by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Whether you call it a garden tote, a garden tub, or a garden trug, its proper English name, is neither here nor there. What's important is that this is one piece of gardening equipment that is indispensable. The word trug may sound odd to us Americans, but trugs, essentially shallow rectangular or, mostly, oval, footed baskets, have been around for more than 250 years. Not in recycled plastic of course, but in traditional materials of wood and willow.
Modern garden tubs or trugs are the ultimate carry-all. Washable, flexible, lightweight, frost proof, and durable, the garden trug is ideal for transporting anything from grass clippings and weeds to cut flowers and stones. They are also very handy indeed to use when transplanting small plants, with root balls intact or for carrying garden tools.
Such trugs are sold in several sizes, typically 9 or 11-gallon sizes in the US, the larger 11-gallon garden tubs measure approximately 18 inches high and 13 inches across. Smaller tubs are generally the same size in diameter but may be only 8 inches high. Even better, many trugs are made from 100% recycled polyethylene plastic or even those that are made from tires.
In addition to basic black and garden green of course, garden tubs are available in an array of colors including orange, purple, pink, yellow, red, sky blue and pistachio. Those made from tires are much stronger but available only in black. They also tend to smell of tire rubber.
All of those plastic ones are made and sold by a great many different companies and outlets and some are better than others.
Traditional garden trugs can also still be had, and, with a little trial and error and/or skill, it might even be possible for a gardener to fashion such old-fashioned ones themselves. Buying a traditional wooden garden trug, however, is a rather costly affair and while plastic, even recycled plastic, is not the greatest choice, the plastic/rubber trug is a better choice for the gardener who does not have the time to look after to wooden ones, as they need care after use.