For its newest growing system, Daylight Design has moved outdoors. The Gutter Garden is a simple hydroponic system composed of 5 foot lengths of vinyl rain gutter connected in series with PVC pipe. A small pond pump in a water reservoir (5 gallon bucket) keeps water flowing gently through the system. The Gutter Garden is ideal for growing lettuce and other greens in Daylight Design’s Feetpots™. The “feet” hold the pots above the water running through the gutters, and a wick pulls water into soil in each pot.
As outdoor temperatures began to drop this fall, we added a row cover to cover the plants and a heater (bird bath de-icer) to the water reservoir. The heater turns on when the water temperature reaches 35 degrees. So far, this has been enough to keep the greens healthy and thriving, even on nights when temperatures dipped into the low twenties.
The next big test comes with the advent today of snow and freezing rain. For this eventuality, we added a frame made of PVC pipe to support the row cover. Will this simple greenhouse-like structure keep the lettuce crop safe from the elements? We will let you know.