Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System 8/29/15
One of my most unique projects of 2014, the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System sat unused for most of the 2015 growing season. Our mission to Colorado slowed my gardening efforts this year, but in early August, I reactivated the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System and planted dill, peppers, broccoli and kohlrabi in the modified Dollar Store baskets. I had the seedlings, and I figured it would be a great test for the planter system and the plants. I didn’t expect much, but I am starting to get my hopes up that I will get some produce from this unique planter!
Larry Hall from Brainerd, Minnesota, developed the Rain Gutter Grow System out of a desire to grow tobacco and vegetables. He developed the system based on self-watering containers and hydroponic systems. Larry has a website with materials and information about Rain Gutter Grow Systems here. His YouTube channel and Facebook Group Pages are very informative as well.
My particular system relies on water wicking through 2″ net cups that sit inside holes drilled in a 3″ PVC pipe. The baskets are from the Dollar Store, and they contain a peat moss, vermiculite and compost soil mix. The Dollar Store baskets are lined with landscape fabric made into simple cylinders.
After two years of growing vegetables in this planter, I am pleased to say the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System works very well! I wrote about the Rain Gutter Grow System last year, and it was (and still is) one of my most popular posts. I need to circle around and discuss other styles of Rain Gutter Grow Systems and how one can build a system that is even more simple than the Hybrid system I am using.
The plants in the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System are growing very well considering how late they were planted. The basil, dill, broccoli and kohlrabi have decided to kick it into high gear, and I am planning on harvesting some basil this week for pesto.
The peppers, however, are growing very slowly, but I did not expect much from them. This is, after all, an experiment to see how fast things grow in the system. I planted them in late July/early August, so these were seedlings just a month ago.
I created two relatively short videos over the past week that focus solely on the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System. Please click on the videos below to see the change over the past two weeks.
I am pleased with the Hybrid Rain Gutter Grow System to date, but I am always looking to tweak things and improve them. While I was out in Colorado, I did talk with some hydroponic store owners and managers about converting this system to a hydroponic system. Adding a pump or even an air stone to help circulate or aerate the water in the tube might make this an even more awesome growing machine. I will continue to ponder changes and expansion of this system. I won’t lie: I have some thoughts and drawings hidden in my binder somewhere. More to come on that!