2014 - Volume #38, Issue #4, Page #25[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Plant It And Forget It" Gutter Gardening System
“Plant it and forget it,” he says. “You don’t have to weed or water for 4 1/2 months, and the plant decides when it wants water.”
At first, he planted tomatoes in 5-gal. buckets set inside other buckets. But he needed to add water every morning and night.
“I loved the results, but it was too much work,” says the Brainerd, Minn., gardener.
After research and experimenting he developed his rain gutter system, which holds nine 5-gal. buckets, self-waterers, and costs less than $65.
In a step-by-step YouTube video (with nearly 105,000 views) he shows how to frame standard 10-ft. vinyl rain gutters with end caps inside treated 2 by 4s. Hall drills 2 7/8-in. holes in the bottom of each bucket (or pot) so that a 3-in. net cup (used in hydroponics) fits snugly. It allows water in the rain gutter to be drawn up into the potting mix to water the plant. Water is constantly available thanks to adjustable plastic floats ($9) connected to the end of the rain gutter. When the water drops to a certain level, the float opens to add more water. With additional plumbing, several gutters can be connected to one water source.
To ensure that the buckets stay in place on the rain gutter frame, Hall suggests zip tying them to stakes driven in the ground.
“I have over 100 buckets that are filled with all types of vegetables,” Hall says. He appreciates the results - both for the food he grows for his family and for the feedback he gets from his YouTube fans.
A charter high school in New York built nine systems. A UK gardener sent him photos of her system with lush tomato plants growing. Older gardeners write him that gardening is fun again. Plants are at a good height, there is little - if any - weeding and they don’t have to guess when plants need watering.
With a following of gardeners all over the world, Hall has posted a number of YouTube videos of his gardening ideas that include details of products he uses and where he finds them. Just type Larry Hall into YouTube.com.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Larry Hall, 12276 State Hwy. 210, Brainerd, Minn. 56401 (ph 218 232-9448; firstname.lastname@example.org).
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