Gardening in rain gutters is all the rage these days. However, quite a few plants thrive in a rain gutter environment. The thought of strawberries in rain gutters may never have crossed your mind, but you can turn your humdrum gutters into a place to grow rain gutter strawberries and much more. 

Is It Possible to Grow Plants in Rain Gutters? 

Yes. Rain gutters can be used as makeshift planters by filling them with soil and plants. They can be hung vertically or placed on a flat surface, making them a versatile option for small spaces or urban gardening. However, ensuring that the gutters are cleaned out properly and have adequate drainage to prevent water from building up and causing issues is important.

What Type of Plants Can You Grow in a Rain Gutter?

Many plants can be grown in a rain gutter, including herbs, succulents, small flowers, and vegetables. 

Some examples of plants that may do well in a rain gutter include:

  • Herbs such as basil, thyme, and parsley
  • Succulents such as sedum, echeveria, and sempervivum
  • Small flowers such as pansies, petunias, and marigolds
  • Vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, and small varieties of tomatoes.

These are not the only plants that flourish in rain gutters. 

Several fruits love making a rain gutter their home, including: 

  • Strawberries – These fruits are an excellent option for rain gutters because they have shallow roots and are well-suited to container gardening.
  • Blueberries – Delicious pie-worthy blueberries can be grown in rain gutters. They prefer acidic soil and also need more watering than strawberries. However, they need more space than strawberries.
  • Raspberries – Raspberries are also a good option for rain gutters. They can be planted in the same way as strawberries and blueberries. In fact, you can plant all three side-by-side and have a berry bonanza growing in your rain gutters. 
  • Blackberries – Blackberries, like raspberries and blueberries, can also be grown in rain gutters.
  • Currants – Currants are also well-suited to container gardening and can be grown in rain gutters.
  • Grapes – Grapes can be trained to grow on trellises or arbors — they generally thrive in these situations the most — but can also be grown in rain gutters.

Keep in mind that some of these fruits, like blueberries, currants, or grapes, require more space, more watering, and a specific soil that is different than what strawberries grow in, which means you’ll need to have enough space and the right environment to plant these particular fruits.  

The Soil You Choose Is Vital to Successfully Growing Fruit in Your Rain Gutters

Let’s start with the type of soil you’ll need to grow your fruit: 

Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries prefer well-drained, acidic soil with a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. They also prefer soils high in organic matter and have good water-holding capacity. They also require high levels of organic matter and good drainage.

Currants and grapes prefer soil that is well-draining and slightly acidic. Currants like soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5, and grapes prefer soil with a pH between 6 and 7.

It’s important to note that these fruits may not grow well in soil with high alkaline levels. So, if your soil has a higher pH, you may need to amend it with sulfur or other acidic amendments to lower the pH.

Also, it’s important to pay attention to soil drainage. If the soil retains water, it’s necessary to improve drainage by adding coarse sand, rocks, or gravel. 

It’s important to note that when growing plants in a rain gutter, you’ll want to select well-suited plants for the conditions. For example, the weather in your region will affect your plant’s ability to grow and thrive in your rain gutters. 

It is also vital to ensure that the plants you choose to grow are manageable for the space available in your rain gutters. Also, the plants should be able to tolerate full sun and have similar watering needs.

As for Rain Gutter Strawberries: 

Strawberries grow best in well-draining, loamy soil with a slightly acidic pH between 6.0 and 6.5. They prefer soil that is moist but not waterlogged, and they require ample access to sunlight. They also grow well in raised garden beds or containers with good drainage.

Ready To Start Planting? 

Here are seven steps to follow to plant strawberries and other plants in a rain gutter successfully: 

  1. First, purchase or gather rain gutters at least 2 feet in length. Clean them thoroughly to remove any debris or dirt.
  2. Next, drill holes in the bottom of the gutters for drainage. These holes should be spaced about 6 inches apart.
  3. Purchase strawberry plants or other fruit plants that are suitable for container gardening.
  4. Fill the gutters with a potting mix formulated for strawberries or other fruit plants. Make sure the soil is moist before planting.
  5. Plant the strawberry or fruit plants in the soil, leaving about 6 inches of space between each plant.
  6. Once the fruit starts to ripen, harvest them regularly to encourage continued production.
  7. Enjoy your delicious homegrown strawberries or other fruit!

Here are some tips for maintaining rain gutter strawberries:

  • Water regularly – Rain gutter strawberries require consistent moisture to grow, so make sure to water them regularly. It’s best to water them in the morning so the foliage can dry before evening.
  • Provide proper drainage – Rain gutters tend to hold water, so ensure your gutters have adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  • Fertilize – Apply a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season to ensure that your strawberries have all the necessary nutrients to grow.
  • Prune – Prune off dead or diseased leaves and runners to encourage new growth.
  • Pest control – Keep an eye out for pests such as slugs, aphids, and spider mites, and take appropriate action to control them.
  • Provide support – As the strawberries grow, they may need support to keep them from falling out of the rain gutter.
  • Keep them in a sunny spot – Strawberries need full sun to grow, so make sure your rain gutter is in a sunny area.
  • Remove the old strawberries – Remove the old strawberries once they are done fruiting and replace them with new plants.

M & M Gutters & Exteriors Offers Superior Rain Gutters

M & M Gutters & Exteriors has trained professionals that provide top-notch services, which include several superb rain gutter options. Rain gutters protect your home and offer the perfect space for planting a mini garden of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Contact us today for an estimate!