Another Reason To Drink Wine: Gardening in Barrels

This year we are having to go with a plan B of sorts when it comes to gardening.  Last year we were blessed a beautiful garden, in which we added a rock pathway & a grape arbor.

This year however, we have been so busy getting things done on the new house that we just haven’t found a smart & economical solution for our garden just yet.  The good thing though, is that we see lots of folks doing container gardens and producing just as much as some plots we have seen.

We thought of doing some raised beds, and still might – but we just have to really look at our backyard and figure out what we want to do.  I have a feeling we will be doing both come summer.  If I know us.

But for now, we are looking at using wine barrels, gardening barrels, barrel planters… whatever you want to call them.  We found ours at a local grocery store (H-E-B), and we had looked everywhere in town.  We picked up 5 of them, they were about 25$ each – so not to bad… considering we can use these for years if we take care of them.

Here are the barrels we picked up below…

Gardening in Barrels

Now you can tell they are decent size, so we should be able to put a couple plants in each.  Of course we want more than 10 plants total… so we are going to have to come up with something. 

Have you ever grown veggies in wine barrels (or gardening barrels)?

We personally haven’t – but we are excited to try.  We hear there are lots of perks to container gardening.  Here is a short lists of a few things we have heard about container gardening:

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency.

Simple as that, you can’t beat the consistency.  You can water an area and know exactly how much water you put on that same area.  You can tweak your soil as needed and keep it the way you want it with less effort. 

Save Your Space.

Live in an apartment?  Have a small backyard?  Containers are a great way to solve the space problem.  People don’t think about it, but veggies can be just as decorative as other container plants.  They flower, they produce awesome colorful fruits & veggies… I mean come on.  Peppers are the new patio plant… trust us.

Get a Jump Start.

If your container gardening, and you have that gut feeling that there will not be another frost – you can make a run at it.  Worst case, you move it inside right?  Go on a hunch, and you will be eating your veggies while the guy next to you is hoping a second round of tomatoes takes.  Get a jump on the season with container veggies.

Portable – Like My Phone.

To kind of go with the point above, they are portable… completely.  If you move to another state (granted it is in the same zone or close)… you can take them with you.  Not getting enough sun on the back porch?  Move them to the front.  Totally portable.  Of course the bigger the container & plant the less portable they get – but if you set it up right (how about wheels eh?) you could port them around as needed.

These are just a few things we have heard from various gardening sources.  What have you learned about container gardening over the years?  What are the good or bad things about it?  Share if you have time… we will pass this around and maybe we can have an open discussion about the pros/cons.


6 thoughts on “Another Reason To Drink Wine: Gardening in Barrels”

  • 1
    Megan on February 10, 2009

    Good: my dogs can’t pee on my herbs.

    Bad: I get lazy about moving them in for frost, and the daily watering.

  • 2
    deb on February 11, 2009

    I have swiss chard in a whiskey barrel right now. They last about ten years (the barrels, not the chard)

  • 3
    James on February 11, 2009

    @Megan – definitely can see where it can get a bit cumbersome moving them back and forth – good point!.

    @deb – I was about to say… Dammmmmmmmmmn you got some killer chard! Good to know that they barrels last about 10 years. Great investment then.

  • 4
    Shibaguyz on February 11, 2009

    We do a LOT of container and small space gardening. As a matter of fact, that’s about ALL we do! LOL

    Get some casters for the bottom of those barrels for better portability. As handy as you all are, just go look at those square platforms with casters on the bottom of them at your local garden center then make a set for yourself. It’s really simple to make and you spend a fraction of the $$.

    You can plant more in these than you would initially think. Remember, spacing is all about allowing the plants proper nutrition. If you supplement the nutrients in your soil with compost to begin with then add some worm poop along the way, you can plant more plants closer together than you ever thought. We break all the rules all the time and have had great results. Check out the book on biointensive gardening by John Jeavons: “How To Grow More…” You’ll love it!

    Don’t put rocks in the bottom of your containers for drainage. That is a common misconception by container gardeners. If you have a proper mix of organic matter in your soil, the soil will drain just fine. Those rocks in the bottom of you pot will just take up valuable root space.

    There ya go… our top recommendations for container gardeners. Can’t wait to see your progress!! Congratulations!!

  • 5
    James on February 12, 2009

    @Shibaguys – Droppin’ knowlege on everyone. Nice feedback, we knew you guys were doing a lot of container gardening. We know who to rely on when we start screwing things up. haha

  • 6
    Shala on February 12, 2009

    Shibaguys, WOW that was a lot of information and great tips! Thank you guys so much.

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