by Texas Homesteader ~
Planting large galvanized water troughs for edible beauty around your home. It’s easy and can be done inexpensively too.
I love the concept of edible landscaping. Just because a plant provides something you can eat doesn’t mean it can’t be beautifully incorporated into your landscape plan.
I’m fond of adding carrots along the perimeter of my plantings for it’s lacy greenery border. And I love using the bold crinkly leaves of a spinach plant for interest, or to anchor a planting area with a vibrant zucchini plant. I’ve used blueberry bushes in place of typical landscaping bushes. The possibilities are endless!
Planting Edible But Decorative Raised Beds
Recently we had an Outdoor Living room built to extend our back porch. I sat out to Landscape It On The Cheap.
For raised beds I bought two huge galvanized trough planters. As always I strove to plant edibles for the landscaping.
We already had one rustic old trough planter at another end of our porch. I love to plant either heat-loving Malabar Spinach or even Plant Potatoes in that trough each year.
Setting Up Galvanized Water Troughs For Planting
But now we have two new 4-ft wide troughs to plant. Oh how I love a blank canvas!
We sat them up on retaining-wall stones to both level the footing as well as to give them support. Then we removed the plugs from each of the troughs so they would have a way to drain if they received too much water.
Helping Water Drainage
But this is lots of soil (and LOTS of weight!). I know when I plant something in a large pot I first put something loose like rocks to help with drainage. But what can I use for these huge galvanized troughs? Hummmm…
I know! Last year we asked a bakery if they had any food-safe frosting buckets with lids that we could have. They sent us out the door with about 50! We washed them and used them to store honey and pantry supplies but there were
Just. So. Many!
I asked RancherMan to fetch about 10-12 buckets and lids. The lids were snapped on and I arranged them snugly at the bottom of my troughs. This should allow for better drainage.
I’ve also used EcoBricks at the bottom of the troughs for a 2-fer-1 win drainage option.
EcoBricks are simply a large plastic bottle (such as a juice bottle, etc) that is tightly packed with non-recyclable trash. I packed mine with clean/dry plastic caps from milk jugs, small plastic wrappings from various purchases, cracker sleeves, candy wrappers, thermal-paper receipts, etc.
Then I laid landscape cloth over the whole thing and filled the trough with soil we bought for a song from a dirt-n-gravel dealer close to us.
Buying soil in bulk is an eco-friendly step for sure. Not only is it cheaper but there are no disposable plastic bags to deal with. And with this much soil it would have required many plastic bags. I shun plastic like a ninja!
Edibles Can Be Pretty
But now that the troughs are set up, what shall I plant?
I decided to dig up a small piece of asparagus from the garden and transplant it here. I love the light ferny texture of the leaves. Plus it’s a veggie that gives every year without replanting.
Don’t you love the Lazy Gardener plants? ME TOO! Plant once and eat for years. That’s my kinda gardening!
Of course I added carrots & spinach for the border as I typically do. Pretty plants and a hearty harvest too.
A small lavender plant was added as well for some nice blossom color here.
One of the troughs is anchored by a planting of garlic along the back side. This garlic originally came from my grandmother’s house back in the 1990’s. Sentimental food!
I also like to plant a jalapeno plant in this trough so RancherMan can toss fresh peppers on the grill when he’s grilling supper for us.
Several years ago I added Everbearing Strawberries to the mix. They’ve grown great! Each spring I get a flush of those ripe juicy berries. They give me a second smaller harvest late in the year.
I can typically trick birds away from my fresh strawberries by using this handy trick – I scatter Strawberry Painted Rocks among the plants before any berries turn red.
This trick works every year to keep the many birds that frequent our yard away from my precious strawberries. It’s rare now that I lose one of my strawberries to the birds.
Other Edible Landscaping plants are arranged at the base of these troughs as well. I transplanted Thyme and Oregano for this area.
Not only was it free but it looks beautiful, the bees love it and fresh herbs are right outside my back door.
I love our new peaceful outdoor living space. It’s beautiful and the bees love it too. And beautifully-planting water troughs provides us food too, what’s not to love?
My Favorite Garden Hacks
- Easy Garden Planning Spreadsheet
- Getting A Jump: Planting An Indoor Greenhouse
- Repurposed Cardboard Seed-Starting Pots
- 3-Sister’s Garden – The Original Companion Planting
- Planting A Large Galvanized Trough
- Tricking Birds AWAY From Your Strawberry Plants
- Easy Compost For A Healthy Garden
- Propping Tender Seedlings
- Cheap (or FREE) Wood Mulch For The Garden
- Using Vining Plants For Living Mulch
- Homestead Hack: Remember Where You Planted Seeds
- Keeping Potted Plants Watered
- Planting A Blueberry Bush In Galvanized Tub
- Stevia – Growing Your Own Sweetener!
- How I Use EcoBricks In The Garden
- Repurposing A Coffee Can For Deep-Soak Watering
- How Leaves Benefit Your Garden
- My Simple, Zero-Waste Herb Drying Setup
- The Lazy Gardener’s Plant List – Plant Once, Eat For Years!
- How To Tell When Watermelon Is Ripe
- Luffa A Surprising Zucchini Substitute!
- How To Make Your Own Garden Soil
- Easy Homemade Seed Tape
MORE Gardening Posts
C’mon by & sit a spell! Come hang out at our Facebook Page. It’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea – lots of good folks sharing! You can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram.
If you’d like to receive an email each time a new blog post goes live it’s EASY to
Subscribe to our blog!
The buckets idea is GENIUS!
LOL Laurinda. You know I’m a huge fan of ‘use whatcha got’! 🙂 ~TxH~