Growing Things in Galvanized Tubs, etc.

wise1_ok(z7OK)June 22, 2005

I recently picked up a very large, old galvanized bathtub at a yard sale for $5. It is/was beat up but I thought right away that it would be something to plant stuff in so I didn't care that it had holes in it already. I did scrub it well, spray painted the outside with some white primer, drilled some extra holes in the bottom, dumped in a bag of rocks and then the potting soil (not dirt), and then added several different kinds of herbs I had in smaller pots. I was so proud of finally getting all that done! Then, my cousin's husband, a retired plumber, said something about galvinized metal containing zinc in the coating and that it might leach into the soil and eventually into the plants. He wondered if the herbs would be safe to use. Anyone know? I have done some google searching but didn't turn up anything about galvanized tubs not being good to grow vegetables in (or other edibles).


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rjj1(Norman OK Zone7)

Hi Bertha

I canÂt speak to the zinc problem with plants, but hope that proves to be a non-issue. I think he is talking about the same coating they use for galvanized water pipe that is still found in older homes. It wasnÂt replaced by plastic because of safety, but because of cost and ease of use.

My only concern would be heat absorption. Painting it white will help. It may have to be one of those afternoon shade containers.

IÂve heard on other forums where people go to the dollar store and by those 20-gallon plastic tubs with the rope handles for $5.00 and put plants in those. IÂve been known to put water garden plants in them with a goldfish or two to eat the mosquito larva.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 7:54AM
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I don't know about getting your zinc from herbs grown in a container with zinc in its makeup, but I take vitamins with zinc and eat spinach because it contains zinc - good for macular degeneration. I agree the main problem will probably be heat - and white on the outside should help.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 9:16PM
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I believe that there are some fertilizers that contain zinc, as a micronutrient. But, I have used the galvanized wash tubs for plants (holes drilled in it), to plant dahlias, coleus, and other annuals, and had no problems with it.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 10:00PM
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Thanks, Everyone, for giving me support in my endeavor! I think because I've chosen herbs such as rosemary and thyme that seem to do okay under drier, hot conditions, they may do well enough. I am not sure about the sage and parsley, but it they don't go, c'est la vie.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 10:57AM
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Wow, Bertha - that looks great! I love that tub, too!


    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 7:37PM
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