Upcycled Gardening Containers

I wrote earlier about how I would love to try a key hole garden this year. I thought and thought and thought about different materials I could have used to make one but they all required buying at least a little money or a lot of work to make them. BUT as my mind was chewing on the idea we were working on the chicken coop and ended up doing this instead!


It’s made out of wooden garage doors that my husband picked up for free off of Craigslist. They came with a garage door motor and he was going to use them as a garage door. I kindly pointed out the lack of insulation and light they would provide in the winter so they just sat in our back yard for over a year!  Finally I said he had to think of something or toss them, what I ended up with is a MASSIVE garden bed! Early next spring we will add pvc pipes and contractors plastic to make a wonderful little hoop house.

Need some other ideas?

How about a feeding trough? 


We used to keep our turtle, Fred, in this 50 gallon rubbermaid trough. They are pretty expensive to buy new but if you see one laying around…



I thought about ditching my tire garden this year but even though it’s ugly you can’t beat the practicality of it. Used tires are free and the black rubber does and excellent job warming the soil for our cold northern climate.

Bet you weren’t expecting trash cans to make the list!


Our entire neighborhood switched trash services and they only take square trash cans. I think it’s weird but whatever, we just take our trash to the dump. After thoroughly cleaning the trash cans my husband came up with the idea to use them to grow potatoes in.  He starts out with just a little bit of dirt at the bottom and adds dirt as the plants grow. In the fall he just dumps the whole can upside down on a tarp to harvest!

5 Gallon buckets


The wonder and glory of the 5 gallon bucket never ceases. I’ve seen them used for upside down planters, hydroponic systems, containing invasive plants… the list goes on. Here my husband is trying potatoes this year. We also have one in the chicken coop that grows chick weed.

Don’t for get rocks and trees!


A great deal of my gardens are raised and separated from the grass with rocks we’ve collected over time. They never decay away and they are everywhere! A good sized log will last you quite a while too.


  1. I have pinned many garden planters on my love painted tires and even some that look like flowers amazing... I love your ideas