Question Growing veges underneath gutters

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Dean, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Dean

    Dean Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Hi everyone! I'm a new member and have recently bought my first house. I am considering putting some raised garden beds in my backyard beneath some windows (picture attached). I'm wondering if it's a bad idea to grow vegetables directly underneath gutters with potential rain overflow or even bird droppings (they love to hang out on those gutters!).

    Anyway great community you have here! Look forward to being a part of it.

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,479
    Likes Received:
    677
    Location:
    Pomona, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Hi Dean, welcome.

    Some things to consider.
    Firstly it is not a good idea to put garden beds or plants right up against masonry walls (brick walls). The moisture gets through the bricks and can make the cavity too wet.
    Also there should be breather holes all along the bottom of the walls that should be kept clear as that is where all that moisture gets out and where air gets in to cause an air circulation through the wall.

    Next thing to consider is the aspect. What direction the wall faces.
    It could be too shady or too hot with too much radiated heat also.

    The least thing to consider is whether some birds will sit along the gutter and poop in your beds!

    So to design it properly, there should be a gravel, paver or concrete path right beside the wall below the level of the breather holes. This path should be kept free of any grass.

    Then if the aspect is right, you could put garden beds of some sort adjacent to the path. However, because of the width of the path, they would be far enough away from the wall so that any birds sitting along the gutters wouldn't be able to poop in the gardens.

    Problem solved! ;)
     
  3. Dean

    Dean Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Hi ClissAT,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond so throroughly, all great points you make. Your answer made me realise there are a few key details I have missed so apoligies for that.

    I wasn't planning to put beds right up against the wall as I'm aware of the weep holes in bricks that shouldn't be blocked. When I first moved in that whole wall was covered in an overgrown garden that had been neglected for years and the holes weren't accessible or even visible. I cleared the whole thing out to start from scratch but yes you're completely right, they should be kept clear. I was thinking of having any beds at least a foot away from the wall. You also make a good point about having a path there, it's a very strange design and I imagine the builders just took a shortcut not having one there. It's definitely something I will consider.

    The wall pictured faces north, and is one of the few places in my small backyard that gets full sun in winter which is one of the reasons I'm considering growing there. However I'm concerned it may be too hot in summer like you say with the heat from the wall. How far do you think a bed would need to be away from a brick wall to negate that effect?

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond :)
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,479
    Likes Received:
    677
    Location:
    Pomona, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    With regard to having raised beds, it is best to be able to access them from all sides.
    Therefore, the path by the house should be wide enough to get a barrow along without scraping your knuckles on the bricks.
    That also puts the bed a good distance from any radiated heat.
    However, one good thing about summer is that it is easy to deal with the heat and strong sun simply by putting a shade sail over the bed.
    Just hook it to the eaves under the guttering then to posts out beyond the beds and, whallĂ , summer shade! That also deals with the bird poop issue. Also remember bird pop is full of nitrogen which is good for plants.
    In winter you just take down the shade sail to make full use of the radiated heat to grow veg that your neighbours will be envious of!
     
  5. Paul Mathews

    Paul Mathews Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    Hey Dean, I would be careful planting too close to the house. There are a lot of things you have to consider, especially if you live in a heavy termite area like I do. That said, I have seen some pretty cool "water gardens" planted where the gutter drains are, but those are mostly ornamental (at least the ones I've seen). Also, living in Florida, I've had some of my shrubs get cooked by the heat coming off my walls. That might be different in different climates. Happy gardening.
     
  6. Dean

    Dean Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Thanks everyone. Some really good points and some things I hadn't thought of. Your advice is greatly appreciated - I'll try and get a plan in place before the Australian spring!
     
  7. Dean

    Dean Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2019
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Newcastle NSW
    Climate:
    Temperate (all seasons)
    Paul out of interest how close are those shrubs you mentioned to your walls?
     
  8. The Rubber Kitty

    The Rubber Kitty Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2019
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    I have had some friends who work in gardening and they said basically don't plant stuff withint about 6 inches minimum close to the house or about 15cm away from the house walls.

    One of my growing places is a 1.5m space between a shed wall and fence ... the side closest to the shed I am planning on 'paving' and having a raised bed again the fences with trelliss and stuff ... the side faces West so it will get the midday and afternoon sun so I will have to make sure that the plants like the hot arvo sun ^_^ @ClissAT thanks for the info too
     
  9. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    1,479
    Likes Received:
    677
    Location:
    Pomona, Qld
    Climate:
    Sub-Tropical
    When thinking what to plant in such a narrow space always be mindful of the fact that the plants will see the fence and shed walls as other tall plants and try to out compete them.
    This will cause the plants to grow tall and lanky and perhaps require staking when they otherwise wouldn't need stakes if grown in the open.
    Forcing a plant to grow so tall takes a lot of extra nutrition and energy which can cause health issues due to the plant being weakened.
    Vines are an exception but you'll find they only carry leaf along the top where they overhang the fence.
    And for sure they'll prefer the neighbouring side where there's more light coming onto them at a more desirable angle.
    And for sure that neighbour won't want that plant in that location!
    Its Murphy's Law!

    ;):)
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
Loading...

Share This Page