using old metal canning pots for planters: bad idea or good?

Murphysboro, IL(Zone 6b)

I'm wanting to try growing potatoes in containers this year, and was looking around my home for a large container of some kind to repurpose. I have two large metal pots meant to be used as water baths for home canning. One is graniteware and one is plain aluminum. Both have tiny holes on the bottom that leak and so can't be used as pots any more.

I was considering punching some holes in the bottom and using them for potato planters, but I'm concerned that they will heat up too much in the sun. Has anyone tried this? I'm on the south edge of zone 6 and it gets pretty hot in July and August here.

Hemet, CA(Zone 9b)

We have used and old washing machine tub to grow potatoes in the past.

Murphysboro, IL(Zone 6b)

Thanks for that report, dillansnana!

Hemet, CA(Zone 9b)


Englewood, FL

I use 2 gal. galvanized pails for plants but those that are out in the sun dry out quickly & have to be watered every day.

Dewey, AZ(Zone 7a)

I use metal pots all the time. Old roasting pans, stock pots, coffee tins, all kinds of stuff. Sometimes I pick them up at the flea market or thrift. They never last very long, naturally, but I like the humble look of them rusting away with "one last job". One amendment to that: don't use copper except as a vessel to put another pot IN...because copper will inhibit root growth. Enjoy!

Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL(Zone 7b)

Well darn,, that explains why all my plants died the first year I gardened. I used about 30 copperpots. I still have those pots and was just thinking that I wanted to create a display of plants in them again. I will folow your advise and use plastic pots as liners first. Thanks

Paxton, FL(Zone 8a)

I've used old granite ware canning pots, haven't noticed any problems. Didn't know that about copper.

Grantsboro, NC(Zone 8b)

How about the 5 gallon buckets?

They might be better

Englewood, FL

Copper will kill, old timers used copper sulfate before we had commercial weed killers & they would kill trees by hammering copper nails in them. My neighbor raises tomatoes in 5 gal. plastic buckets, as LivinaMay suggested,they work the same as the pots that large plants or small trees come in from a nursery, only much stronger.

(Pat) Kennewick, WA(Zone 5b)

If you're going to use the 5 gallon buckets, be sure to drill some good drainage holes in them.

Englewood, FL

My wife , AKA Brown Thumb Jackie , made an attempt to raise African Violets in fancy tea pots that we picked up at yard sales & flea markets, they looked nice with 8 of them lined up on the window sill, 2 years later they were lined on the curb. Oh sigh !!!!

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