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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Using Washtubs for Container Gardening

I'm bad about copying other people's ideas.  I admit it.   And ever since I attended a Gayla Trail's lecture at the Milwaukee Art Museum and saw her great photo of chives planted in a washtub that she used in her presentation, I've been wanting to create the exact same thing in my garden.

Several years ago I stopped by an estate sale and paid a couple of dollars for an old wash tub and brought it home only to find that the bottom was coming off.  In Gayla's presentation, she talked about removing the bottom of the washtub and sitting it right on the ground, filling it with potting soil and using it like a regular container garden.  So tonight when I got home I dumped all the crap I had stored in the gimpy washtub out then fought with it for about 15 minutes until the bottom finally snapped lose.

This season I'm going to be planting Summer Splash Marigold and Italian Cameo Basil seeds (and maybe some other yet-to-be-determined ones) in it.  Both are from Renee's Garden donated to gardeners for the second annual Seed Grow project.  We're also growing Container Babies Lettuce, the third seed in the Seed Grow project.  I sowed the Container Babies seeds directly in my raised beds a few days ago.  I have never direct sowed basil seeds and this is my first year growing marigold from seed so I'm pretty nervous about it but very excited to be able to participate in this project again this year.

I'll keep you posted on how this wash tub container works out.  I placed in the memory garden I planted for my father-in-law just beneath my Wine and Roses Weigela.  I think the faded grey color of the washtub will look spectacular against the backdrop of the purple Weigela foliage.

I'm growing with the SeedGROW project. Thanks to Reenes Garden for the seeds.


  1. I just scored a really big round washtub from a neighbor's garage sale last week. I am psyched to do something with it, but I haven't decided what yet. Yours will look really cool.

  2. I've been hoping to score an old washtub, but so far I've had zero luck finding one at garage sales or anything. I keep looking at the new galvanized tubs at Lowes and wondering if I can age them somehow to at least look old. Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

  3. Nice. I have an old watering can, made of the same metal, whose bottom is no longer watertight, that might make a nice container for, say, chives.

  4. Wash tubs are great! I have an old one that looks like brass? with has holes on the bottom from age/rot but I feel that's good for drainage.
    Last year it held all different mints (candy mint being my favorite, it never looked lush, always stripped,lol).
    This year, it it the base for an end table in sitting area in garden( big piece of slate on top).
    Have fun!

  5. This will look great. I love old washtubs as containers.

  6. I was looking for tubs like that too, but I haven't been able to find any. I like the look of your tub a lot and it will probably look really cool all filled out.

  7. This is a brilliant idea! Who would have thought that washtubs can be used as plant "pots"? I'm pretty sure a lot of gardening enthusiasts will follow this example.

  8. very nice ideas! washtubs as plant pots, wow! I will find some time (and some wash tubs) to try this gardening invention.