Planter – Making One From A Trough

Q: I have a large galvanized cattle water trough that I want to use as a planter. What kind of drainage holes I should drill in the bottom?

A: Tony Johnson is manager of the UGA Research and Education Garden in Griffin. He turned a cattle trough into a planter that was very attractive. Start by punching 1″ holes in the bottom and putting a layer of capped soft drink bottles a foot thick into the trough. Cover the bottles with landscape fabric, to keep soil from settling among them, and fill the trough with good quality potting soil. To insure good soil drainage, mix a quart of perlite with each cubic foot of soil. Elevate the trough a couple of inches on pressure-treated wood. If you want to paint it, Tony recommends a high quality primer and enamel paint but you’ll likely need to repaint it every few years.