Barrel Gardening

My all time favorite container to use in the garden is the modest wooden wine barrel. Here in the Okanagan Valley we are home to hundreds of wineries and vineyards. Wine barrels are numerous and once they are no longer useful in the winery operations they are often cut in half and sold for planters at reasonable prices.

Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening

What makes barrels such good containers for growing?

 

Made of natural wood so they breath.

A few holes in the bottom makes for good drainage, and the wood itself will eventually allow excess moisture to escape.

Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening

They are a good size and depth to support substantial plants, both annuals, perennials and even small shrubs.

Barrels have a natural beauty in the garden.

Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening

They do not break easily, in fact they are very strong.

They are frost resistant.

Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening

They last a very long time before finally giving way to rot.

When you are finished with them they are biodegradable.

Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening

They are not overly expensive.

They are suitable for both flowers and vegetables.

Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening

I like to plant annuals in them and place them in the garden for a punch of color in an otherwise dull area. I’ve also made them into mini gardens which are great fun to build. They are large enough to create a serious mini display or fairy garden  if you wish.

Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening

They make excellent containers for a child’s garden. Large enough to plant a variety of small vegetables plus a few flowers. They are the perfect height as well for little ones.

Even in the depth of winter, a wine barrel in the garden is still effective.

Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening

 

Wine barrels are most often cut in half across the width but as you can see in the pictures they can also be cut along the length. Lost of growing area when cut that way.

 

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Barrel Gardening with Sensible Gardening
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