wolfe
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Galvanized Utility Stock Tank and Tomatoes?

If I plant my tomatoes in a galvanized utility stock tank is there any risk of anything bad leaking in to my food? I want them to be (organic) safe to eat. Farm animals drink out of these things all the time but you still never know.

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Re: Galvanized Utility Stock Tank and Tomatoes?

Just want to bump this up. Anyone have feedback? Personally I think it should be fine, but I would feel better if someone with livestock experience chimed in. :)

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applestar
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Re: Galvanized Utility Stock Tank and Tomatoes?

I'm on a look out for safe large containers too. Plastic totes are so inexpensive and universal, as are plastic barrels cut in half, but I'm concerned about the plastic. So I looked into those stock tanks.

I've seen them described as both safe and unsafe. They are zinc plated and there is something about the plating process and the process to clean and prep the base metal prior to electroplating. I vaguely remember if there is nickel involved then it won't be safe. There could be some lead involved in the process. Maybe cadmium? (This is from uncertain memory)

It may depend on where they are made. Stock tanks maybe different from the smaller wash tubs, too, which are often available cheap from craft store.

For my part, one issue that has me not quite ready to try using one is that I did try a washtub (that was not quite as cheaply made as the craft store ones made in China) to use as an in-ground tiny pond. It rusted after a couple of seasons, killed the fish, and started to float rusty oily goo, so I had to dig it up and get rid of it.

Remembering that really made me wonder if galvanized metal containers would be safe to use as planters especially since you have to punch drainage holes in them which would compromise the rust-proofing galvanization and -- I imagine -- speed the rusting process. And you can't see all that going on inside, filled with growing medium/soil mix.

Trouble is that MOST of the glowing instructables and blogs about using stock tanks as above ground ponds and planters only talk about how they set them up and planted them, then how they fared during the first and maybe 2nd year at most.

What have your research turned up?
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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gixxerific
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Re: Galvanized Utility Stock Tank and Tomatoes?

I do not see a problem with it, the galvanizing process uses zinc. Common cold tablets may contain 100mg zinc that you take for day's.

Cooking in zinc pots would not be a good idea, breathing zinc fumes during welding is very not good. But I don't see how a galvanized tub would be a problem. Farm animals have been drinking out of them for a long time.

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PlainJane
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Re: Galvanized Utility Stock Tank and Tomatoes?

Hi,
I've had 2 large galvanized stock tanks that I'm using as mixed veg and ornamental container gardens. I've grown salad greens of all kinds, many kinds of herbs and bush beans in them. This is going on the 3rd year of use.
To prep them my husband drilled lots of holes. I then layered about 3 inches of large pea gravel and covered that with a layer of landscape fabric. Then the soil mix with some dry organic fertilizer. I doubt very much that any plant roots would make it through to the very bottom near any possible rust.
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