Improvised Garden Pot Using a Carboy

For a long time, I've been searching for a rectangular garden pot that would be appropriate near the wall of our driveway. The driveway surface is mostly pebble-washed concrete and we don't have a plant box near the wall.

Why rectangular? Well because the pot will be located just beside the wall so having the pot abut the driveway wall would be nice. I have a tall trellis mounted on the wall so the pot will be semi-permanently positioned there. Since the wall trellis is quite large, I'm expecting a robust vine to climb over it. For a large vine, I would definitely need a big pot.

Rectangular Pots with Slim Narrow Body

I usually frequent the garden sections of big hardware stores for garden pots. The rectangular pots that I see are usually too low and will hold a small volume of soil. These pots are are usually only 6 to 8 inches high. There are square pots which are only slightly bigger in volume but take up more area on the floor.

The only other ones that are bigger and capable of housing large plants or vines are the commercial plastic garden pots that are circular like the ones below.

These are the common garden pots where one can choose from a large variety of designs, colors and sizes.

The pot I'm looking for should be rectangular, slim and tall, so it doesn't take up space in the driveway, especially when the driveway's metal gate is swung towards the wall. The garden pot I'm after would probably look like a large office plastic trash bin. And I've thought of that and even looked for trash bins. Sadly, the plastic material isn't durable enough to be a receptacle for soil and a large plant's roots.

That's where I thought of other possible containers and a carboy seemingly was the best candidate for the garden pot.

Removing the Carboy Top

The carboy of course is an enclosed container with just a small round cap at the top. The seller agreed to cut the carboy top for a fee. He used a power tool cutter to remove the top half. Here's the carboy with its top already removed.

The carboy cost Php 100 and the cutting fee cost Php 10. There may be cheaper sources of this carboy somewhere, but I believe this particular carboy is heavy-duty.

For one, it's not easy to cut; and second, the material is quite tough and has a leathery bend to it.

Here, I'm squeezing the removed top half and it doesn't crack or break.

So I'm quite sure the improvised garden pot will adequately withstand the heat, sun and rain outside.

Drain Holes for the Improvised Garden Pot

Next was to put the drain holes. A power drill is the only tool I can think of to put in holes because the material is so tough. I used a
1/4" drill bit for the 12 holes. The twelve drain holes were evenly spaced at the bottom of the garden pot.

Twelve drain holes may seem a lot but if you think about it, the garden pot is quite tall and will contain so much soil material. Good drainage will be important to avoid the plant becoming waterlogged.

Cleaning and Painting the Improvised Garden Pot

Since there was so much burr that remained after the cutting of the top, I had to use a flat file to remove the burrs all around the rim of the garden pot. The pot was still dirty and so gave it a good wash.

Then, using a rough sandpaper, I sanded the entire outer surface of the garden pot and the top half of its inside surface. This is because I wanted to paint the garden pot with an earth color. The surface was too smooth and scouring it a bit will help with the paint's adhesion.

Finally, I gave the garden pot a couple of paint coats. Notice I only painted the top third of the inside of the garden pot. This is because most of the inside will be filled with soil anyway.

Here's the improvised garden pot now housing an Allamanda vine which is climbing up a trellis.

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