Garden-My $2 dollar “cold frame” Horse Trough

Ok so I picked up this nice big metal water trough for $2 dollars as it was rusted though, now it was fixable if you had a welder but that was not what I wanted if for.. So the glass was gotten as curb shopping or given to us, the compost is from the barn, and the rich dirt is a three-year old compost pile that has rotted down into good black soil. Even the seeds I am starting where saved from the farm’s gardens.

We moved the trough to a bright sun spot by the front of the main garden fence and we filled it up 3/4 of the way with half done compost from last falls pile, it has heated once and has been turned by the pigs once.. once it was filled up, I watered it down to get it going again..

Then we needed to go to one of my three-year old compost piles, I know that from the first look of it, there is not too much to see, ah but our eyes are fooled..

Once you start digging into it and breaking up the shovelful, taking out the starting top plants, and now you have wheel barrel full of rich good dark soil to be used on top of the compost, we want about 3 or 4 inches of good soil on top of it. Now I placed glass on top to act as a greenhouse effect, the big piece will stay, but I have a small overlap piece on the end that can be added or removed with ease to increase or reduce the heat I can easily throw a thick old wool blanket to drape over it, on a very cold night but as the compost will act as a slow acting heat matt, at this time of the years is very unlikely that it will be needed.

I am going to plant some lovely squash and maybe some cucumbers in there ahead of the game by 6 to 8 weeks, it’s just the perfect heavy feeders for something like this, and I will add in a vertical climber on both sides, and allow them to go up and then out and over the sides for excellent air flow..

Reuse and think creatively, and almost anything can be used to help you create different garden spots! What is the most interesting thing you have turned into a growing spot?

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11 Responses to Garden-My $2 dollar “cold frame” Horse Trough

  1. grammomsblog says:

    Sweet find! I had about a dozen hindged & stackable 2.5’X2.5′ wooden “bottomless boxes” that my husband had been bringing home from jobs, so last year I made my kitchen garden with 3 rows of three each in the sunniest part behind my woodshed. Mixed equal parts of old compost, topsoil, and shredded leaves; covered a few with roadside-found storm windows – it was a great success!

  2. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Y’know, Dad used to plant his vines in “raised beds” made of cast-off old truck tires and that worked really well for moisture and heat retention, but this trough idea beats that all to h… Well, you get the idea; )
    So, seeing as they tell us not to plant Curcubits out for roughly another 6 weeks (in a normal year, that is) even if you had zucchini/summer squash to start and put pumpkin/winter squash in later, how much more could you get? Like, say if Buttercup were started early like this, would you be able to harvest and still have them keep producing right through ’til frost?
    You also mention vertical growth (climbers like pole beans/scarlet runners?) they’d be awesome together both visually and symbiotically. Ha! Funny the things you remember from high school biology (never mind how many decades ago; )

    • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

      Just thinking more about the Three Sisters planting that native Peoples did… Does that keep the ‘Coons out of the corn if they’re surrounded with scratchy old squash and pumpkin vines?

    • I will do a update later on in the season with photos on how it turned out, I do love the idea of doing beans up with sqaush overflowing the sides.. I don’t know, i have started things early and kept them right though to frost, Pumpkin is a good one for that, as you can eat almost all parts so even if you start some late, you can still eat the flowers, the young greens etc, even if you don’t get the pumkin ready..

      • Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

        I can see it now in my mind’s eye… That trough will make a great “rustic-chic” 3-d garden sculpture this summer. Totally AWESOME! And all for a toonie? ‘Way to go FarmGal!
        I had cucumbers grow up the bean trellis by accident (the first time) and, I’ve gotta tell ya, they were ‘way easier to pick, ready-to-eat clean and stayed beautifully healthy all summer. I think they may have benefitted the beans as well by keeping their roots shady-cool through the heat of summer and, oh yeah I forgot about that legume-nitrogen-fixing thing too.
        Oh hey, speaking of trellising beans or whatever? Lee Valley Tools has a couple of different types of net for trellising. I’ve used their fishnet on my (long enough for an eight foot row of beans) trellis for, well let’s just say that I’ve had it for over twenty years, replaced the netting once and still have more than half of it left. But, for the first year at least; until there’s some vine bits on most of it, it’s really important to tie on ribbon to warn the birds away. (Please don’t ask how I know) :

  3. Just in case someone else goes to make this, if you don’t have it rusted out in the bottom, make sure you have add some way for there to be a drainage hole or two in it..

  4. Little Sis says:

    Awesome. Thanks for reminding us to think outside of the traditional window-box.

  5. Ed says:

    One of my favorite reusable resources is old shipping pallets. They can be used as is or broken down into parts.

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