Country Lore: Plastic Barrel Planter

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

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

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