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Planting a tin bath herb garden

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 13 May 2013 at 04:19 PM


I'm a big fan of galvanised tin baths.  Not obviously, as baths.  That would be silly.  Next thing you know I'd be recommending you use pipe cleaners to clean pipes.  But no, as a large ice-filled drinks cooler at a 1920s themed speakeasy party, or as a garden planter, they are perfect. In fact I've used mine for both (not simultaneously you understand).

I picked up the bath for about £30 at an antique shop, but you can also find them online.  Although not cheap, they are pretty good value when you compare them to similarly large containers.

And they're a great size for a herb garden - which is how we employ ours. Archie, then aged four, managed to plant this up last spring, and you can see within twelve months how well it has matured (it even appears to have sprouted bunting which is most impressive).

If you want to do something similar, you first need to puncture some holes in the base - I did this by hammering through several times with a large nail.  It is then worth lining the sides of the bath with some old compost bags to guard against any soil contamination from the metal as these are edible plants.

The children can add a layer or gravel or pebbles to the bottom - this will stop the drainage holes becoming blocked and also guard against contamination - before filling with some regular potting compost, firming it down as they go.  

They can then play around with where they want their herbs to sit before taking them out of their pots and planting them in the compost.  Good plants to use include such herbs as lavenders, sage, thyme, chives, parsley and oregano. Just one warning: avoid planting mint, or it will spread and take over the whole bath.

Finally it's a good idea to dress the surface with gravel - it finishes it off nicely, keeps compost from splashing on the leaves, and also helps retain moisture in the soil.

Step by step herb bath

Oh, and if you'd rather use it as a drinks container the instructions are significantly simpler.

Add water.  Add ice.  Add bottles. 

Oh.  And if you'd like to have a go at planting a herb wheelbarrow instead, here's my daughter Ava to show you how...


IWA Garden Care said:

I really like using old products like a tin bath or ceramic pots in the garden. I think you can seed flowers, plants and herbs in groups and make them look perfect together.

on 20 May 2013 at 12:28 PM