Gardening: Old Metal Wash Basin Garden Planter

Gardening: Old Metal Wash Basin Garden PlanterWe’re finally into the month of May and we’re starting the gardening season here in the northeast. Every week from May through September (hopefully) we’ll be featuring at least one gardening post every week! Some of our features will be gardening articles, growing tips, garden-product related reviews, DIY projects, planter ideas and more!

This week’s feature is a recent project that I completed where I took an old metal wash basin or wash tub and turned it into a garden planter. I picked up my wash tub at a local flea market for $5.00 and I think it was a bargain!

To turn it into a large flower planter, you need to place gravel into the bottom. I added a 3″ layer of gravel and river rocks. This will help with water drainage.

Next, I mixed together purchased potting soil, dirt from my backyard and some fertilizer. Once they were mixed together, I finished filling it up. You want to leave space at the top, I left about 4″ to allow for plant growth and watering.

Now it’s time to decorate! I placed a $1.00 solar light in the center which I picked up at my local dollar-type of store. I found a little garden gnome at Gabriel’s for $1.79 and added that. Those are my two main decorations for now, but I do plan on adding a few garden fairies in the near future.

Gardening: Old Metal Wash Basin Garden Planter

For my plants, I added three different type’s of succulents, purple pansies and a few other flowering plants that I had leftover from other projects. After you add your plants, you want to water them in really good! Within a month, my new planter will be filled out and bursting with growth once our growing season kicks into high gear.

When doing a big & heavy project like this…make sure you have it sitting in your yard in the spot that you want it, before you fill it up with the soil. They’re incredibly heavy and NOT easy to move around. Once Fall rolls around, I cover mine with a thick layer of hay (this is my third wash basin project) to help insulate the succulents over the winter. Once Spring rolls around, the Succulents come back and I just replace the annuals every year.

Gardening: Old Metal Wash Basin Garden Planter

The photograph above shows my planter 3 weeks after I put the plants in. As you can see, they’re quickly growing larger and spreading. The succulents (Cats & Kittens aka Chicks and Hens) will come back year, after year. I can then just add in a few annuals to add the pops of color. Easy to do!

Well, there you have it! A fun DIY gardening planter idea that you can make on your own and it doesn’t cost a lot of money! In a few weeks I’ll add an additional photo to this post, so that you can see how my flowers are coming along.

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  1. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    This is very pretty and I love the idea of a sensor light. This planter was ideal for your garden project.

  2. Cathy Jarolin says:

    This is really a Pretty Planter. Huge But Pretty! You’re right about being Heavy and to make sure you have it in the spot where you want it to be before filling with soil. The sensor light you put in is an awesome idea. I also love the idea of putting in little figurines.with the Beautiful flowers..Thank You for sharing another Great Idea for Planting flowers.. I wish you had one for Planting tomatoes in a container.. ::O)~~~


  3. Sarah L says:

    That’s a great idea for planters. New ones can be so expensive and this way you’re recycling the tub.

  4. ellen beck says:

    I have a couple of wash tubs I use like this! One wash tub I got for nothing is the kind on a stand with the drain hole in it. I just put wire mesh so it still drains and it works great. I like how you put a gnome in yours, almost like a fairy garden.

  5. Susan Hartman says:

    At my last house I grew a wonderful blueberry bush for years and years. The basins have such a nice look.

  6. I love this idea… in fact, I bought a wash tub just like this one at a garage sale a couple of years ago for $5.00 at a garage sale. Love using it for gardening. I’m so glad to know you’re going to be featuring some gardening posts throughout the summer.

  7. Dana Rodriguez says:

    I love this idea!

  8. Tamra Phelps says:

    I love the idea of using these for planters. My Granny had all sorts of these metal wash basins in various sizes, so I feel sort of nostalgic about them. I love the look.