Then the bugs moved in! Slugs and pill bugs and earwigs, mostly, and I knew my tender lettuces and herbs didn't stand a chance without changing the plan. So we developed the HANGING GUTTER GARDEN (concept by me, and many before me, with a little help from my friend Google; and design and build by my strong and handsome manfriend, Brian).
The first build failed, resulting in all three gutters, and a coupla hundred pounds of soil, crashing down on each other. With some design and stabilization adjustments, they're back up, a few weeks strong now. The plants are thriving in this location. They get the right amount of sun, some nice air movement, and they are up and away from the worst of the garden buggers.
I planted a pretty good variety to see what would take. In the top, which gets the least amount of sunlight, I have sage and a variety of lettuces. The other rows have arugula, kale, chard, strawberries, thyme, and radishes.
On the far ends in the ground are broccoli and my overachieving cucumber plants (seen the middle photo)--they are getting signs of a few pests, but my midnight bug checks have been fruitful, and the beneficial insects (mostly lady bugs, praying mantids, and spiders from what I've seen) seem to be keeping things in check. These plants are extremely healthy. And we're starting to fill our plates with the lettuces and arugula at this point in the growing season.
What do you think? Is this a good use of space? Or is my hanging gutter garden trashing up my yard?