How to grow lettuce in a rain gutter

Updated February 21, 2017

If you have limited space, or if you just want to try out an innovative way of growing lettuce, you can plant it in reclaimed rain gutters. Rain gutters provide an ideal space for growing lettuce since they lettuce plants have shallow root systems. You can mount gutters on the side of your house or shed, along a deck railing or under a windowsill as a small planter. All you have to do is cut the gutter to size, cap the ends and drill holes for drainage -- no labour-intensive digging or tilling required.

Place the length of gutter on a work surface. Slip one gutter cap on each end and ensure they lock into place.

Turn the gutter upside down on a work surface. Drill 1/8-inch-diameter holes through the gutter every 6 inches along the entire length. The holes will allow the gutters to drain. Use a drill and 1/8-inch bit.

Position gutter hangers along the surface where you want to hang the gutter every 3 to 4 feet. Drive the included screws through the mounting holes in the hangers into the surface with a screw gun to fasten them in place. Slide the gutter into the hangers to lock it into place.

Add potting soil to the gutter and fill it up so that it is level with the top edges of the gutter. Smooth over the top with your hands.

Water the soil thoroughly with a watering can filled with water. Make a 1/8-inch-deep furrow along the length of the gutter, in the centre, with a trowel. Plant lettuce seeds into the furrow, planting approximately 60 seeds per foot. Cover over the seeds with potting soil and gently pack it down with your finger tips. Keep the soil moist at all times.


Sow seeds every three to four weeks to have a regular supply of lettuce.


Wear eye protection when operating power tools.

Things You'll Need

  • Gutter, any length you desire
  • 2 gutter caps
  • Drill
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Gutter hangers, with mounting screws
  • Screw gun
  • Potting soil
  • Watering can, water
  • Trowel
  • Lettuce seeds
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About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.