How to Garden in Galvanized Tubs

Written by julie tridle
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How to Garden in Galvanized Tubs
Grow vegetables in a galvanised tub. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Much of the appeal of container gardening lies in the creativity of choosing your containers. Galvanised tubs are great options offering a simple, rustic appeal. Galvanised tubs are inexpensive, spacious and durable, making them perfect for container gardening. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes and depths to add interest to any garden. You can easily purchase them at any hardware or home improvement store, or at garage sales, junk shops and thrift stores at a fraction of the price.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Hammer and nail
  • Electric Drill
  • Asphalt paint
  • Potting Soil
  • Seeds

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  1. 1

    Punch ½-inch drainage holes at 6 inch increments around the bottom of the tub, approximately 1 inch from the bottom. It's easiest to start each hole with a hammer and nail, then enlarge using a standard electric drill.

  2. 2

    Paint the inside of the tub with asphalt paint. This will protect plants from any potential reaction with the metal.

  3. 3

    Fill tub 3/4 of the way with potting soil of your choice.

  4. 4

    Plant your seeds choosing varieties best suited for the size and depth of your tub. Vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant or cabbage require ample room and are best suited for tubs 5-gallons or larger. Smaller vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, lettuce or hot peppers can go into smaller 3- to 4-gallon tubs. Read your seed packages to understand which plants are best suited for which container size.

Tips and warnings

  • Because they hold heat well, galvanised tubs are best suited for winter plants. For summer plants or in warmer climates, line the tub with an insulator, such as bubble wrap, before planting to avoid overheating. Make sure to puncture drainage holes into the insulation.
  • Though galvanised tubs look great in their metallic form, you can easily spray paint them for greater colour variety.
  • Take advantage of larger-sized tubs by using them for creative combination gardens. Try a salsa garden by combining tomatoes, peppers and cilantro in the same container, or a salad garden with all of your favourite salad ingredients.
  • Unlike other planters, galvanised tubs tend to look better the more they wear, making them great, long-lasting planters.
  • Due to their large size, galvanised tubs can't be easily moved after planting, so keep that in mind when choosing plants to plant in them.

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