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How to Make a Whiskey Barrel Planter

Make a stylish and rustic planter garden in a whiskey barrel.

How to Make a Whiskey Barrel Planter

Tips Before Getting Started:

  • When choosing the barrel, select a size that has been cut evenly and that sits steadily on the ground.
  • Think of how much sun your barrel planter will get so you can select plants that have similar water and light needs.
  • Opt for continuously blooming varieties to provide colour for a long time. Adding ornamental grasses and trailing plants like ivy will provide pops of color even after your blooming plants have lost their flowers.
Drill holes in whiskey barrel

Drain the Excess Water from the Barrel

Make sure excess water can drain out of the barrel when you water your plants. If necessary, drill holes into the bottom of the barrel.
Put rocks in whiskey barrel

Cover the Bottom with Rocks

The finished planter will be heavy, so go ahead and place it where you want your plants to grow. Cover the bottom of the barrel with rock; a layer of two to three inches is recommended.

For easy transport, also consider adding casters with wheel brakes to the base of the barrel.

Add soil to barrel

Add the Soil

Fill the barrel with potting soil to within three inches of the rim. Tamp the soil to eliminate air pockets.
Select plants for barrel garden

Select a Variety of Plants

In the prepared bed, plant your choice of flowers, vegetables or herbs, or mix for a combination planter. Think of where the barrel will face to help you determine where to plant small, medium or tall plants.

For a pop of colour choose primroses, petunias, geraniums or heathers.
 
Add dimension with ornamental grasses, spikes and vinca vines.

For a mixed planter choose flowers that are vegetable and herb-friendly like pansies and marigolds.
Cover soil between plants in barrel garden

Retain Moisture in the Soil

Cover the soil between the plants with mulch to help retain moisture. Water thoroughly and feed the plants monthly with fertilizer.

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