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Fiberglass Containers

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riredwolf blog
Joined: 8/20/2009
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 28
Posted: Aug/29/2009 7:38 AM PST

Now this is a rather specialised question, but I am sure there are some members with the knowledge to help me out. I am looking into forming my own containers out of fiberglass after a visit to local garden centers and nurseries and have seen the prices that are being charged for swc's and even traditional containers are excessive. The flimsy one's are cheap but they might last a season or two, hardly what I call a good investment.

Fiberglass is relatively inexpensive , but it is time consuming ( I have 2-4 months of winter , so I have plenty of time). I have used it to repair boats and make storage for my home. What I don't know is how food safe it is. Distinct advantage, you can create variable forms, so that one form can make several differrent type of products.

I envisage the fiberglass for larger containers (both swc and traditional) for growing root crops or vegetables that need a larger ground surface (like cabbage). I have other ideas for the climbers like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and peas.
poeticpeony blog photos
Joined: 4/04/2006
Location: NE Ohio, deck chuckin' fool
Posts: 9437
Moderator
Posted: Aug/29/2009 2:59 PM PST

That's a darn good question. I used to swim in a fiberglass wading pool that was a scrapped, blemished jeep top when I was a wee person. There's trays made at MFG (Molded Fiber Glass) in Linesville, Pa. used in food service. You might contact them as see what they say. It lasts almost forever. We had curtains, a septic tank, and an apple storage bin with shelves made from it, too. Even my barn is covered in cast off panels. Like I said it lasts practically forever. (My dad worked at a plant that made Corvette bodies long time ago.) The automotive type might have something in it that might leach into the plants eventually if the surface gets roughed up, but you could easily drop a plastic bag in it and dump your dirt in that. I put the question into the search engine and it looks like it's used for edibles quite a bit. I'm just not sure about the automotive type that you'd mix yourself. I'd like to cover my cast iron bird bath with it someday so it would stop the rust.
Of course, you need to watch for the splinters! Itchy! But I'm sure you know all about that since you've worked with it. You wouldn't want that growing into a potato or something.
riredwolf blog
Joined: 8/20/2009
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 28
Posted: Aug/30/2009 5:34 AM PST

True..fiberglass can be a pain..literally..fortunately the product has improved. The matting is pretty uniform now, and the resins are relatively easy to work with. You are probably right, my best bet would be to contact the manufacturers directly. Just wanted to see if there were other nuts like me around, who would rather make thier own..that buy commercial (distinct advantage being that I can make it to my needs)
MamaBearBSA photos
Joined: 8/14/2002
Location: Altoona, Iowa (near Des Moines)
Posts: 4989
Moderator
Posted: Aug/30/2009 10:33 AM PST

I have many unusual pots but none that I have made. Altered yes, made no. I take a lot of old buckets, large cooking pots etc. and drill drainage holes in them and use them to give them a second life. As for making my own, I have wanted to try the hyper-tufa ones but just haven't gotten myself around to it yet.
riredwolf blog
Joined: 8/20/2009
Location: North Providence, RI
Posts: 28
Posted: Sep/03/2009 5:23 PM PST

Pretty much what I am going to do for many of my containers, but for the really big ones, don't have a lot of choice, either buy commercial (expensive) or try to make them. Fiberglass is an option because it will relatively lighter than say...wood. But it does require time, and a modique investment in materials. I am still in the exploration stages. I have already started to stock pile containers.
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