Using galvanized containers as planters is a clever and economical way to bring a bit of farmhouse style charm to your garden! Here are some tips for successful container gardening using galvanized buckets, troughs, and tubs!
I’ve been really drawn to the idea of using galvanized containers as planters this year and I’ve been on a bit of a mission to make it happen! First, I figured out how to age cheap shiny galvanized containers naturally so that I could plant to my heart’s content using inexpensive dollar store buckets for my farmhouse style container garden. You can read all about that here: How to age galvanized metal containers.
Next, I did a little research and narrowed down the steps that I would need to take to ensure that when I used my galvanized containers as planters, it wouldn’t be a total disaster. It turns out that the whole process is pretty simple but there are some critical steps that you’ll need to take and some things to watch out for if this sounds like the kind of project you’d like to try too.
Galvanized Containers as Planters
So here’s how to start your galvanized container garden!
Once you have your containers and you’ve aged them thoroughly if that’s what you’re choosing to do, you’ll need to drill a few holes in the bottom of each container for drainage.
A few 1/4″ to 3/8″ holes about 2 inches apart should do the trick! (If you’ve never drilled through steel before don’t worry, most common drill bits will quickly and easily cut through this super thin material. Just be sure to wear proper eye protection and tie back any long hair.)
Next you’ll want to add something in the bottom of your containers to increase drainage and also to make them a little less heavy. These big planters can get really hard to lift if you fill them up completely with soil and you always want to be able to move your planters to safety if there’s a storm coming.
Something like those plastic packing pillows filled with air, packing peanuts, or wood chips works well for this.
We always have a ton of wood chips that we use all over the place, so that’s what I used for this.
Drainage is Important For Healthy Plants
You can raise your planter up using a few old bricks to help even further with drainage if your planter will be sitting on a solid surface that might block drainage. This is also a helpful tip to make a few planters look a little taller if you have a big group of them and want to vary the heights so they look nice grouped together. We have a pile of old bricks behind our garage and we’ve come up with so many ways to use them over the years! Those things always seem to come in handy. My PSA for today: Never pass up old bricks if they’re ever offered to you! 🙂
One you’ve taken care of drainage, all that’s left to do is to fill your planter with some potting soil and get to planting!
The Plants We Used
I really love the way this planter turned out. Here’s what I planted:
- Creeping Jenny
- Salvia “Salsa White”
- Dusty Miller
- Purple Heart
- Sweet Potato Vine (The dark purple-y kind. Can’t remember the exact name.)
Metal planters can get a bit hot in full sun in some climates, so consider using these galvanized containers as planters for shady or partially shady areas if the plants you’re using don’t love a lot of sun and heat. You can even plant trailing vines around the perimeter of your planter so that they hang down and provide a bit of shade to the base of the container in a pinch.
Remember to water your containers well to remove any air pockets right after you’ve planted in them!
And that’s all there is to it!
Have you ever used galvanized containers as planters before? What kinds of plants worked really well in them for you?
We’re adding several new planters like these again this year, but you already know that if you caught Courtenay’s previews and preparations for our spring planting season on Instagram stories. Follow us @creeklinehouse and don’t miss a thing.
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- How to Make Cut Flowers Last Significantly Longer
- The Creek Line House Gardening Project Archives
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.