Saturday, February 21, 2015

Starting on the stock tank raised beds

The resident heavy-lifter (man-sort of gardener here) has begun the spring work of creating raised beds out of stock tanks.  He purchased them at a place down in Washington state that has cheap prices on such things and hauled them up here last fall. Now, they have been placed on the south side of the barn and it appears he has placed perforated plastic pipes in the bases, with the upwards-pointing end functioning as a port for watering. 
Stock tanks destined to be a garden
On top of the pipes is a layer of river rock, which will eventually be topped with permeable landscape fabric, a few inches of sand, and then potting mix.  I have some doubts about the whole YouTube-researched project, but it seems many others have tried this sort of thing and have had success.  The home-design website, Houzz, even has a selection of photos of such garden additions.  I originally had dreams of a French-inspired gated- and lavender hedge-surrounded potager garden complete with ornamental allium, calendula and sweet pea flowers.   He wanted to match the barn's metal roof with the adjacent metal tanks to complete the agri-industrial look.  Whatever.   
My planting ideas for these things so far includes tomatoes, peppers, strawberries and lettuce.  We don't need herbs in here because they already have their own very successful location elsewhere.  With the high number of rodents around here, un-protected strawberries quickly disappear.  I am planning to cover one entire tank with netting just to protect the strawberry crop.  After that thought, I also wondered about covering another one with a shade cloth tent in which to grow lettuce in shaded comfort, so that the Okanagan heat doesn't make it go to seed so quickly.  Any ideas or tips?


  1. I've been missing you, nice to have you back!

    Looking SO good!! :) I would add some plastic between tank walls and soil, because tanks will get really hot during summer and plastic keeps roots away straight from hot metal. I grew small tomatos in zink pots and they love it.

    1. Quu - Thanks! Yes, I wondered about the heat problem at the edges since it gets up to 38 degrees C here in summer. I imagine the plants at the edges getting fried. I also just realized that the frames for mesh and shade cloth should be placed now before we fill them to the top.

  2. What a clever idea! I never would've thought to use stock tanks as gardening beds. I'll have to remember this for my next project.

    Susan Hirst |