Drainage holes in 100 gallon plastic stock tank

markjg(7)June 8, 2014

I'm fairly new to gardening and container gardening. I am trying my hand at growing Phyllostachys Aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' bamboo in a 100 gallon Rubbermaid stock tank. I found an amazing deal on them, shipped. The outside measurements are 53"L 31"W 25"H. I drilled a bunch of 3/4 inch holes in the bottom, maybe too many... but its too late now. It also has a drain hole and cap but I didn't really plan on using it.
I knew the measurements of the tank before it arrived and I knew it was going to be deep. But this thing is HUGE! But its going to be awesome! I plan on building a wood surround for it. The only other options were much shorter at about 12 to 14 inches and I felt that wouldn't support the 18' or taller height that these plants will grow to in a container. So I plan on using plastic bottles in the bottom of the tank to take up some of the space at the bottom. Im thinking about a single layer of gatoraid / oj bottle size containers would be good instead of using Styrofoam.
Should I use garden fabric in the bottom of the tank to stop any dirt from washing out or rodents from getting in? Though we don't really have many rodents around here. Would the garden fabric impede drainage? Ive also read of using a mesh screen, one or the other but not both. Do I need to do anything in order to prevent dirt from washing out? The tank sits on an area of my fenced in, paved backyard, where the pavers sit on a existing concrete pad(15'x8') I don't think there is any danger of the bamboo getting out and taking root. I also plan on setting the tank on 4 or 5 12x12" pavers because the structural walls underneath the tank will stop the flow of water. One paver on each corner and maybe one in the middle. I will be using miracle gro potting mix and a layer of natural cypress mulch.
I'll post pics when the project is finished. I plan on moving forward tomorrow after work because its starting to get hotter and the two bamboo plants had to be placed in temp pots because I ordered them online and the stock tank hadn't arrived at that point.
Thanks!
Mark

This post was edited by markjg on Sun, Jun 8, 14 at 19:52

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markjg(7)

side shot

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 7:55PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Screen door screen

    Bookmark   June 8, 2014 at 8:00PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

Yeah, you don't need anything for the bottom. Not enough soil will wash out to worry about. But screen wouldn't hurt.

Using bottles as filler I understand due to the cost of that much MG mix. But I've never tried anything like it (well one deep pot with a brick in the bottom that did okay).

Keep us posted!

Good luck,
Dennis

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 2:47PM
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markjg(7)

Thanks for the replies.
I think the screen door type of screen may become clogged with dirt and block the drainage holes. I have garden fabric laying around here and that might work better long term than the screen door screen material. IDK
I know a few people who use the Styrofoam and Ive read online about using plastic bottles. I think it will be ok. I wont be eating the bamboo ;) and it shouldn't off set the center of gravity too much. I think the bottles will save me about twenty some dollars or more on dirt and some poundage on the weight.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 2:57PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Screen door fabric won't clog like you think it will. Drainage doesn't really work that way. I have used it on hundreds of pots over the years.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 4:02PM
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alynne68

Hi Mark,

That is HUGE! I have 4 20 gallon pots on my balcony that I grow peppers in. I use empty water bottles to fill the bottom 3rd and have never had an issue. It makes them much easier to move and seems to enhance drainage. One thought with a container that big, you want to water fully but less frequently. One issue I have is run off. Where does the water that pours out the bottom go. Mine drains off the balcony into the garden below but is not the best solution. Something to think about.

Good luck and want to see what you do!
Alison

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:05PM
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johns.coastal.patio(USDA 10b, Sunset 24)

100 gallons is 1/2 cubic yard. If you have a buddy with a truck you can get that much planting mix in bulk, for maybe $20-60 at a guess.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 9:49PM
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hempsteadjb

May I ask where you ordered the stock stock tank from? I'm working on my container garden now and those are expensive at the livestock stores.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 2:02PM
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markjg(7)

I bought the 100 gallon Rubbermaid tank for $77 shipped to my house from zoro.com I found a coupon for 15 off online. Just look around. it was the first time I used the site and was very happy. They use a delivery service which will call you to set up a drop off. It arrived in about a week after I ordered. The tank is a little taller than I would like. I wish I could cut it with a sawzall or circular saw but I think it would crack.
http://www.zoro.com/g/Structural%20Resin%20Stock%20Tanks/00058140/

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 2:20PM
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markjg(7)

I almost would have liked to have two smaller pots but I couldn't find anything for my bamboo. Now I'm afraid it will all be too tall...

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 2:21PM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Why do you think it's too tall? Aesthetics?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 9:55PM
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