Try this DIY idea for using a vintage, enameled-steel clawfoot tub for a planter in your garden. No matter what it’s condition any old bathtub will work, clawfoot or not. Many of a European type old bathtub may not be of the clawfoot type, but will work fine as a DIY garden planter.
Vintage clawfoot bathtub left in yard
Garden Betty, who was one of the resources for this article, said the former owners of the house she purchased left a vintage clawfoot bathtub in the yard. She added,
They had it propped up under the feijoa tree on a stack of stones, and for many summers it was our repurposed party cooler, filled to the brim with ice and stuffed with cases of beer. But having the tub sit empty the rest of the year seemed silly, especially since we weren’t using it as an actual tub to wash anything in the garden.
Use no-dig techniques to save money
Her DIY brain juices began flowing. She says she imagined turning it into a planter but the huge size made filling it with good-quality planting soil a bit cost-excessive, considering all the other existing beds that had to be done too. Garden Betty said she started checking into no-dig techniques for construction of raised beds, which stack on layers of organic materials that decay over a season to generate humus-rich earth. This helped her decide to create her own DIY vintage tub planter from the left over fixture. How she created her own no-dig soil is another article.
Any old tub will do
For this DIY project, you can use any repurposed leaking tub and fill it up with no-dig soil as Betty did (or use your own soil and planting technique). You can either plant new blooms or relocate flowers that have outgrown other planters to the tub garden. This project kept the original rusty porcelain look of the tub as it simply radiates appeal. The faded white look produces a casual, worn look that goes well with colorful flowers or water features (another article).
- Slightly tilt tub so that existing drain hole is lower that other end of tub for good drainage.
- Set empty tub on stones to help stabilize tub and create natural landscaping.
- If you prefer, paint tub body a color to match your garden colors.
Watch the video above left on How To Make a Window Planter. Make one to go with your vintage tub planter.
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