Blog    |    Portable Water Tanks for Commercial Gardening

Portable water tanks for commercial gardening

Professional horticulturalists and landscapers know the real value of having portable water tanks on hand. For them, it is a tool of the trade as much as a hoe or a spade. Every gardener uses them regularly. If you have one or are thinking about starting a garden, you should look into one of the portable water tank for gardens to meet your needs.

Why do gardens need water tanks?

For most outdoor plants, rain is their primary source of water. Depending on your region and climate though, the local rainfall may not be enough to sustain the growth of your plants. Many gardens and lawns require special irrigation, watering from a hose, or water collection to get through the dry spells.


Consider decorative flower gardens. 100 years ago, many of these gardens received extra water from metal watering cans. 50 years ago, flower gardens near homes with access to plumbing started watering their plants by hoses with spray nozzles. Today, some properties use sprinkler systems which can be expensive to install and maintain, especially across large properties.


Most of these methods are not very precise, which can be a problem in places like nurseries where you may have groups of plants in the same area that require different amounts of water. If you would like to know precisely how much water your garden is getting, using a portable plastic tank is the simplest, least expensive, and most accurate way to go. You can attach a hose, pump, and spray handle to help water more evenly across your garden, but a portable plastic water tank will let you know exactly how much water is used.


Professional plant care experts often need more than just water for their plants. Often they mix in special plant nutrients in with the water. Sometimes they mix weed killer or pesticides in those tanks. Unless you can thoroughly clean out those tanks you use toxic chemicals in, it is not a good idea to use the weed-killing tank for regular watering or applying nutrients.


There is another type of garden that definitely requires portable plastic tanks: indoor gardening. Indoor gardens, or greenhouses, do not get rain. Whether you have a full-fledged greenhouse or are just growing a small garden in your home, you will need a portable plastic water tank to water your plants.

What sizes do portable water tanks come in?

A plastic portable water tank for gardening can come in many sizes. You can purchase very small ones to hand-water a very small garden. If you have a garden that requires regular watering, you may do better getting a larger tank and affixing a pump with a timer on it. A small tank for a job like that might be 50 gallons. You could use that size for a small nursery. If you have a large outdoor garden or large property you do landscaping for, you probably will need a 750 or 1000-gallon portable water tank for gardens. Some even hold up to 1,750 gallons. For a large greenhouse, you may also need something that size to keep all your plants hydrated well.


Plastic portable water tanks come in a large number of standard sizes, but they tend to be similar shapes (for the sake of portability). If you need a different kind of shape but do not need portability for your tank, there are many other water tank options to choose from as well. Since these tanks are made from molds, they are not usually custom-made per customer. However, there are so many portable water tank for garden options available you will certainly find something that will fit your needs.

Portable water tank infographic

What size of portable water tank do I need for my work?

This is an important question you need to know before purchasing a portable water tank for garden. The quickest way to find out the best tank size is to consult an expert who sells portable water tanks for gardens. To get an accurate assessment for your garden, you will need to give the tank experts the square footage of your work area, what kind of plants you grow, whether this is an indoor or outdoor garden, and (for outdoor gardens) what sort of rainfall you can expect to have on average. That gives you a baseline for your garden’s need for water.


Here is some helpful math: an average garden requires 0.623 gallons per square foot each week. That means that a 32 square foot garden would require 20 gallons of water every week. So, if your work area is only 32 square feet in area and you were able to refill your water tank every week, you would need a 20-gallon tank. If your garden is bigger, or if you did not want to refill your tank every single week than you might need a bigger tank.


Another part of that equation involves how you intend to get water. If you live in a temperate region that regularly receives plenty of precipitation during some seasons but not in others, or if you have indoor plants and want to find a less expensive way to water them, you may want to use your portable water tank for garden to catch and store rainwater. If you are using your portable water tank to catch rain, especially if you have it piped through roof or gutter systems, you will need to be sure your tank is big enough to hold a large rain storm’s worth of water. Otherwise, it will overflow, and water will be wasted.

How many tanks should you buy?

This answer depends entirely on the layout of your work area. If your plants are all in one area, you probably only need one tank. If your garden is split up into different areas that require regular irrigation with timer-based pumps, you may need several smaller tanks. If you had a 1750-gallon tank, it might seem that would be the only portable water tank for gardening you would need. However, you may actually require several smaller tanks that would be more accessible to smaller parts of your larger garden area or landscape.


You will also need to consider what you will be using the tanks for. If you will only be using them for water, one tank may be sufficient, but if you will be mixing in pesticides or fertilizers, you will need seperate tanks for each of those to help prevent cross contamination.

What can I do with my water tank in the off-season?

Clean it out. Indoor gardening gives you the option of growing plants year-round, but if you have an outdoor garden, there are probably 3-6 months that you do not need to be watering. Take this opportunity to thoroughly rinse out your tank, especially if you have used nutrients or other chemicals in it. Then drain and dry it completely before finding someplace to store it. Plastic always does better when it is above freezing temperatures, so try to store it indoors if possible. Make sure it is clean and closed before putting it up for the winter. You do not want animals getting trapped in it or water freezing in it and potentially cracking it from the inside.


If you have an indoor nursery that still grows plants during the winter months, you can certainly continue to use it there as well. It is still good to routinely clean your plastic tank, but many indoor gardening facilities use their tanks year round.


You could also put it to use for the winter. One of the problems some businesses have to contend with during cold winter months is having frozen pipes. Having some emergency water storage on hand can be very helpful in a crisis like that.


How can you convert it to emergency water in winter months? It can still gather rain effectively if it is kept above freezing temperatures. If you keep it inside you could bring in buckets of snow and add their water once they melted enough. You should not drink the water unless you have tested it and added purifying tablets to it. However, you should have no problem cleaning with it or using it for sanitation purposes. So long as you have power or a gas stove, most water is drinkable after it has been boiled.


If you intend to use your tank for emergency purposes, you should never use it to mix pesticide or herbicide. You should also clean it thoroughly with soap and water if you have mixed plant nutrients in with it. If you are not sure whether it has been cleaned recently or not, it is better to be safe and clean it again than sorry and risk illness or poisoning from a tank that has been contaminated.


If you live in a warmer or very dry area, which may be part of your interest in owning a water tank for gardens, it may be a good idea to keep extra water on hand during those dry off-seasons in case of fire. A portable water tank will not put out a forest fire or even a structure fire — it would be foolish and unsafe even to attempt that. However, it could help put out a small brush fire, or burning leaves that get out of hand. To use it for this purpose, you will need a hose and a pump at least, and possibly a nozzle sprayer.


You can also use your tank for cleaning purposes outside of emergency situations. Use it to clean the building or parking lot, or fill a small fish pond. Commercial landscaping operations can expand their clientele and bring in additional income by offering home pressure washing services.


Portable water tanks are helpful in a variety of situations. If you are working on landscaping or commercial gardening, consider investing in a portable water tank to make watering your plants quicker, easier, and more cost-effective.

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