Planting Succulents in a Repurposed Poultry Waterer

Living on a farm most of my life, I've seen my share of old farm supplies and equipment.  Most of these items can be considered junk by many, and - unless you actually have a purpose for them -- they can be.

With a little imagination, however, something as simple as a galvanized steel chicken waterer can be put to good use.  These types of waterers are hard to manage for use with chickens, but they are sturdy and last forever!  We immediately thought that this one would make a good home for some small succulent plants (and maybe a flower or two.)

We picked up some succulents (a type of plant common for small planters) from our local Walmart to plant inside an unused waterer.  They were priced at $3.50 - $7 for various sizes and varieties.  Your local store will have their own assortment; look for them in the garden center.

 My husband went to work preparing the little plants.  He started by removing them from the plastic pots and separating the roots of those that could be.

 After filling the bottom of the waterer with soil (a specific kind of "container" soil with additives works best), he started gently planting the plants.

 The top was filled, first with some cut up logs, and then dirt. (To read more about how wood can be used as a foundation for a garden, container, or raised bed, see this article on hugelkulture.)

Sam did a great job of arranging the plants.  (Note: His favorite work shirt claims his name is "Dave."  It is not. Such is the world of second-hand clothing.)

The final product was beautiful!  In addition to placing the largest succulents in the top, he chose a bright Gerbera to fill the space and add some color.

Chicken waterers come in all sizes and shapes, but they all make a great home for small plants.  I can't wait to see how these small plants grow over the season.  These would do best on a sun porch, but you can also place them outside when the weather warms up.  (Just keep them away from nosy pets.  My chickens would love to peck these!)