wicking tub garden planter
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Making Wicking Tubs

Wicking tubs are perfect container garden beds! Almost anyone can garden using wicking tubs.  Stick around while I show you all about making wicking tubs.

What to Grow in Wicking Tubs

A number of plants can be grown in these wicking tubs.  I currently have spinach, bok choy, and onions planted in them.  Flowers, herbs, tomatoes, peppers, any of your greens and root vegetables are great choices.

These container tubs are perfect for anyone gardening on a balcony or with limited space.  We chose to use the wicking tub garden planter because we have rocky soil.  It’s the perfect solution for root vegetables!

Materials DIY wicking tubs

wicking tub garden planter

The most popular containers to make wicking tubs are mineral tubs.  Cattle farmers buy minerals for their cattle which comes in the mineral tubs.   They are usually discarded by the farmer, who will gladly hand them off to you.  You will need two tubs.

Food grade 3 or 5 gallon bucket.  These can also be found free from restaurants.  We’re able to get 5 gallon buckets, with lids, that held dill pickles from a well known chain restaurant.  You will need one bucket.

You will need a section of PVC pipe, long enough to fit through both mineral tubs. 

Making Wicking Tubs

Steps to constructing the wicking tub garden planter.

Cut a hole in one tub, a little smaller than the opening of the bucket.  Shaun used an attachment on his drill to cut the opening.  Next, drill a hole close to the side for the PVC pipe.

cutting a hole in the mineral tub, diy wicking tub planter

Drill two holes in the bucket a little above the half way mark.  Place the bucket in the center of the uncut tub.  If you are using the 5 gallon bucket, cut off the top section to the first ridge or lip.  Then, place the cut tub on top of the bucket. 

Make sure to cut one end of the PVC pipe at an angle.  You don’t want it sitting flat on the bottom of the tub.  Place the angle end down through the tubs.

diy wicking tub using mineral tubs

Fill the bottom tub with 5 or 3 gallons of water, depending on which size you use.  Place topsoil in the top tub. 

topsoil in wicking tub planter

Now it’s planting time.  If you’re planting tomatoes, plant one in the center.  Any other plants can be planted closer to the edge.  Space according to seed packet instructions.

Let us know if you’ll be making wicking tubs!  You may be interested in making a potato tower no dig gardening.


The instructions for this wicking tub garden planter were learned from Gardening with Leon.



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