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Sat Apr 25, 2020, 04:13 PM

Container Gardening question:

I know I've researched this before and found an answer I could live with because I've painted a few containers already that I'm using to grow edibles -- Mostly leafy edibles. But then I came across a gardening video that confused me. Basically the garden expert did not recommend plastic containers at all for growing food.

So here is what I have discovered to ease my own mind:

1) Plastic containers with recyclable numbers: 1, 2, 4 and 5 are okay to use. 3, 6 and 7 are not.

2) Acrylic paint is safe to use.

Now, the question: What sealer for the acrylic paint is a safe one? If I do a paint job, I want it to last the elements so I'll go the extra mile.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 04:18 PM

1. Why paint plastic?

I use metal containers for part of my garden. The galvanized metal tubs work well, can be easily drilled for drainage, and the metal retains heat in cooler weather.
In the Chicago area, I have harvested tomatoes in November from my metal containers. I even use old milk cans.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 04:21 PM

2. It's a personal thing.

I don't have a lot of space in the backyard and it works as double-duty, functional and pleasing to the eye.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 04:30 PM

4. Understood.

I paint my galvanized containers as well, but only the outside.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 04:22 PM

3. I've been building sone new raised beds

Replacing the ones I did 15 years ago.

Sure, they corroded, but it took many years. And the wood, untreated, grayed out over time. But itís all natural. And nothing lasts forever.

Iíve thought about painting or sealing, but just couldnít bring myself to do it. Even sealed, the treated boards are going to be exposed to the elements and will probably fade anyway.

For smaller beds that might be protected in some way, or brought in in the winter, it could work.

Have fun with it.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 04:40 PM

5. way overthinking it. if it holds potting mix and has bottom holes,

go for it.

I use black plastic 5 gallon grow bags ( inexpensive, last for many years).

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 07:37 PM

8. I did buy some grow bags and I like them.

I just need the decorative pots in place to hide the functional part of the garden behind them.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 05:38 PM

6. Plastic holds too much water

Even with some holes drilled in the bottom, your roots will drown.

Can't beat wood. Paint or stain the outside. I'm lucky that Mr. Bayard brings these big wooden crates home from work, 3' x 4'. They get supplies shipped in from the mother country. They are hinged on the corners, open top and bottom. They stack as high as you want them, and can fold flat. That could probably be replicated.

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Response to Bayard (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 07:39 PM

9. I live in Florida and where they are, getting the heat of the direc sun, they are always dry.

The leaves of my rosemary always look dried out, no matter how much water I provide. I gave it a hard cutback hoping that the new growth will look more resilient.

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Response to Bayard (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 08:03 PM

11. not at all if you use good quality soil less mix

I grow a few hundred tomato, pepper and eggplants in them yearly, for decades. Never lost a plant yet.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Original post)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 06:48 PM

7. If you use an exterior acrylic house paint, it won't need a sealer.

It should only be in the outside though. If it is constantly moist with wet dirt against it, it will likely peel off.

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 25, 2020, 07:41 PM

10. I don't usually paint the inside, but this pot has a lip that falls backwards.

So rainfall will fall on the lip and into the container. That lip is what concerns me. It wouldn't have looked right if I hadn't have painted it.

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 26, 2020, 02:28 AM

12. The paint should be fine as long as it doesn't fall below "ground level."

Think of a house. Exterior acrylic paint, holds up to all the elements, but if it is has moist soil against it all the time, there will be issues. As long as you keep the paint above the soil line, you should not have a problem. You can use a layer of mulch to hide the bottom edge if needed.

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Response to MoonchildCA (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 26, 2020, 10:20 AM

13. Very reassuring. Thank you!

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Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 26, 2020, 10:35 AM

14. On another note, adhesion to plastics in general, can be an issue.

There are primers for plastic products. Or at the very least, scuff the surface with fine sandpaper before painting.

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