Loxahatchee resident Drew Kelso knows a thing or two about gardening.
However, he got the surprise of the week when he came outside to clean his gutter Wednesday and found that, of all things, a tomato vine was growing inside
“I thought it was a weed, and I had to take a double take,” he says. “I came outside and there was a tomato on it.”
The trail he says leads back to his tomato garden on the ground nearby.
“Birds get in the tomato cage and once they get out, they do their thing and it ends up in the gutter.
He’s says he’s now the envy of his neighbors.
“A lot of people were saying they wish birds would come over and do that for them,” Kelso says.
Experts say they've seen seedlings of invasive plants growing out of gutters - but never tomatoes.
They say conditions inside the gutter likely created the rooftop garden.
“There’s probably leaf debris, suitable substrate for that seed to germinate, develop roots,” says Christian Miller with University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Or if you want a simpler explanation from Kelso…
“This is my redneck hydroponics!”
Thursday, he moved his gutter tomato off the roof and into more fertile ground, hoping the transfer doesn’t affect the eventual rewards.
“I’ve transplanted a few of them…certainly not from a location like that. It’s a little different.”