K-Guard Kansas City Blog

How Gutters Can Help (or Hurt) Your Garden

Who doesn’t love spring?  For garden enthusiasts, spring is especially exciting with it’s inherent prospect for change and potential to bring natural life, color, and vibrancy into the world.

Prime Planting Season

The early weeks of spring are the perfect time to start a garden. There are many reasons for this:

  • Nurseries and garden departments of home improvement stores aren’t as busy as when the weather gets warmer. Thus, you have the pick of new stock.
  • More time is available for your plants to establish strong root growth. A hearty system absorbs more nutrients for healthy and robust top growth of flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Shock is reduced when you move a plant from one garden area to another or from a pot to the ground. Starting early allows for a longer adjustment period. In turn, these plants become as bountiful as your perennials.
  • More time is given to plan your garden’s structure. Placement of various plants is determined by the amount of regular shade and sun. It’s also structured by the amount of water needed.

Irrigation Methods

It goes without saying, but keeping the ground surrounding your plants hydrated is extremely important no matter what the season. During the early spring and late fall, moisture keeps nutrients flowing through the root system even during freezes. On hot, dry summer days, watering early in the morning or after sundown staves off dehydration.

The best way to water your garden is through a sprinkler system or a simple spray-down with the hose. The former method insures regular maintenance, but the latter can be a challenge due to other events or if you simply forget.

How Gutters Can Help Your Garden

Watering the plants via hose or sprinkler is convenient. However, it guarantees an increase in your water bill. If you’ve noticed this in the past, then you may want to consider more natural methods, such as using the rain water from your gutters to channel garden irrigation.

One way to do this is to place a rain barrel at the bottom of the downspout throughout the year. During rainstorms or snow melts, water will drain from the downspout into the barrel.

From there, hook up a gravity irrigation system. This is done by attaching a hose to the barrel and letting the water flow through it to filter into the garden. Either the barrel or the hose need to be at a slight decline to allow the water to disperse.

Another option is to irrigate from the gutters themselves. Placing a rain drain at the bottom of the downspout provides an even distribution of water. Some of these drains come punctured so they act as a natural sprinkler system.

Prepping the Gutters

Gutters can be useful if they’re properly maintained. This means the channels and downspouts need to be clear of debris.

The K-Guard leaf-free gutter system does this automatically. Because of its design, nothing but water flows through the channels. Therefore, what’s distributed through the garden is just as clean as when it fell from the clouds.

If you don’t have a K-Guard system, you must clean the gutters before implementing this process.

How Gutters Can Hurt Your Garden

Not keeping gutters clean is one way they can hurt your garden. Not only can leaves and dust get mixed into what comes out of the downspout, but also natural waste matter from bird droppings and other rodents.

The bacteria within this matter causes issues once it seeps into the ground. And this means potential problems as your garden’s root system absorbs it. Instead of gathering nutrients, it can collect bacteria, which will eat at the plants in your garden.

In addition, gardens that are close to the home can be susceptible to problems if the gutters are not properly maintained.  When the gutter channels are clogged, not only is there a risk of bacterial contamination, there’s also a chance water will spill over the gutter during heavy storms. Too much liquid can “drown” a garden by over-saturating the root system.

Gutters as Gardeners

To utilize your gutters as a natural irrigation source, follow these steps.

  1. Purchase a K-Guard leaf free system. This guarantees fresh rainwater will be delivered to your garden after each storm.
  2. If you can’t purchase a system now, clean the existing one. Don’t leave any debris in the channels or downspout. Flush with a combination of mild dish soap and baking soda if possible to break down bacteria.
  3. Tighten all connections. Having a channel collapse or downspout fall off won’t help your garden thrive.
  4. Secure rain drains and other irrigation parts. Make sure to follow all package directions and test ahead of time.

Once everything is set up, gutters can do much of the garden irrigation work.  Call K-Guard today at 913-229-7550 for a free estimate and discover the benefits of how K-Guard gutters can help your garden thrive.


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