What to do with a big galvanized water trough?

lantanascape(z6 Idaho)May 22, 2009

I just bought a water trough on Craigslist. It's not as deep as I was hoping to get. It's one of the oblong galvanized metal troughs, and is about 4'9" long, 2' wide, and about 1' deep. Before I start scavenging and purchasing planting mediums for it, I need to decide how to use it. I have a few thoughts:

1) Blueberries. We tend to have alkaline soil here, so I could use peat in this container and make a nice acid soil for the blueberries.

2) Watermelon and/or pumpkins. I don't have room for long vines in my main garden, but I could put this on our concrete patio and let the vines sprawl as much as they want.

3) Strawberries. I imagine I'd have less trouble with slugs this way, but I've also been thinking about doing strawberries in hanging buckets.

4) General veg - I have a space I could put this between my raised beds in the main garden. It would be easy to access and I could grow lots of smaller veggies and herbs that I frequently use - basil, jalapenos, lettuce, etc., and it could have perfect, rock-free soil for root crops.

Is there any chance I could turn this into an Earthtainer? I'm not sure if it's deep enough at 12", but I haven't done much reading on how to construct them. I've just seen them made out of the Rubbermaid containers...

Thanks for any input, I want to put this to good use!

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mauirose(11)

Keep in mind that however you use it the metal will heat up in the sun and crisp the plant roots nearby. i built my raised beds from corrugated metal and notice that whatever i plant close to the edge has a little trouble.

i like your idea to use it for pumpkins/melons. Me i'd sink down about 3/4ths of the way and fill it with night blooming water lilies ; )

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 5:10PM
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gardendawgie(5)

pumpkins need much more space in my opinion. never tried pumpkin in a container.

I would do strawberries and lettuce. melons might work. you have to try it to see what happens. smaller melons not the huge 100 lb watermelons. Peppers should work well.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 6:00PM
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lantanascape(z6 Idaho)

Thanks! I mulled it over this afternoon, and I think it's going to be my "fun" bed for this year. That is, instead of growing food in it, I'm going to use it for some bushel gourds and Indian popcorn that I have seed for. Since they're just ornamental, it won't be any big deal if they don't produce. I know it will be less than ideal for corn pollination, but there's always the stalk-shaking. :)

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 6:38PM
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