Arizona Vegetable & Fruit Gardening
For The Arizona Desert Environment
Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions, & Reviews.

George & Eve Delange

Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs.
Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens.
Arizona Vegetable & Fruit Tree Gardens.

Under Construction

Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.
Newly Constructed Compost Bin. August 12, 2011.
Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens.
Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment.

Below Are Ads For Raised Garden Items Sold Through Amazon.Com,
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Eve & George deLange decided that they needed to build a compost bin and after checking around; they learned that a lot of people are using galvanized water troughs as raised planters or as compost bins. So, they decided to build one for compost, but they learned that it is almost the same process as building a galvanized water trough planter.

You can find the troughs, which are also called livestock tanks, at feed stores, or online, and some well-stocked nurseries are also starting to carry them. The tanks aren't cheap--they typically run between $105 and $275 depending on the size--but building a similarly sized raised bed out of cedar would cost a comparable amount and the tanks have the advantage of being rot-proof. Ours cost $113 plus $11 for six cement blocks to place under the trouth. You do not need to use the blocks, however we wanted to.

People like to use galvanized water troughs as raised planters in their vegetable gardens because the big containers look good, offer plenty of planting space, and last for many years. Also, if you live in a colder climate, their soil warms up faster than ground beds adjacent to them, which means that warm season crops like tomatoes and eggplants do very well in troughs. Also, converting a trough into a planter or compost is easy to do and takes about an hour.

Here's what you will have to do.

Galvanized water troughs are made to hold water, which you'll need to correct before you can use them as a planter or compost bin.

Good drainage is very important in container gardening, so you'll need to drill or hammer holes on the bottom of the container.

People who make water troughs into planters or bins either drill or hammer the holes into the bottom of the containers. They use either and electric drill or a sharp metal stake and a heavy hammer.

If using a drill, be sure to fit it with a drill bit made to bore through metal, don't use one made for wood drilling. We recommend using a 1/2 inch drill bit. Turn the container upside down and mark the places you wish to drill with a pencil or felt pen. Then use a metal punch to start the hole. Hammer the punch until it penetrates the bottom of the container. Once the bottem has a slight hole in it, place the drill bit onto the hole, press hard and start the drill. It should go right through the metal in about 15 to 20 seconds. Be careful, the drill may twist in your hand when the drill bit is almost through the bottom.

If using a metal stake, other people have found it easier to hammer through the bottom if the tank is right side up (i.e. with its mouth facing up). However, it is harder to hammer a metal stake through the bottom than to drill. That's why we drilled ours.

If you are in a cold climate, lots of holes are good.

In a hot climate, like where we live in Arizona, fewer holes, holds moisture better.

Next, you will need to position the containers where you would like them to be in the garden.

You will decide where you want them and then the next step is to level the ground where you will place the containers. We used a flat shovel and a dust pan to level the soil. We then used a level measuring device to make sure the ground was level. Remember these containers were designed to be level since they were to hold water.

Since we chose to place our container on cement blocks, we leveled the blocks before placing the container on the blocks. We then placed the level on the container to double check.

When you think you are done, stand back and take a good look before filling them with soil. Make sure that both the seam is at the back and that the containers are level.

The least expensive option for filling the containers with soil is to purchase bulk topsoil. Most topsoil suppliers have a "vegetable garden mix" that contains topsoil, sand, and compost.

Some people place soda pop cans in the bottom 1/4 of the container to reduce the amount of top soil required to fill them up.

But, we recommend filling the containers completely with soil, because this gives you the option of planting deeply rooted plants, like dwarf fruit trees or raspberries. Fill the container with soil until it is nearly level with the rim, as the soil will settle quite a bit once you water.

Some people add flowers around the bottom of their containers to soften up their edges and help them blend into the rest of the garden.

Then Enjoy!


A great resource about Raised Bed Gardening in Arizona is written by the Arizona Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona. It is called, the Vegetable Garden: Intensive Gardening Methods.

Another great resource about Raised Bed Gardening in Arizona is written by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Yavapai County; Jeff Schalau, Associate Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources. It is called, the Raised Bed Construction.

During your first year of gardening you will learn that you need somplace to put the waste from your garden. You could just throw it away. But you could use it over and put it back into your garden. After all, it's good for your soil! Here is a great resource on building Compost Materials that can be reused back into your garden. This resource is written by the University of Missouri Extension, The University of Missouri. It is called, the How to Build a Compost Bin. It tells you everything you need to know!

Here are some others:

Building a Raised Bed Garden
(Priscilla Files, Michael Arnold, Douglas Welsh, and Frank Dainello, Texas A & M Cooperative Extension)

aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/publications/guides/E-560_raised_bed_garden.pdf

Garden Use of Treated Lumber
(Richard Stehouwer, Penn State Cooperative Extensione)

pubs.cas.psu.edu/freepubs/pdfs/uc173.pdf


Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.
We First Drilled 1/2 Inch Drainage Holes. Use Gloves.Drilling Took About 20 Minutes.
Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.
We Had Already Selected This Site.Next Level The Dirt. Took About 5 Minutes.
Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.
We Used A Level On The Blocks.We Used A Level On The Blocks. Close Enough!
Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.
All Of The Blocks Are Level. Took About 10 Minutes.All Of The Blocks Are Level. Took About 10 Minutes.
Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.Galvanized Livestock Water Troughs. Compost Bins or Raised Bed Gardens. Arizona Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens For The Arizona Desert Environment. Pictures, Photos, Images, Descriptions,  Information, & Reviews.
Verified Compost Bin Is Level.
Aligned On Blocks, Facing Front, With Seam In Back.
We Finished Construction. August 12, 2011.
Whole Job Took About One Hour.
Verified Compost Bin Is Level. Close Enough!
Aligned On Blocks, Facing Front, With Seam In Back.
We Finished Construction. August 12, 2011.
Whole Job Took About One Hour.

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Below Are Ads For Raised Garden Items Sold Through Amazon.Com,
Most Of These Items Are For Someone Who Just Wants To Start
Or For Someone With Just A Small Area To Plant Their Garden
Click On The Item For A More Detailed Look. No Obligation!


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