Lowe's Home Improvement
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Fence Gutter Vegetable Garden

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Green up a plain fence while keeping pests out of your vegetable garden. Turn pieces of gutter into containers for an attractive herb garden or leafy produce.

Hanging herb garden on fence

Project Overview

Skill Level

Intermediate

Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost

$$$$$

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Miter saw or handsaw
  • Drill and bit set
  • Tape measure
  • Pocket-hole jig
  • Square
  • 120-grit sandpaper

Materials

  • 2 - 10-ft Genova vinyl gutters, #12066
  • 8 - Raingo vinyl outside end caps, #12068
  • 8 - Raingo vinyl gutter brackets, #12072
  • 2 - 1 x 4 x 12 pressure-treated boards
  • Raingo rust-resistant screws, #12079
  • Liquid Nails wood adhesive, #6306
  • 4 - #8 x 1-1/4-in panhead stainless-steel screws
  • 2 - galvanized 1-in corner braces, packs of 2, #122215

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Instructions

Step 1

From 1 x 4 pressure-treated lumber, cut two pieces 62 inches long and four pieces 34 inches long.

Good to Know

If your pressure-treated lumber feels wet to the touch, allow it to lie flat and dry out until water no longer beads up on the surface. Wash hands thoroughly after handling treated lumber, and wear breathing protection when cutting.

Step 2

 Drive pocket-hole screws

On a flat work surface, lay out the two horizontal frame pieces and four vertical pieces upside down as shown on the Gutter Garden Frame Project Diagram. Follow the instructions that came with your pocket-hole drilling jig to drill two holes at each joint. Apply Liquid Nails adhesive and screw the frame together.

Step 3

 Drill drain holes

Use a miter saw or handsaw to cut the plastic gutters into four 5-foot lengths. Use sandpaper to clean up the cut ends and attach caps to both ends of each piece. Drill 1/4-inch drain holes near the left end of two sections and near the right end of the other two.

Step 4

On the back side of the frame at the top, use a square and pencil to mark lines 1-3/4 inches and 17-3/4 inches from both ends (centered above the vertical pieces). Hold a 1-inch corner bracket with the corner even with the top of the frame and mark the screw hole location where it crosses the lines. Then drill 3/32-inch pilot holes for the brackets.

Step 5

  Measure the gutter bracket locations

Draw centered lines the length of the two center boards and extend the lines over the two horizontal boards at each joint. Measuring down the left line from the top edge of the frame, mark the line at 2-1/4 inches, 13-1/4 inches, 24-1/2 inches, and 35-1/4 inches. On the right side, mark the line at 2 inches, 13-1/2 inches, 24-1/4 inches, and 35-1/2 inches. This allows the gutters to tilt slightly and drain excess water.

Step 6

 Screw gutter brackets to the frame

Align the gutter bracket top edge with one of the marks on a centered line and mark the mounting screw location. Drill a 9/64-inch pilot hole and use rust-resistant screws to fasten the bracket to the frame. Repeat for the remaining brackets. Avoid overtightening the brackets.

Step 7

Rest a gutter section with the drain holes on the left end loosely on the top brackets and inset 1 inch from the left or right edge of the frame. Tilt and press it into the upper brackets until it pops in place. Then install a gutter with the holes on the right in the brackets below that. Alternate left and right for the remaining two gutters.

Step 8

 Add the mounting brackets

Screw the mounting brackets to the back using the pilot holes drilled in Step 4. Hold the frame against the top crossbeam of the fence where you'll install it and screw the corner brackets to the crossbeam.

Step 9

 Add soil and plants to the gutters

Add a soilless potting mix containing slow-release fertilizer, filling the gutters to ¾ inch from the top. Then add plants and seeds of your choice. Harvest edibles such as lettuce regularly to free up room for new growth.

Good to Know

If you are growing edibles and have concerns about chemicals leaching from the vinyl gutters, line the gutters with #4 Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), commonly found in disposable trash bags. Be sure to include drainage holes.