planters tied short like that to rotate withn the tie and dump or sag. If you used a longer tie...hm. Obviously some experimentation is in order. :)

Looking forward to doing this--after reading a lot of the posts here, I think it might actually work...! :)


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RE: Strawberry gutters....help!

Please update us when you get it up. Sounds like a interesting idea and good use of old gutters!

Jane


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