Old Wash Tub Planter

Blog, DIY

This summer has been full of all kinds of projects! I have been having a grand time DIYing myself all over the place, lol!! Of course they all take place on the weekend while I am home from my 9-5 and this weekend wasn’t any different.

It started out by helping the hubby spread dirt and grass seed in the back yard. We had let it go since the room addition last year and it was a hot mess!! The hubby tilled the entire area himself a little at a time over the course of 4 days until it was to his liking and evened it all out by hand (I would like to say I helped with that, but nope). I did, however, spread out all of the topsoil today as he cut open the bags(all 45 of them) and added a bag of rice(purchased for a craft project that never happened) to that scary owl statue. Now to patiently wait for the grass to grow, kinda like watching paint dry…


Okay, enough about the hubby’s project!   My project today is one I have been meaning to do now for two years!   Procrastinating is one of my biggest faults, but I finally did it and I love how it turned out!!

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Materials used for this project include:

  • 1 old galvanized wash tub rescued from the trash
  • 1 chiminea base taken from my hoarded stash of junk
  • 1 40lb bag of potting soil
  • 1 Cannova Canna Lilly
  • 4 6pk Vinca

Total cost of this project: $23

I love old wash tubs and why anyone would have thrown this away will forever be a mystery!!  It is galvanized so it won’t rust being out in the weather.  I needed a base for my planter and I new that my hoarded chiminea base would be perfect!!

wash tub

I started off by drilling holes in the bottom of the wash tub for drainage (well my hubby did, I helped him today so he helped me.  See how that works? ;)) using a cordless Dewalt drill and a step drill bit, drilling to about a 1/2 inch.  This is called a step drill bit because you can make your hole as big as you want “stepping” down to the desired size…who knew?!!

wash tub 1

We drilled (well, my hubby did) 9 drainage holes in the bottom of the washtub.  That should be adequate.  Allowing for drainage ensures that the soil won’t hold in water and begin to mold and smell.  I have had that happen so now every outdoor planter gets holes drilled into it if it doesn’t already have them!

wash tub2

Next my hubby poured in the 40lb bag of potting soil and I took over from there.  Do you ever get overwhelmed at the garden center?  I know I do!!  There are so many flowers to choose from.  Full sun, full shade…it is important to know where your planter will sit so you know what types of flowers to choose.  We have almost no shade anywhere around the house, so I chose full sun loving flowers for this project.  In the middle went the Cannova Canna Lilly and then all around it went the Vincas.  The Vincas are a mounding annual so the hope is that they will spread out and fill in the tub.  I also threw in those little yellow succulent looking flowers (I don’t remember what they are) because they weren’t doing too good out back, I hope they live a better life here!!

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I chose to put this on the little deck at the door we use to go in and out of the house.  It will greet me every morning as I leave for work and welcome me home every evening.

Would you use an old wash tub as a planter?  What types of flowers would you put in yours?  I would love to hear if you have ever done a project like this one!

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’til next time

~Susanne, The City Girl




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  • Reply
    June 14, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Galvanized buckets are the perfect little garden planters! My niece grew peanuts and carrots in a wash bucket one year as a preschool project. She was so excited to show everyone her produce after she tended her little garden all summer! Thanks for sharing your project and linking up to Talk DIY to Me this week!

    • Reply
      June 14, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Of all the things to grow, peanuts has never crossed my mind, I bet she was over the moon with her produce! I am enjoying your link parties! It gives me a specific project to focus on 😉

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Lauren Bishop
    June 16, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I love this! I currently have some tomatoes growing in some very ugly containers and I’d love to have an old wash basin instead. I was happy to see you drilled drainage holes as often DIY projects don’t suggest that and I wonder about adequate drainage. Very cute!

    • Reply
      June 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      I am glad it helped you!

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