How to Build a Raised Herb Garden Out Of Galvanized Tubs

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We use a lot of herbs around my house for grilling and cooking.  I love being able to walk out the back door and grab a handful of fresh basil right off of the bush.  I prefer to grow my herbs in raised planters, which makes soil, weed and moisture control much easier.  What I don’t like though is rebuilding the stupid thing every few years.  I have tried landscape timbers, pressure treated posts and even whiskey barrels over the years to build my herb garden and I always end up with a “do-over” every other season.  Not this time (I hope)!  I’m finally going with tough, galvanized tubs meant to last on farms for years.

I got the idea while browsing herb gardens on Pinterest.  I saw a few plans for patio herb planters using smaller galvanized tubs.  I live outside of town though in the middle of agriculture and I have seen larger tubs on farms and by the side of the road for years, so I knew I could go bigger.  Sure enough, two of the local feed stores had just the right sized tubs.  I ended up going with a 6 foot long, by 2 feet wide and 1 foot deep feed trough for the bottom level from a company called Behlen Country.  Ask for a pig or sheep trough, the people working at the feed store were much more helpful when they had a target critter in mind.  I then found this Behrens 16-Gallon Oval Steel Tub, with dimensions of around 32 inches by 17 inches by 10 inches deep.  This gives me some nice large spaces on the ends for larger stuff like basil a peppers and then a nice space in the front to let some chives and cilantro go wild.  I then topped off the planter with thisBehrens 14-Quart Galvanized Steel Pail for the top level of the herb planter.

Once I found the right containers, I just drilled holes in the bottom of each, added a 2 inch layer of pebbles for drainage and then filled with a mixture of soil and compost, stacking as I went.  I think this thing will be an herb growing machine for a few years with very little maintenance.  I can’t wait to make some fresh salsa and pesto.


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