Moving garden containers are a great way to maximize small spots in your garden or for moving houseplants in and out. Portable containers are also easy to move from shade to sun and then back to shade if summer afternoons get too hot. Planters that move can be complicated and expensive, but they can also be surprisingly simple to construct, often from upcycled or found materials. Here are a few possibilities for making handy containers with wheels.
About Portable Containers
Casters are your friends when it comes to creating moving garden containers. Be sure to use heavy-duty casters, as movable containers are very heavy when they’re filled with plants and damp potting mix. If you’ve ever had to lug a huge houseplant around, you know what I mean.
If you’re making portable containers from wood, spend a little more money and use rot-resistant lumber. Avoid softwoods, which won’t hold up to weather in most climates and are more likely to be damaged by pests or fungus. Any type of garden container with wheels must have drainage holes in the bottom. Without drainage, plants are liable to rot very quickly.
Consider painting the inside of movable containers with pond paint, which is expensive but durable and non-toxic. Epoxy paint, which is a bit less expensive, also works well and is safe for people and plants. Fill your portable container with potting soil made specifically for raised gardens or use regular potting mix if the movable container is small.
Making Garden Containers with Wheels
Galvanized metal containers can easily be turned into planters that move. For example, consider metal trash cans, livestock troughs, or nearly any industrial container (be sure the container hasn’t been used for storage of toxic materials). If the portable container is large, you may want to add a pre-cut piece of pressure-treated wood to the bottom before you add the coasters.
Visit your local thrift shop and search out things to make funky movable carts from upcycled objects. To keep projects simple, look for items that already have wheels such as an old baby carriage, rolling baby cribs, or bassinets. Paint a used grocery cart with rust-resistant paint and then set flowerpots in the cart.
Got an old wheelbarrow laying around? Paint the wheelbarrow or leave it as-is for a charming, rustic appearance. Fill the wheelbarrow with potting soil and plant veggies or blooming annuals. You can always build a simple wooden box. Paint or seal the inside and use exterior paint on the outside. Use deck screws and exterior grade wood glue for a more secure hold.
Ideas are endless.
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A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.
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