Junk Gardening with a Techie Twist

Everywhere you go, you’ll see those round satellite dishes that television providers used to use to get those home decor and renovation programs to our houses.

But what happens with them when they’re out of date and obsolete?

That’s where we come in. 

Satellite Dish Planters

I had my eye on the one that was being replaced with a new one, and the old ones are almost round, while the new dishes are much more oval. 

The rounded ones are best, so if you see one, grab it for a Satellite Dish Planter.

First of all, unscrew all the mounting hardware, the asimuth (looks like a flashlight aiming back at the dish) and all that; with any luck, there will be mounting holes right through the dish itself, in which case, rejoice! 

If the dish is solid, you’ll need to drill some drain holes in it. 

Even though these are shallow, if you’re thinking succulents, they will still need good drainage.

satellite dish planter

I’ve painted the edge of the dishes in my signature Blue Fox blue – it’s exterior latex paint, from the hardware store – nothing fancy like Tremclad or some other metal paint. 

This seems to last very well; some of the dishes have seen four winters or more, and don’t look weathered at all.

Find a hollow section of log or other stand, preferably sturdy and easy to level.

Carefully place the dish on the stand, and make sure it’s level.

Place flattish rocks around the edge, and enough soil in the middle to make a mound, and then flatten it out a bit by pushing it up to the rocks.

scrounged, salvaged satellite dish

Add your favorite succulents; I use predominantly Sempervivum, which thrive in these conditions.  For the first couple of years I disassembled the dishes and laid them on the ground, but as the plants got established, I don’t bother any more. 

The plants don’t seem to mind the cold, which was my worry at first.  Sure, I lose a few, but then they make lots of chicks, or I’ll add a few more in the bare spots to fill in.

The odd time I’ll fertilize with some compost tea, when I remember, but otherwise these are on their own.

Check out more about satellite dish planters and how I renovate them here.