Galvanized WashTubs In My Cottage Garden

11 years ago

About 15 years ago I wanted to create a display using containers. I didn't want to be constantly watering and I wanted something that was long lasting. I liked wooden barrels but I had to replace them every few years because they rotted out on the bottom. I saw these 17 gallon galvanized wash tubs at my local farm store, and thought that I would give them a try.

Holes were punched in the bottom for drainage. I spray painted them with one coat of primer and two coats of paint specifically designed to be used on metal.


I have used them over and over through the years and they have never had to be repainted. I always set them on rocks or bricks to keep the bottoms from sitting on wet ground. The handles make it easy for two people to move the tubs around the garden. I use a soiless medium to keep them light weight. These tubs sit out in the sun all day, and the plants have never suffered from the heat.

The owner of this shop has had tubs on her front porch for years. She left them unpainted but added wooden legs. This is her spring planting.

After the spring plants fade she replants with summer flowers. The boxwood is stationary throughout the year.

I leave them outside all year. In November I insert stems of all types of evergreens into the soil, and they look fresh until they're removed for early spring planting. Flee markets and garage sales are great places to find old wash tubs, and if they have a few holes on the bottom, that's better still.

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