Saturday, October 22, 2011


Water Trough Garden
I stumbled across this today as I was surfing the 'net and I am intrigued.  We are going to have raised bed gardens and as I was going to do the research, I found this: Using galvanized metal troughs, with holes drilled for drainage of course, as the raised beds.  Anyone seen this before?  Thoughts?  It's interesting!
UPDATE: I'm working on a blog article about this topic, coming soon!


  1. I am sure it would work just fine but the troughs are quite expensive here. It does have a pretty look to it.

  2. We have one of these for our mint and have loved it! Ours is taller than the ones in your pic and we didn't want to fill the whole thing up with good soil so we actually used empty water bottles and milk jugs to fill in the bottom half (which provides better drainage, as well) and then put the soil on top of those. The mint LOVES its home, it looks nice and we don't have to worry about the mint taking over any of our super limited space ;-)

  3. @ Bee Girl: I like the idea of maybe using them in a limited capacity, like for mint (that's SO invasive). I never thought about the milk jugs and such in the bottom, that's a great way to reuse a few of those and then keep things draining well.

    @ Becky: I hadn't priced them yet. Being in Houston, I would hope there might be some deals, but you never know. I'll let y'all know what I find. I do love the look (and it would save a lot of time in building beds!). ;-)

  4. It just so happens, I have 2 galvanized troughs that are holy or is the wholey? I am planning to try using them as raised beds myself. The two I have are different sizes and am trying to find a way to use them instead of tossing them into a landfill somewhere. I'll let you know how they turn out.
    As you are so close, perhaps a trip to see them will fit your schedule.
    RSK from New Ulm, Texas

  5. @ RSK: Definitely will have to see them. I'm going to do some more research on this. I'm not sure cost, hoping being in Houston and having rural cattle/horse ranches all over the area, they won't be that bad. It would certainly make for a quick and easy raised bed garden. Even if they weren't the main gardens, they'd still be cool to do something like a few tomato plants near the house, or herbs, or as was suggested above, mints. W also have some blueberry bushes, those might be nice in there, easier to control the soil conditions. I'm going to research them and post what I find.

  6. Hello from Portland,OR. We just bought several stock tanks for our garage top roof garden. The flat rooftop has been sealed and there is @ 3 inches of pea gravel on top. The garage roof is also sloped to one side for drainage. I'm wondering if I fill the bottom of each tank with rocks or other material for a drainage space and unplug the tank's drainage plug (on the side about 2 inches from the bottom)- do I still need to drill all those bottom holes?


    1. Hi there! A roof top garden, that's cool! First, I'm assuming you've checked it out for load bearing limits! I would think you'd be ok, but I would definitely want to make sure that nothing could block that drainage plug from the inside. If for example, a rock or some dirt clogged it up, you might run into trouble in getting it to drain. Of course, if you had it loaded up and did run into troubles, you could, most likely, drill holes in it after the fact (as long as you didn't hit some rocks). Is the slope steep? If it's subtle, you might still need some extra holes because the water would have to really be able to flow toward that plug. Of course, if it's fairly steep, you could have trouble with water washing soil out of the top?

      It's easy to have it empty, put water in it, tilt it at an angle and have the water drain out fast. But if it was full of soil, you might not be able to get that strong of a flow. I would make sure the drainage space is well above the plug so as to keep dirt from clogging it.

      Good luck, keep us posted!


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