Larry Hall in Minnesota has come up with a very interesting and highly productive gardening system you might want to look into. This gardening system is perfect for renters, tiny house owners, those who travel a lot and can’t oversee the plants except once a week, and those with limited garden space and/or bad soil. If you ever have to move, you can pack up everything in an hour and go.

The benefits go on and on and I hardly know where to start because he keeps innovating and adding new features. At the core, the rain gutter grow system is a self watering container gardening method. You can use plastic buckets, barrels or grow bags for containers. The containers soak up water from the rain gutter using a ‘net cup’ on the bottom of each container. This system is relatively inexpensive and easy to build. Here are the directions if you want to make some: How To Build The Self Watering Rain Gutter Grow System! (101)

The best advantage in my opinion is containers provide the perfect growing environment if done correctly. In contrast, it’s very time consuming to build up perfect soil throughout a garden, but it’s much easier to do with containers since fewer materials are required. Using this system, the plants get exactly what they need. They soak up water at the rate they want, and Larry explains how to make the perfect growing mix with peat moss, aged manure or compost or worm castings, and perlite. Larry loves to try new things. He puts grow bags in kiddie pools, raises earthworms, adds earthworms in the containers and is even experimenting with biochar. His YouTube channel has dozens of videos that explain everything in detail.

Larry Hall’s YouTube channel


Larry Hall’s Rain Gutter Grow System — 20 Comments

  1. We have the gutter garden system set up and it’s doing great. However I just looked and I have mosquito larvae in the water. What do I Do?…

  2. Do I keep my rain gutters continually full of water because I fill them in the morning, by evening they are empty. My tomatoe, squash and cucumber plant turning yellow and brown then dying from starting at the and higher every few days. Am I under watering?

    • I think the rain gutters should be full all of the time. That is why they use the float valves to keep them full. I suspect your plants are drying out too much.

  3. I designed a deeper net cup for use with 4” pvc for printing on a 3D printer.
    You can find it on thingiverse under model 3681543
    It’s free for personal use, but it is not commercially licensed.

  4. Have a problem with my buckets staying too wet. Not caused by rain. So wet than my tomato plants die shortly after planting. Can’t figure what the problem is?

  5. Hi,
    I’m planning to build a raingutter growsystem at my remote cottage. The one thing I cant find on the internet or in the youtube channels is if you can start seeds in a 5 gal bucket or bag. I understand that little plants as tomatos etc can be transpanted at that this wirks good in this system. But to start say carrots in a 5 gal pail, will that work and how. I would love to see Larry explaning how he does that. Hendrik DeWit, Ontario Canada

    • Will the algae build up cause a problem and if so how do I deal with it? Due windy conditions I have secured the 5 gal.buckets to the 2×4 frame.
      Thank you for your attention.

  6. Hi Larry, I’m another Larry writing from our shop in Hugo MN. I got your name from Brian Graffius, the guy with the new Grobucket insert for use in 5 gallon pails. We’ve developed a unique strap on 3D trellis for 5 gallon buckets. We’re calling it the Pail Rider. It’s similar to a trellis we have on our website we call the Topiary Container Trellis or TCT. Would you be interested in selling them?

    • Good to hear that. I’ll take a look at the video.

      Update: He has an updated video that shows his latest kiddie pool and grow bag ideas. He recommends adding pea gravel so there’s no problems with algae and mosquitoes. You can even dress it up with mulch on top etc. I like Larry because he keeps innovating and coming up with improved grow systems.

  7. We might try some container tomato plants using his soil mix in our greenhouse. People are having good success growing tomatoes in plastic totes.

    You can use drain pipe instead of rain gutter to keep out mosquitoes.

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