Gardening: How to Turn a Feeding Trough Into a Planter-Day 2

March 23, 2021


  • Utility knife
  • Garden hose
  • Drill
  • Safety glasses
  • Carbide drill bit, 1/4” & 1/2”
  • Galvanized steel animal feeding trough/stock tank
  • Gardening gloves
  • Soil—Kellogg Garden Organics-Raised Bed & Potting Mix, Organic Plus.
  • Cardboard


Drill drainage holes in the bottom of the feeding trough roughly 6 inches apart. First, I used a sharpie to mark where I wanted each hole. I followed a zigzag pattern along the length of the trough. I used a smaller diameter bit to pre-drill pilot holes. Then, I used a 1/2” drill bit to make each individual hole. Don‘t forget to wear safety glasses for eye protection.

Flip the feeding trough over and put it in the desired location. Use cedar planks underneath the trough to give the planter more space to drain. I found it very helpful to preselect the location of the trough.

Cut the screen to size and place it at the bottom of the trough to protect the drainage holes from getting clogged

Depending on how deep the trough is, it may not be necessary to fill the entire trough with soil. To save on cost and weight, fill that void with a layer of non-biodegradable packing peanuts. I used recycled cardboard boxes cut into little pieces.

  • Fill the rest of the trough with garden soil.
  • Plant a variety of plants in the trough. Be sure to tease the roots with the hand cultivator. Put the tallest plants in the back to help the shorter plants get more sunlight.
  • Give everything a thorough watering.


I used a galvanized steel animal feeding trough, purchased at Home Depot. Feeding troughs are available at most livestock supply stores. Use the correct drill bit to drill the drainage holes:What is the best drill bit for galvanized steel? Cobalt (HSCO) is considered an upgrade from HSS because it includes 5-8% Cobalt blended into the base material. This is a great option for drilling into harder steel as well as stainless steel grades. Carbide (Carb) is the hardest and most brittle of the drill bit materials.
How to Drill a Hole in Galvanized Metal

  1. Put on your safety glasses.
  2. Insert the proper size drill bit into the drill motor.
  3. Apply cutting fluid to the drill bit to reduce the friction caused during the drilling process.
  4. Place pressure on the drill motor.
  5. Attach the flapper wheel to the grinder.

Can you use wd40 for drilling metal?Accordingly, can wd40 be used as a cutting oil? WD-40 will work just fine as a cutting oil. … For drilling holes in steelthat’s 1/8 in. or thicker, use cutting fluid or a multipurpose oil like 3-IN-ONE. Lubricating the bit reduces friction and heat buildup, which makes drilling easier and your bits last

I used an organic garden soil mix manufactured by Kellogg Garden Organics-Raised Bed & Potting Mix, Organic Plus.

Plants that were selected for each trough:DAY 2: Pole beans, Peas, and Snow Peas.

The other materials that I used to make the planter, including: a drill, safety glasses, carbide drill bit, hose, gardening gloves, utility knife, and cardboard, can be found at home centers and nurseries.

Expert assistance for this blog was provided by: by Jenn Monthly Organic Garden Guide by Garden Zone

What plants are you including in your garden this season? Will you be using a raised planting bed? Please share in the comments. Thank you for sharing!

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