Monday, September 13, 2010

Chapter 5 - Galvanized Wash Tub Planters

We love planting in galvanized wash tubs.  They're a quick way to fill in our sometimes bare landscape and they're a cheap planter when compared to many of the planters you can buy.  The galvanized tubs resist the bugs that plague whiskey barrels and are deep so roots grow thick and long - great plant protection for the heat of summer.
We love using galvanized
 wash tubs for planter.
They're deep enough for healthy roots
 and yield a big splash of color.
Plus, we think the metalic nature of
the tubs attract nature's energy
exciting the plants to grow bigger, naturally!

We love the way galvanized wash tubs look in our rural, farm setting.  We leave them silver just like they come from the feed store.  They rust a little over time and get a dulled patina but some of ours are going on 10 years and still look great.  We have stated using galvanized buckets as hanging planters, too, but keep them to a minimum.  Too much of the same idea gets to look over done, boring and tacky.

Recreating our galvanized wash tub planters at home is easy. Begin by turning them upside down.  Use a  thick, heavy nail and a hammer to poke holes about 3 inches apart all over the bottom.   We poke about a dozen holes in the bottom of a 24 inch in diameter wash tub.

Place the tub where you want the planter (it will get too heavy to easily move when filled) elevating it off the ground with 3 bricks arranged in a wide triangle underneath.  (The bottom needs air circulation.)   Move the bricks around until the planter is level and doesn't rock.

Fill the planter to within 2 inches of the rim (to prevent run off when watering) with 1/3 compost, 1/3 dried leaves or leaf mold and 1/3 potting soil.  Toss lightly to mix.

Add your annuals over planting so they fill in closely and form a mass of color.  We use 12 to 16 pansies or impatient plants per 24 inch wash tub.  Water in well.  Water as needed keeping soil slightly moist but not soggy.  We water daily until the plants are established (about 2 weeks) then about twice a week or as needed.

We love multicolored pansies in the cool season but prefer white impatients for the summer.  The white color of the impatients gives a cooling touch to our otherwise hot landscape.

Both pansies and impatients grow well in our soil and climate.  The mix of compost, leaves and soil offers the best food for annuals and helps them quickly fill the planters.

Deer don't seem to bother our planters even though they love impatients.  Guess there's just too much other stuff for them to eat.

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