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Shipping Container Gardens: Tips and Tricks

Shipping containers aren’t just for transportation and storage; they can also be used to create unique and innovative gardens. Shipping container gardens are a great way to add greenery and fresh produce to your backyard or urban space. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started:


Choosing the Right Container

The first step in creating a shipping container garden is choosing the right container. You can use a standard 20-foot or 40-foot container, or opt for a smaller container if you have limited space. Make sure the container is in good condition, with no rust or damage that could affect the soil or plants.

Prepping the Container

Before you start planting, you’ll need to prep the container. This includes cleaning the container thoroughly, drilling drainage holes, and lining the container with landscape fabric or a geotextile membrane to prevent soil erosion.

Choosing the Right Soil

Choosing the right soil is crucial to the success of your container garden. You’ll need high-quality potting soil that is well-draining, nutrient-rich, and pH-balanced. Avoid using soil from your backyard, as it may contain pathogens and weed seeds.

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Choosing the Right Plants

When choosing plants for your container garden, consider the amount of sunlight your container will receive, as well as the size and depth of the container. Opt for plants that are suitable for container gardening, such as herbs, leafy greens, and small vegetables.

Maintaining Your Container Garden

Maintaining your container garden is essential to keep it healthy and thriving. This includes watering your plants regularly, fertilizing as needed, and pruning and harvesting your plants to encourage growth. You’ll also need to monitor your container garden for pests and diseases and take appropriate measures to prevent or treat them.

Tips and Tricks for Success

Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you create a successful shipping container garden:

  • Choose plants that complement each other in terms of light and water requirements.
  • Consider adding a trellis or support system for climbing plants.
  • Use companion planting to deter pests and promote plant growth.
  • Place your container garden on a wheeled dolly to make it easier to move around your backyard or patio.
  • Consider adding a drip irrigation system to help conserve water and keep your plants healthy.


Shipping container gardens are a unique and innovative way to bring greenery and fresh produce to your backyard or urban space. By following these tips and tricks, you can create a thriving and sustainable container garden that will provide you with fresh herbs, vegetables, and greens for years to come.

Repurposing Shipping Containers: Is it Worth it?

While shipping containers can be an affordable and sustainable option for creating gardens, there are some considerations to keep in mind before repurposing one. Here are some pros and cons to consider:


  • Affordability: Shipping containers can be an affordable alternative to traditional garden structures, such as sheds or greenhouses.
  • Durability: Shipping containers are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and can last for decades with proper maintenance.
  • Sustainability: Repurposing shipping containers helps reduce waste and supports sustainable practices.
  • Versatility: Shipping containers can be customized and repurposed for a variety of uses, including gardening, housing, and commercial spaces.

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  • Limited space: Shipping containers come in standard sizes, which may not be suitable for larger garden projects.
  • Lack of insulation: Without proper insulation, shipping containers can become too hot or cold for plants.
  • Chemical residue: Some shipping containers may have chemical residues or odors that can affect plant growth and health.
  • Modification costs: Modifying a shipping container can be costly, depending on the extent of the modifications needed.

Repurposing shipping containers for gardening can be a cost-effective and sustainable option, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before committing to a project. If you’re considering using a shipping container for gardening, make sure to thoroughly clean and prep the container, choose the right plants and soil and maintain the garden regularly. With the right care and attention, a shipping container garden can be a unique and thriving addition to your outdoor space.


Investing in Shipping Containers for Unique Uses: Understanding the Cost

Aside from repurposing shipping containers for gardening, they can also be used for a variety of unique purposes such as housing, office spaces, and even swimming pools. If you’re interested in investing in buying shipping containers for a unique purpose, here are some factors to consider:

Container Size and Condition

The size and condition of the container will affect the cost. Larger containers or those in better condition may cost more than smaller, damaged containers. Additionally, containers with special features such as windows or doors may also cost more. Here are some pricing guides for what you can expect to pay for various shipping container sizes:

  • 20-foot container: $1,500 – $3,000
  • 40-foot container: $2,500 – $4,500
  • 45-foot container: $2,800 – $5,000

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Delivery and Installation

Shipping containers are heavy and may require special equipment to transport and install. Delivery and installation costs will vary depending on the distance and location of the delivery. On average, delivery and installation may cost between $500 – $2,000 depending on the project.

Irrigation System

If you’re planning to grow plants in your shipping container, an irrigation system may be necessary to help conserve water and keep your plants healthy. Depending on the complexity of the setup, an irrigation system can cost anywhere from $500 – $1,500 or more.


If you plan to modify the container, such as adding insulation or electrical wiring, you’ll need to factor in the cost of materials and labor. Customizations can be costly, so it’s important to carefully consider the modifications you want before investing.

Permits and Zoning

Before investing in a shipping container, make sure to research local regulations and zoning laws. Some areas may require permits or have restrictions on the use of shipping containers.

Shipping containers can be a unique and cost-effective option for a variety of uses, but it’s important to understand the costs involved before investing. Consider factors such as container size and condition, delivery and installation, customizations, permits, and zoning before making a decision. With the right planning and considerations, investing in a shipping container for a unique purpose can be a rewarding and sustainable investment.


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