Stock Trough Gardens

It is a bit weird the things I chose to save after moving to the apartment. Like the stock troughs that had been used for watering our horses and sheep.

I had thought I might commandeer a corner of the lumber yard at our store and grow things in the troughs, but space being what it is, that never happened.

I have the troughs in our backyard now, and (ahem) have bought a few more.

They make great instant raised beds.

A lot of people drill holes in the bottom for drainage but I just took the cap off the one big drainage hole that it comes with and that seems to be adequate for our northern semi-dry climate.

I can’t quite decide if I like the way they look or not.

I originally thought I might paint them but galvanized metal is notoriously difficult to paint-though it can be done, you just have to make sure you get the right kind of paint. It’s more that I kind of like them just as they are, though I have seen a few with garden related words stenciled on the side that looked pretty classy.

stock trough pinterest



Once I paint them there is no going back to the original silver look, so for now my troughs remain au naturel. Though if I do paint them I would go with something like this one…

stock trough lily pad

Classy seems an odd word to pair with stock troughs, but there are several images on Pinterest of chef’s gardens in the back of restaurants made entirely of stock troughs that look very posh. It’s interesting what the setting and the presence of a person in white chef garb can do for things!

stock trough pinterest


Yesterday over lunch with my husband, I came up with an ingenious idea.

Motorized self propelled stock troughs.

I sketched the idea out on a napkin, but given my lack of artistic talent, I will just rely on words to tell you what I came up with instead.

Somehow (I’m not a mechanic so don’t get too hung up on the particulars) a motor would be attached to the trough and one of those steel tractor seats with the big holes would be fixed in the air at one end of the trough with some levers for steering. Obviously there would be tires as well.

The gardener would simply climb up into the tractor seat, start the engine and drive the stock trough around the yard to follow the sun. Or in our case (and the reason the whole idea took form) it could be driven out into the street and parallel parked beside the curb for the day. At sundown, back out you go to drive your trough garden into the backyard for the night.

I know, I know. Sometimes the most genius ideas come from the least likely places, right?

I would have to do some measuring, but I think I could fit at least four motorized troughs along the south frontage of our property. Maybe six depending how good I get at parallel parking.

A more doable scenario would be to put the troughs on pallets and use a pallet jack to take them out to the curb every morning, but that wouldn’t be near as much fun as climbing up into the tractor seat of your own motorized garden trough.

Just think about it.


In the meantime I might have to settle for something like this…

2011 august 13 032 yellow wheelbarrow container vegetable

Poor Man’s Version…Patent Pending