Country Lore: Plastic Barrel Planter

Cut holes in a 55-gallon barrel to create a large plastic barrel planter (and interesting conversation piece).
By Jay Shephard
October/November 1998

When the flowers grow out and cover it, your plastic barrel planter will become a unique addition to the landscape.
ILLUSTRATION: RODNEY A. OKYNE


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A crock of flowers always looks pretty, but where do you find a crock as large as a barrel without spending a fortune?

After capturing a 55-gallon plastic barrel from where I work (a 30-gallon barrel will also do), I brought it home to turn it into something useful — specifically, a plastic barrel planter. After cutting the top off completely, I used a two-inch hole saw to cut 45 holes around the sides.

The barrel was marked off in five rings, evenly spaced apart. To place the first circular mark around the barrel, measure up about five inches from the bottom. This is where your first ring of holes will start.

Stagger the others when you drill them so that they all line up diagonally. This will make for a more filled out barrel at maturity.

After the holes are completed, fill the barrel with the dirt of your choice. I bought professional potting soil from my local greenhouse grower. I then purchased three colors of begonias and staggered them to make a striped array of blooms around the barrel.

Set the barrel on three bricks so that you can turn it easily once a week to keep foliage growing evenly. By the end of the summer, the barrel will completely disappear and you will have a conversation piece everybody will be talking about.

Jay Shephard
Candor, NC








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