Using a galvanized stock tank for a raised bed isn’t something new. Many gardeners have used stock tanks because they are durable, somewhat portable, can be placed in many locations including yard, deck, front porch, and more places to allow for growing even in areas where soil isn’t accessible and they have a drain!
- 1 – 2x2x4 galvanized stock tank
- 9cf – Soil We recommend using G&B Raised Bed Soil as a base. Here’s our favorite recipe.
While G&B Raised Bed Soil is formulated to be used right out of the bag, many gardeners use Raised Bed Soil as the base mix and add their own compost and other soil amendments to create their own “recipe!” That’s part of the fun with gardening!
Here’s a quick video overview of how to build and plant your stock tank raised bed.
Using a galvanized stock tank for a raised bed isn’t something new. And they come in many sizes. Use a 6ft tank for an under-window garden. Use a “sheep height” tank when you want your garden raised up on a bench. You can use trellis’ for maximizing space and allow cucumbers, peas and other easy climbers to grow up instead of out.
Galvanized stock tanks are also a great healthy choice for material to grow in. Since it requires acidity to break down the zinc coating that galvanized steel has, and most garden soils are neutral, there’s little to no impact. Plus, zinc is an essential plant micronutrient and a normal part of the soil.
Soil in raised beds warms up quicker than soil in the ground, which can be beneficial to plants. A galvanized stock tank doesn’t become overly hot but will radiate heat into the soil from the edges. Just make sure your watering is consistent. In mild climates, a metal raised bed can help maintain more consistent soil temperatures year-round, provide better drainage of excess water and remain in service without the need for any kind of maintenance for years.
Many gardeners have used stock tanks because they are durable, somewhat portable, can be placed in many locations including yard, deck, front porch, and more places to allow for growing even in areas where soil isn’t accessible. Stock tanks come with a drain hole in the bottom already, so your soil won’t get water-logged, and they allow for easy access to planting, maintaining and harvesting just like normal raised beds do.
Things to remember as you plan for your stock tank raised bed:
- Sunlight – find a spot that will allow your plants the warmth of the sun throughout the day. Consider the type of plants you’ll grow, and the specific sunlight needs of each. Don’t worry, plants are pretty adaptable and will “follow” the sun across the sky and handle later day shade when they need to.
- Water – make sure you’ll have easy access to water.
- Chicken Manure – Avoid chicken manure or other highly acidic additives as they’ll slowly break down the zinc surface of your metal bed more quickly than more pH neutral options. You can use composted chicken manure or other organic compounds to recharge your bed as necessary without increasing the risk of rusting.
Most of all, have fun with your planning, planting and harvesting. Be creative and have some fun with the project. It can be a great family activity as well.