GARDEN: Ingenuity on the Home Front

first of all: we spent a LOT of moments outside over the weekend. Not all work–lots of play (& bicycle riding).

but we accomplished a great feat. at least it feels nice to have come up with an idea, put it into action, and it seems to be working…

We created these ‘shelves’ for the walls of our greenhouse. It’s not the world’s largest greenhouse, perfect size for our backyard garden really, but we want to make sure that we’re getting the most benefit from it. So, some sort of shelving system was in order. While building shelves wouldn’t have been a horrible option, it’d be difficult to build some that weren’t so deep that they crowd the space, and we most likely would have used wood which would have meant we’d need some type of container for the pots & water on top. It all sounded pretty costly…

So, we’ve been thinking. Inspired a little by a friend who used gutters as bookshelves in her room, and a little by this toy the kids enjoy, we came up with the above pictured contraption. You water at the top and it flows down, through a hole into the next gutter keeping all our little seedlings watered thoroughly. Best part is we can line all the walls of the greenhouse with them as we have the need.

What did we have to buy?

  • 1 2×4 board
  • 1 10foot piece of aluminum gutter
  • 4 gutter supports
  • 4 gutter end caps

Total cost: approx $12 & for $6/2 shelves we can add to our hearts content! It’s terrific, really. Not to toot my own horn or anything–but for once my ideas were the major contributors to solving our garden needs. I think we both walked away feeling like engineers.

Spring is in the air around here–on top of these seedlings we have many sewn in our garden beds. It is still February, but surely the trees wouldn’t be budding and the bulbs wouldn’t be peeking through if it weren’t time for new growth!


  • Daisy Posted February 21, 2011 12:35 pm

    What a great idea, using the gutters this way! Love it!

  • Annie Posted February 21, 2011 1:27 pm

    This is a really great idea! We need to figure out a much better solution for our indoor seed starting this year. This is especially true with the growing season being so short in Vermont- having seedlings that are healthy and ready to go when we finally hit our frost free date (Memorial Day weekend!!!) is key.

  • Joy Posted February 21, 2011 2:42 pm

    That's awesome, Lacey! What a fabulous idea!

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