Anyone use stocktanks for veggie containers?

catherinet(5 IN)September 12, 2007

Hi all,

I had a couple 100 gallon tanks split last winter. I tried to fix them, but it only worked on one of them. I just can't lean over in the regular garden much anymore because of my fibromyalgia and my funky legs. I have a bunch of 30-50 gallon Rubbermaid containers in the back yard that I've been experimenting with for growing veggies. But they are cracking and breaking after only a couple of years. So....I was thinking of using those 100 gallon tanks for veggies. That's a huge amount of soil.......but I might not fill it to the top to start with. I could probably get 4-6 tomato plants in one stocktank.

I could even put a picket fence around it so it wasn't so ugly.

Have any of you ever used the stocktanks for growing veggies? Just wish the ground wasn't so far down!

I read on the container gardening forum that some people use bales of straw in the bottom of really big containers. But I'm thinking that might get alot of mold.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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sheepco(MN z4)

Am I wrong here? One square inch of soil weighs less than one square inch of water right? So the tank full of soil, even moist, weighs less than the tank of water, right? Look on freecycle or put a sign out front 'free fill wanted' (read that here somewhere:), set one of those suckers on 6 cement blocks, put a little lattice or wicker fence around it and plant it! And the cracks give you drainage...bonus!

I made my new raised veggie bed out of concrete blocks...looked like a crypt...'til the cherry tomato fell over the side, the 1 sweet potato vine spread and the green beans bushed out. Now it's attractive. And at the back of the yard who cares? Functional is beautiful in almost every way.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:45PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Don't forget to add lots of organic material to the dirt (lighten it up even more)...leaves, ashes, compost, etc.

Let me know where you want the 3 cubic yards of composted sheep manure delivered...your dime right? ;)


    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 10:51PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

In my really deep pots, I use styrofoam peanuts with a layer of landscape fabric on top.

I'd paint those tanks with some funky color and let them be a landscape feature (this is coming from one who has a planted bathtub on her back deck :^)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:00AM
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I've seen where people just use bales of hay, without putting them in any containers. Cut a hole out of the center of the bale (not all the way down, of course...LOL), and you have a planting hole! I've only seen tomatoes planted that way, though. :)

What a great bunch of ideas! DH has been wanting to grow his own stuff for years, but I've been hogging the front yard with my ornamentals. :D The back yard is scary, but would be less so using stock tanks! Thanks for the info!


    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 12:14PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

The hay bale gardens showed up in Mother Earth News and Organic Gardening. I haven't tried it though.
On the subject of fibromyalgia, which I have had for 20+ years, I have been taking a new medication (new as in new on the market, not just new to me) that is for my damaged sciatic nerve and back rebuilding. It is called Lyrica and it was originally for diabetic neuropathy. I got it for one problem and found out it worked for the fibro as well. Several friends have been on it, too, for their fibro although in greatly reduced amounts. I just read that the FDA has approved it for fibro. You might ask your doctor if you could try it. It is quite expensive but if your insurance covers it you can throw everything else away. It is not a cure all but it is remarkable how much it helps. I am not afraid to move for fear of the pain any longer. I still have pain and I will never get back to my former activity levels but I don't cry any more either. That is a great improvement. Sandy

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 3:47PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks everyone!

The 30-50 gallon containers I've been using are okay. But I sure would like something more waist level. I would LOVE to have someone build a big section of raised beds.....and I really mean RAISED. I could get back into loving gardening again (if my wrists hold out).
I'm like you Sarah........functional all the way!
I'm thinking of drilling some drainage holes around the side at the bottom, about 2-3" up. That way, the soil wouldn't stay wet, but the water wouldn't just all leak out either.
I think I'll cover those drainage holes with some hardware cloth, as I don't like mice moving in!
I've never used styrofoam or perlite or that other stuff (can't think of the name). I like everything organic.......but it does become a bit compacted. I use composted garden/kitchen stuff, and composted chicken poop and bedding. I would like to lighten it up even more though. My back yard is becoming stocktank city! hahaha
I have 2 big ones in the ground and 3 above ground.......then I'll have 2-3 more for the veggies.
Let's see.......what else can I use them for. hahaha
I saw a pic of a big one being used as a spa/pool. It looked like fun!

Sandy........I've had fibro for about 12 years and I was pretty lucky not to have tons of pain......until now. Now my legs ache constantly. I can't take NSAIDS, so I'm taking tylenol and worry about my liver. I get so many side-effects from so many meds. Then its so hard to get off them without rebound pains. But this pain has increased so much that I might be willing to try something like Lyrica. Sounds like it would help all the buzzing/tingling I have everywhere too. Sure wish we were born old and got younger!
Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 5:05PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

I have used styro peanuts before, but unfortunately they can be a real mess if you have to empty a pot --- all over the yard. Now I put empty pop cans or squished plastic bottles in the bottom of my big containers...takes up space so you use less soil and makes them lighter.

(OMG, I sound like Martha S!)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 11:11PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

LOL Sarah.........only if you made those big containers yourself, while waiting for your pate sucre to chill for those 100 lemon tarts you're making for the 100 guests you're having for a small luncheon, after which you will finish building those 5 new state-of-the-art chicken coops and make handmade linen napkins stamped with images of ferns that you grow in your forest. And this was all in just one afternoon. :)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2007 at 8:54AM
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