Comments On - Container Garden Containers

Look on any material safety data sheet and you will see that zinc is used in making galvanized steel. Zinc is the element in question here with galvanized steel containers and gardening.

Zinc is the 27th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust.

It naturally exists in air, water, soil, and the biosphere. Most rocks and many minerals, as well as humans, plants and animals contain zinc in varying amounts.

In fact, approximately 5.8 million tons of zinc naturally cycles through the environment annually by plant and animal life, rainfall, natural phenomena, and other activity.

Zinc is also common and essential to all life. All living things from the tiniest micro-organisms to humans require zinc to live as it helps with specific metabolic processes.

The minimum daily requirement for zinc is 15 mg, and it is fairly common to take 100 mg per day for short periods to help ward off colds and flu.

Zinc blocks more UV rays than any other single ingredient used in sunscreen and helps with a baby's sore bottom.

People collect rainwater off of galvanized roofs for rainwater collection and then store that rainwater in galvanized steel tanks.

Water districts use larger galvanized tanks to hold public drinking water while most cereals and grains that you buy in the grocery were stored in galvanized steel silos before being processed into Wheaties, etc.

Zinc is all around us and is in much of what we drink and eat. Again, it is a required part of our diet.

But even so, it has been shown in testing that zinc does not leach into the plants growing inside galvanized containers.

A group of professors at The University of California tested plants growing inside galvanized containers.

After this testing, the group has no concerns about zinc leaching within the containers. Even when zinc does show up at low trace levels in soils, the leaves and fruits of plants test negative.

Bottom Line: you will be hard pressed to find zinc in the soil within any galvanized steel garden, and you will not find the zinc within the plants themselves.

But if you are still have concerns then there are certain paints, coatings and liners that can adhere to the inside of your garden
John, Austin, TX
Posted: 8/8/2015 5:25:01 AM
I use plastic 18 gallon totes. Cheap, works for one or two seasons, and super easy to move around the yard
Denise, Przybylowicz, TX
Posted: 4/12/2015 3:27:17 PM
Posted: 2/18/2015 4:39:51 AM
I live in sand on the Central Coast of California. It is too cool here for tomatoes so I buried large pulp pots in the sand, up to their rims, filled them with good compost, planted my tomatoes (Sweet 100 and San Marzano)and then topped them with 3.5' high clear plastic tubes I found online. The tubes came without any air vents so I slapped on some duct tape and cut holes. So far, so good. I am harvesting the best Sweet 100s I've been able to grow in my ten years here. The San Marzonos look terrific but are still green. I am hoping the pulp pots will last 2-3 seasons.
Diane, Los Osos, CA
Posted: 7/13/2013 2:43:32 PM
I've used flagstone boxes, raised beds built with large rocks, logs and urbanite (broken concrete chunks) for years. Yes, wood rots, but isn't that fine with you? I just make sure that there is sufficient nitrogen available for my plants and then I chop and grind the wood up for my compost. You still get years of use out of it.

I've grown hundreds of demonstration gardens in bags of mulch and soil. I'll set these up in friends' yards just so they get the feel that they can grow something. The only downside I've found for those is the bits of plastic left over after you've harvested a couple of seasons. They are NOT UV stabilized bags.
Bruce, Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 3/21/2013 1:42:17 PM
Good points to remember.
Galadriel, Lothlorien, ME
Posted: 1/24/2013 11:49:24 PM
A new option for container gardeners is the Phytopod vertical gardening container. They come in a variety of sizes and have the novel feature that you can plant all over the outside of the container to get a maximum of plant production from a small footprint. You can find out more about them at www.phytopod.com or on facebook where there are lots of great pictures of them.
Eluem, New York, NY
Posted: 1/19/2012 7:47:56 PM
Thomas, container gardening can be as creative as the person doing it. My container garden this year was Impatiens and Begonias that were in hanging plastic baskets watered every day by a drip watering system. Every three weeks, I give the flowers a dose of Miracle Grow. I figure I'm not eating the flowers so I don't have to be quite as perticular about organic growing.

My gardens are in the backyard and get some of the run off from the neighbor's yard who has a yard service taking care of it. I try the best I can but there's just no way I could get to a totally organic garden in my yard. Thanks for the information about containers.
David, Omaha, NE
Posted: 9/5/2011 6:46:25 AM
There are some other considerations. Air-pots are one. I use them for a lot of my crops. They are constructed so as to keep the roots from circling the pot. Good price and re-useable.
Another good option are breathable fabric pots. Now companies are also making them with handles.
Last but not least - self-watering containers are wonderful but in some areas of the country this still means filling them up everyday for bigger plants like tomatos.
Davilyn, Landers, CA
Posted: 9/3/2011 9:24:34 AM
An issue with plastic is that most plastics leach harmful chemicals into the soil. Can run into the same issue as with galvanized steel. Just a warning.
Vicki, Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 8/31/2011 4:10:00 PM
Great information but you seem to be stuck on the "drainage" issue. Wouldn't it be great if you didn't have to have a hole in the bottom of your pot? Consider sub-irrigated containers that have a water reservoir in the bottom and allow the water to wick up via capillary action into the soil as the plant needs it. Consistent, steady watering, great root zone oxygenation, water conservation, impossible to overwater, no leaching of minerals or nutrients, lower maintence... wow, it just seems too good to be true. Sub-irrigated planters, or SIPs are not a new idea, either. There was a patent issued in the early 1900's. They can be as small as a simple pot and as large as a whole field.

Easy to make, easier to use. Check them out on the web.
Bruce, Las Vegas, NV
Posted: 8/29/2011 7:37:52 AM
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