If you have been reading this blog for any length of time you will have heard about many unusual objects that are used as planters. Various old chairs, boots and worn out shoes and even car tires, but this is the first time that I have become aware of metal stock tanks being used for this purpose. As you will see from this article by Victoria Villeneuve which I found on the Houzz website this is now a well established trend.
As farmhouse style moseys into town, galvanized-metal stock tanks — and the zinc-plated material in general — are following suit. These water and feed troughs for livestock find surprising uses in all kinds of landscapes, as shown below, and even inside the house.
Photo by Jeff Zaruba
Flower planter. With a barn-red galvanized-metal roof and board-and-batten siding, this one-bedroom cottage is designed to blend into a cluster of farm buildings on a pastoral property in California’s Marin County. Short round-end stock tanks planted with colorful flowers further the agricultural look.
To use stock tanks as planters, it’s important to drill holes in the bottom for drainage. After drilling, spray the holes with galvanizing compound to protect them from rust. Then the tanks should last for many years.
Linen White siding paint: Benjamin Moore; decking: Trex
Round-end stock tanks are typically 3 to 10 feet long and 2 or 3 feet wide, and round tanks usually have diameters of 3 to 10 feet. Tanks for cattle and horses are 2 feet high, while those for sheep are just 1 foot. Be aware that the labeled sizes can be approximate, since some companies nest tanks together for shipping.
Raising the stock tanks on frames with legs, as shown here, can improve drainage and makes it easier to tend to the tanks without straining your back.
Photo by Michael Lockman
Screening planter. These stock tanks are called into action to contain sometimes-too-vigorous upright bamboo, which is being used to conceal a neighboring apartment building. Keep in mind that container-grown bamboo tends to reach only half to three-quarters of its maximum height. When planting it in a trough, use an old carpet or other lining to act as a barrier and an insulator for the roots.