Galvanized Plant Container Size Guide

Planning your garden is an exciting endeavor, most gardeners count down the days until they can begin for the year. Gardening offers wonderful benefits, including the ability to create a sustainable source of food for you and your family. Additionally, you gain reassurance in knowing exactly how your produce was grown and maintained. There is often concern for store-bought options that may contain harmful pesticides.

With the adoption of container gardening, there is versatility, regardless of your living space. Container gardening is a terrific way to grow vegetables when your only option is in an apartment courtyard or balcony.

Our at-a-glance plant container size chart is aimed at assisting you in selecting the right container for you. We also offer a quick guide to configure what to plant in those containers.

A few things to understand about standard plant container sizes:

  • Plant container sizes are not standardized, and various manufacturers can use vastly different measurements.
  • Sizes listed here are measured by the amount of soil they hold (dry-soil measurements).
  • Choose the largest possible container for vegetables to give them access to more soil, food, and water.
  • Generally, aim for the garden container size to be as deep as it is wide. This provides the most room for the roots.
  • Small plant containers that hold less than 2 gallons of soil are not recommended for growing most vegetables to maturity. (These metal containers can be good for kitchen herbs).

Choosing Your Plant Container Material

Planting a starter plant in a metal tub

There are various container material options on the market. Choosing the right materials is also a key aspect of the planning process. You should focus on materials that are durable, safe, and make it easy for you to create the garden you desire. The three most common materials found on the market are terracotta, plastic, and galvanized metal containers.

You can find terracotta pots in all nursery and gardening centers. These have been used for centuries to grow plants. Terracotta is a great option, though there are some drawbacks you may want to consider. First, terracotta is not the most durable material, particularly for the outdoors or moving your plants around. It doesn’t stand up well to being dropped, and changes in temperature can often cause damage that may or may not be repairable.

Another option you will easily find is plastic. One of the biggest advantages people see with plastic is low cost. If you are strictly budget-minded, this may be your choice. However, there are some big disadvantages that come with that cheap price. Firstly, plastic is not a sustainable option for our planet. Plastic is not easily recyclable and can live in landfills for thousands of years before breaking down. Additionally, plastic can leach chemicals into the plants you are growing. It can be considered counter-intuitive if you are growing your garden to provide healthy food choices for your family, and your container is releasing harmful chemicals into the plants you will eat. The more research being done on plastic, the more we see the negative impact those chemicals have over our lifetime.

People planting container gardens in galvanized steel tubs

Galvanized metal plant containers provide durability, sustainability, and does not leach harmful chemicals to your plants. Metal can stand up to the harshest weather conditions and will last many years over. Additionally, metal recycles forever, and doesn’t lose its strength when used again. Finally, metal containers add a beautiful aesthetic to any garden or home interior.

If you’d like to learn more about galvanized steel planters, our previous blog post “A Guide to Galvanized Steel” provides a more detailed analysis on galvanized steel containers. Additionally, you can learn about the safety of galvanized steel in our blog post “A Safety Guide for Galvanized Steel”.