Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Tutorial for Raised Bed Gardening in Galvanized Troughs

 This is a project that I have been planning since last Fall.  It is finally implemented.  How it will turn out, I am not sure.  Right now I am very encouraged and have high hopes for success. First, I drilled holes all over the bottom of each trough.  They should be at least pencil size or larger. I also removed the drainage plug on the side.  You must have good drainage for these to work. I bought three 2X4X2 galvanized horse troughs and one 2X6X2 trough at Tractor Supply last winter.

 I also bought some 2X4's and plywood to level each trough off.

 I filled the bottoms of each one with Styrofoam packing which I saved over this last year.  I also used plastic bottles and gallon milk jugs.  These filled a bit less than a foot in the bottom of each trough.  Then I covered them with two layers of plastic mesh.

 Next, I draped the interior of each trough with gardening fabric.  I temporarily taped the fabric to the sides to hold it in place while I filled it.  Make sure the fabric overlaps.  You want to keep the dirt in place and keep it from falling down to the bottom of the troughs.

 Then, I filled each one with a mixture of potting soil, manure, compost and some coffee grounds.

After filling, you remove the tape and trim the fabric down to dirt level.
 I bought these troughs to do away with small container gardening but found that they really just gave me more room to plant using the old smaller pots! I planted radishes and carrots in the some of the pots and I bought container cukes and zucchini to see if I have any luck growing them in pots.  I've tried growing them for years in my lower garden but something kept eating the blossoms.

 So far, I have planted a lot of tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.  I wanted to buy more troughs but I thought I had better try it out this year with just four before investing in any more.

 I planted  different varieties of all of the above and staked the tomatoes with cages.

 Eventually, I will lay a soaker hose across the top of all of the planters for watering.

I am going to be doing more work on these today and I will continue to show their progress as the season goes along.

22 comments:

Patty Woodland said...

I hope they work for you - I don't see why they wouldn't

Laurie M said...

they look great, I know a farmer that grew pumpkins in an old trough, it was a great success, I hope they work because with the holes in them they are no longer any use to the horse, lol, because they galvanized they won't rust for a very long time, I think container gardening is a great idea, I had several containers I planted at the house, on the deck but we had lots of land so I never really planted a lot of planters, I used them for unique species herbs and strawberries new to me, we had an acre field of strawberries but I wanted to try new ones, lol, then when we moved to the apartment I grew yellow and green beans, cucumbers, peas, herbs , tomatoes and onions in pots, and of course lettuce, I really love the indigo blue clay pots, everyone teased me that our balcony was going to collapse, it was safe,

petoskystone said...

Looking good! Hope it works :)

thecottagebythecranelaketwo said...

Looking good!
Perfect that You drilled so many holes in the bottom! Many just drill one or two holes and then those clogg up and it becomes a mud filled pond instead :-) I'm sure this will be perfect to grow all kinds of vegetables!

That's always the problem, one do one thing to get rid of smaller pots and containres and then end up using all of them anyway :-) :-) This will be fun to follow this summer!

Have a great day!
Christer.

Megs said...

What a great idea! I think it's going to be a good tomato summer!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Impressive!

TARYTERRE said...

That looks like a really clever idea. I hope they work out.

jody said...

Wow great idea and love the look! And the smaller pots will fit nicely next to them:) enjoy! I can't wait we r a ways from planting yet!

Laura said...

I'll be following this project to see how it turns out. I'm in the process of downsizing to a smaller place and won't have much "yard" to garden in, so I'll have to switch to mostly pots. Hope it works well for you!
blessings
~*~

sandra hagan said...

i'll be watching. should work.

sandra hagan said...
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Cuisine de Provence said...

Beautiful containers - wish you luck with this project!

Jim said...

What a good idea! And they look good too. Thanks for this.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

What a fantastic idea. All I would need is one..no room. I say that..and wish I could, but I am beginning to know my limitations..and I think I it is all I can do to maintain what I have. It's fun to watch you do it though. Wish I was younger. I can't wait to see how these turn out, Joyce!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...
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Loli said...

I could see Teddy's back. How cute :)

Beverly Frankeny said...

Cool....great idea...can't wait to see how things progress!!

luckybunny said...

Ah I wondered about the troughs - seems like a super great idea!

zareen fatima said...
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najma love said...
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Dinesh gir said...
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Kay said...

Wow! This is just the coolest idea. I'll look forward to seeing how the harvest turns out. You sure know how to do things the right way.