PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.
Just planted these today. 2 down 2 to go.
I like these 1/2 55 gal drum barrels. I will do this many many many more times.
Heavy Weight Bell Peppers, Sweet banana, hot banana, cayenne, jalapeno, and one better bush tomato, all surrounded by marigolds, petunias.
We have a local salvage place here---they have nothing ugly---they just collect , buy , and resale used stuff. They get the barrels from somewhere else and sale them. They costed me $15 each. They use to have concentrated orange juice in them.
I guess you just have to call around and ask if certain stores sale barrels---or if they know where to get some.
I just got lucky.
I've been thinking about doing this with the plastic versions, and now I'm pretty much convinced that I should give it a try. I have access to free drums that were used for liquid soap, so cleaning them up certainly shouldn't be a problem. Thanks for the inspiration. Paul
Another one of my stupid experiments:
I planted 4 squash plants per 1/2 barrel. (27gallons soil)
I have planted 8 Cantaloupes per 1/2 barrel.
Planted 6 watermelons per 1/2 barrel.
Have carrot seedlings up in 2 barrels, have turnip green seedlings up in 4 barrels, garlic is up in 2 barrels, onions are up in 2 barrels.
Total of 3 barrels with better bush tomato plants surrounded with annual flowers, 1 barrel with 3 sweet banana peppers and annuals, 1 barrel with 6 bellpeppers and annual flowers.
I have a regular Barrel garden goin on here.
Its an addition. Will go broke cause I do not know when to stop.
Fixing up 6 more this week with various veggies and annuals. Hardly no weeds, seldomly water for now til summer. I water once a week right now. Fertilize once a week.
Its so easy. I keep thinking how much fun next year will be when I do not have to mix all that dirt and cut barrels. Just turn soil, refresh some, and plant. WHALA.
Debbie, Sorry for taking so long to answer your post, but I've been pretty busy this past week and haven't visited the site 'til today. I get my barrels from local auto dealerships. You can inquire about availability with someone in the showroom. The barrels will actually be located in what's known as PDI. This is where new and used cars go for cleanup and addition of add-ons prior to sale. Luckily my business gives me connections with the guys who work there, but I think if you just ask, they would probably be willing to save some for you. Paul
Squash and Watermelon In one of the Planters.. Put a pepper plant , some impatiens and a water melon in the Picutured Planter. (in left Planter)
I will only let the watermelon vine produce 3-4 melons and let the vine run down the deck.
My Step Dad asked My mother-- Why did she build a deck for container plants.
My only question was what else was I goin to do with it besides walk on it. ITs nice and neat. No grass. No Weeds.
Cricket, you've made a nice container garden out of barrels. I thought your greenhouse better beefsteaks tomatoes were awesome. But both your plant slectio and soil mixture used in the barrels shows a creativity of thought and perception I only wish I had. I'll never look at a barrel again w/o thinking of your project and the one Big Red from TX did.
BTW, I know how hot it gets in AL and know you said you only water once a week. Let us know whether you or how you managed watering during the hottest weather. For example, I'm thinking the melon will need to be watered more. How many barrels did you end up planting?
Revisited my old threads.
I have plans of making many of these half barrel containers this spring. I liked it but had strayed away from it for the past 4 years due certain life issues but raring to get it going again. I don't have the same home but I do have the same property with new home.
I really liked Cowpea's table top barrel container set up. I would love to work on doing this. Arthritis is taking a tow. I would like to get this set up before I am too old and weak to get it done.
Anyone done the half barrel gardening????want to share your pics?
way back then, I used 1/3 peat and 2/3 compost. I currently use 1/2 peat and 1/2 compost. I would love to add vermiculite to hold more moisture or try using coco coir instead of peat.
Each half barrel takes 3cu.ft. of loose soil. OR One 3.8 compressed bale promix which equals 6cu.ft. , fills two half barrles. Most bags of commercial compost is 1 cu. ft.
Mixing the soil for many barrels takes a lot of space and time. It can be done on a tarp or use a large riding mower lawn cart. I use a large riding mower lawn cart. It holds a whole bale of peat and 6 bags of compost. But I also use a Mantis Cultivator to chop and mix the soil. I have been doing it that way for 9 years. It's tricky, dangerous, and fast. A deep wheel barrow will be big enough to mix 1/3 bale of peat and 2 bags of compost per batch.
Aphids= I will be buying Lacewing eggs this year. The larvae will eat the aphid eggs and white flies too. I already have a lot of ladybugs and many mantis.
Soap works to kill the adult insects but it also burns the edge of the leaves where it puddles and best to wash it off the plants about 30 min after spraying it on.
Cricket, were are you going to get your lacewing eggs from? I purchased some tomato plants and the first week they went crazy growing, then those darn white flies came in a just sucked the live out of my plants before I realized what was going on. I kept rising the plants with neem oil and water mixed, then sprayed then went back and washed off in the morning so the sun didn't burn the leaves but it happened anyway.
In a few weeks I'll be starting some veggies seeds and I when I go to transplant I want to make sure I don't loose them.
I did buy lacewing eggs this past fall for the greenhouse tomatoes. I ordered the lacewings cause I had some white flies on a couple of plants.
I don't know if the larvae hatched or not but the white flies never became a problem. It has to be warm for the eggs to hatch.
If there are no bad bugs in sight, you need to order a food starter for the larvae or make sure they have blossoms/pollen to feed on. The lacewing larvae also help just a little with pollination.
I'm undecided and don't know what to do with myself. Someone around here once told me that I had too many choices. I agree.
Choice #1 : After cutting the barrels long ways, you have more soil surface but after a couple of years, you end up with the sides sagging out and you have to drill a couple of holes down the side and run a heavy wire from side to side to prevent it from sagging outward. uuggg.
Choice #2 : If I cut the barrels in half as round planter containers, they won't sag on the sides, but you loose 2 square ft of planting space and lining the barrels up won't be as uniform as the long narrow design. ======== or ooooooooo
Choice #3 : If I cut the barrels in half as a round container, I could also cut the bottom out so it is more inviting for worms to visit and they can get out the bottom easier to hibernate for the winter but the heavy containers won't be moveable if I cut the bottom out
Choice #4 : Don't worry about the worms. Raise worms and apply castings to container garden.
I'm already raising worms for worm casting tea but what if I could raise worms in the barrels with bottoms that just had drain holes and collect the worms in the fall for indoor winter storage. ekkk
Choice #5 : Lay out a ground cover and cover with mulch to make the area tidy and neat or just mow the lawn around the containers.
Choice #6 : Paint the blue barrels cause I don't like the blue. ekkk.
So = picture this: Barrels cut in half for round containers. Painted brown so they are not too flashy. On commercial ground cover that is covered with mulch and the outside of the ground cover area lined with landscape timbers.
OR...gee whiz... I have a used greenhouse frame that is 24x75ish. I thought about putting it up to the length I need so I can put a 30% shade cloth over the container garden during the high heat summer and have overhead hanging structure for vine plants.
I have a dump truck load of wood chips, I have the greenhouse unassembled, and some heavy duty ground cover.
I decided to / and have cut some barrels in half round shape and cut the bottoms out. I painted the blue barrels White. Still have several to paint. I also have barrels that were already white. I am digging up the top soil/weed/grass where the barrels sit. The barrels are spaced 2ft apart. I will just mow and weed around the barrels. 8 done, 24 to go.
The barrels are sitting in a Flat area that stays wet for a couple of days after a long hard rain.
The soil in the barrel containers will drain and the earth will wick down the over watering and the plant roots can dig into the earth. The worms can enter the containers freely. When it rains, the soil in the containers can wick up the water and since the half barrels are 18 inches deep, the plant roots won't be sitting in water during long hard spring rains.
Using the dump truck load of wood chips in the containers for mulching.
I think it is a great idea. Looks nice also. I may try something like that. I like plants to be up and be able to mow the weeds. I have done the concrete block raised beds but the cost is a little prohibitive. Easier to water the plant its self and fertilize it also.