vegetable containers: weekend project.
by victoria comment


vegetable garden in trough / sfgirlbybay

i’ve been wanting to plant a little vegetable garden here at the new house, but haven’t been able to find just the right spot. until i decided on these galvanized troughs i found on amazon. i’d been looking for these for a while after seeing something similar in stable cafe’s herb garden in san francisco, but i guess it hadn’t occurred to me that amazon would have such an item. they come in a variety of sizes, but i chose two at 4.5′ x 2′ (the 98 gallon size at just $150). i wanted to plant the garden close to the kitchen for easy access and since it’s all paved or stones, the galvanized troughs were the perfect solution because they could be placed on top of the stone pavers. they’d be a great solution for a lot of small spaces. oh, but one annoyance warning: they come with these big ugly stickers on them, so i used goo-gone and some boiling hot water and scraped them off with a knife. why stickers, why!?

vegetable gardens in galvanized troughs / sfgirlbybay

these tanks are meant to be used on farms as animal feeding or water troughs but lots of people use them for garden and vegetable beds and i love the way they look. we drilled holes in the bottom and added gravel for good drainage and then loaded them with some really good organic soil. we added a ton of water and mixed up the soil to get lots of aeration in there. and then we hit the local nursery — my favorite here in L.A. is sunset nursery because they have a great variety of good quality, organic plants, and they are super helpful. i got lettuces, kale, argula, carrots, tomatoes, zuchhini, cucumbers and a bunch of herbs. then i labeled everything with these copper plant stakes. so cute, right?

i can’t tell you how happy it makes me and how satisfying it feels to grow something that i can actually eat. wish me luck! and if you’re looking for a vegetable bed idea, try this out!

garden in galvanized trough / sfgirlbybay

galvanized trough and watering can / sfgirlbybay

garden herbs with copper stakes / sfgirlbybay

herb garden in galvanized trough / sfgirlbybay

copper stakes in galvanized trough herb garden / sfgirlbybay

29 responses to “vegetable containers: weekend project.”

  1. Those are gorgeous! Although I have a garden in my yard, I’m not an experienced container gardener, still I have to say it looks like you’ve got stuff packed in there pretty tightly. Looking at those mega-containers, I’m imagining you could hang pretty wooden or metal window boxes off both sides of both of them for more growing space. Happy growing!

  2. Hi, love the troughs as raised beds! Just a few bits of advice from an experienced raised bed gardener. You may want to get one more trough and take 1/3 of the plants from the two you have and move them. The tomato plants alone will get 3 feet wide. And the cucumbers do really well planted near a trellis, they love to vine and climb and can be controlled by using a trellis. I have planted a garden too close before and it becomes a jungle and you end up losing a lot of plants and they don’t produce as well. I hope you have a bountiful harvest, good growing!

    • thank you so much! they all looked so cute in there, but i had a feeling i put too many veggies together. thanks for the tip about the trellis, too!

  3. That zucchini is going to get enormous. You may want to put it in it’s own container. I hope it goes well!

  4. The troughs look great! Nice and deep too.
    I agree with Anne, your Zucchini or courgette as we call them will take up lots of space.
    Your plants look very healthy!

  5. Love this!! It’s so perfect for people living in apartments or urban environments. I literally have no ground space of my own to plant but am craving some homegrown vegetables. Might be a fun thing to try and thrift too

  6. I love these troughs.
    do you have a lot of squirrels?
    They will nibble your sweet little plants down pretty quickly.
    You can cover them loosely with a wire mesh until they get a little bigger. They just ate all my new sunflower sprouts. Also, a lettuce tip for you ( I live in LA) keep it moist at all times. and when that summer heat comes you will want your lettuce to be in the shade. and yes, as several people have said you have too many plants in too small of space. but give it a try. it is so rewarding to grow your own food. happy gardening.

    • we do have squirrels, so thank you for that advice! lucy helps scare them away, but she’s not always outside! thanks so much for the lettuce tips, too!

  7. These are darling! Before I lived somewhere with a yard, I used wine boxes for growing vegetables and herbs. They looked adorable at first, but they wore pretty quickly. These galvanized tubs look way more durable. We just put together a trellis for our vegetable garden over the weekend. It was super simple and cheap and will have the added bonus of hiding the ugly wires that hang on our neighbor’s house!

  8. as many have already stated i’ll chime in as well too – your plants are FAR too tightly packed. and, cilantro next to zucchini? not a good idea. poor cilantro would not stand a chance next to the behemoth that is zucchini.

    for a bit of perspective – i have 3 – 3’x6′ raised beds. this is what i plant in each:
    bed 1 – 6 roma tomatoes with tomato ladders
    bed 2 – 1 zucchini/1 squash with triangular grow supports
    bed 3 – 2 cucumbers with an A frame trellis
    marigolds get interspersed for insect control

    by the end of the summer, each bed is packed with growth! could i possibly squeeze in another plant, or two, in any of the beds? perhaps. but this works, and it works well. my peppers i grow in individual pots and herbs get their own pots, or window boxes – 30″ wide – with a couple of plants.

    always, always red the tags that come with your plants for proper spacing, heights, etc.

    that all said, beautiful containers and happy growing! gardening is SO addictive in such a good way!

      • i love your blog, so happy to be able to share some tips! i think you will ADORE gardening. i love growing my houseplants, but it is even more satisfying growing things outdoors, especially edibles. i’ve been gardening quite some time now so i have a fairly regular annual system for it – but every year a few new tweaks. these days i’m ALL about being as organic/sustainable as possible. i love that we use zero pesticides in our garden, grow organic plants and compost our organic waste to nourish our own garden.

        if you’re ever interested in some veggie garden pics, i post on instagram under decides2dream and from may 15th onwards (that’s the last frost date in my neck of the woods) my feed is pretty full of garden pics.

        i truly hope you enjoy it all!

      • thanks again, maria! will definitely check out your pics! and i like the idea of shading the lettuces under the cucumber – sounds pretty!

      • Trough gardens are great! You may also want to look into companion planting; certain herbs and flowers to attract/repel good and bad critters in the garden. Basil goes very well with tomatoes. As Maria mentioned above, marigolds are a universal beneficial. Adding Lady Bugs (release at dusk) and getting some mantis pods will be great! Its really cool to see teeny mantises in the garden.

        We’re also looking into these:

  9. forgot – i do plant a few lettuces under the cucumbers A framing since the lettuces like a bit of shading to grow and truly maximizes the space.

    happy gardening!

  10. Have you read The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler? Beautiful photos and great information. Sh e features both larger yards as well as planter boxes. She rocks the galvanized tubs, and packs them pretty tight! I’d also recommend going back to the labels that came with your plants. They’ll give you a really good sense of the mature size of your plants so you can see how much space to give them. That said, companion planting is a great way to maximize your space. Sometimes you plant things together because they are beneficial to one another (corn & green beans), and sometimes it’s because, say, the larger plant shades the smaller one. So lettuce, which likes cooler weather and can take shade, is good on its own in early spring, but you can extend the season if it grows in the shade of something larger as it gets hot. There are a lot of good books about companion planting, but I also read a good suggestion: foods that are cooked/served together, also grow well together in the garden. Think tomatoes/zucchini/basil. And don’t forget flowering herbs and edible flowers! Marigolds, nasturtiums (especially trailing varieties), borage all look lovely mixed in your containers. You can also stick strawberries on the edge so they cascade over the sides of your container. Enjoy your garden, Victoria. Even for those of us who’ve been gardening for decades (cough cough), there is always something to learn!

  11. These are absolutely lovely, Victoria! Such a perfect solution! You’ll get no advice from me, I am a trial and error gardener with a lot of success and a lot of failures. So much depends on light, soil and water so with that in mind I’m sure you’ll do just fine. One question, with regard to the holes that were drilled at the bottom, is that some sort of spigot or valve that you installed on the side? Just wondered if that was a special addition to allow for more drainage and/or water flow. Thanks so much for posting, can’t wait to give this a try!

  12. This is such a lovely idea! My sister has some extra space on her balcony and was thinking of adding some containers of veggies there. Definitely recommending your post to her. She’ll be very glad to try this idea. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Used for growing vegetables galvanized bucket. Very comfortable, practical and beautiful. In the bucket very easy to grow tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini. Periodically, watered and watered, was to constantly moist soil. Good harvest meet annually. Here is written about in detail galvanized bucket I plan to increase their vegetable garden.

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