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Growing plants in an old "barrel"


I have an old wine barrel that I have prepared with the best organic amendments that you can imagine..
Tonight, I found a few photos of the plants that I have experimented with in that old potter..
This is the very first photo of it when I added all of the organic amendments:

The first experiment was tomatoes!

These were “cherry tomato” transplants and they did great!

We had quite a few “happy campers” last summer!

A 30 gallon container prepared with organic matter can produce awesome results.. {grin}

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Good one :o))
Adding to GoYpedia Barrels ...
... and Hand Tools... :o)

4 Dec, 2010


looks good, does the wine add flavour?

4 Dec, 2010


Looking good n2, just a suggestion, why don't you try some trailing varieties around the side as well. :o))

4 Dec, 2010


Yes, I like your idea of trailing tomatoes around the perimeter, littlelegs, perhaps allowing for something else in the centre? You haven't stated the organic amendments you made, N2, so would be interesting to know what it is, and which other crops might benefit? Well Done!

4 Dec, 2010


A little tip on "wine barrels"..
Always plant into a genuine "wine barrel" and NOT an old "whiskey barrel". When barrels are prepared for long time storage, some whiskey barrels are scorched with fire such as old "Jack Danial's" barrels and that leaves a coating of "potash". On the other hand, a wine barrel will have sugars embedded in the wood fibers that will gradually release nutrients into the soil that feeds the microbial activity in the soil of the pot. That biological activity greatly enhances the health of any plant that grows in the container. ;-)

5 Dec, 2010


David, the preparation is really pretty simple..
To prepare garden beds the Natural Way:

REMOVE UNWANTED VEGETATION: Scrape away any existing weeds and grass and toss that material into the compost pile or replant the sod elsewhere. Contractors can remove the grass with a sod cutter. Spraying toxic herbicides anytime is a bad idea, but in the winter it’s really stupid because it can’t kill dormant grasses and weeds. Always remove the grass BEFORE any tilling is done.

NEVER TILL WET SOIL: Tilling, forking or digging holes in wet soil does damage by squeezing the soil particles together, causing glazing and eliminating the air spaces needed for good tilth and soil life.

RAISE THE BEDS: The top of the beds should be flat and higher than the surrounding grades with sloped edges for drainage. This lifting happens naturally if proper amounts of amendments are added to the native soil. Do not remove native soil unless drainage problems are caused by the raised beds.

MOISTEN BEDS BEFORE PLANTING: Planting beds should be moistened before the planting begins. They should be moist but not sopping wet. Do not plant in dry soil because the young roots will dehydrate quickly as they try to grow.

NEW BEDS WITH NO GRASS OR EXISTING BEDS: No excavation is needed. Add 4-6” of compost, organic fertilizer (2 lbs. per 100 sq. ft.), volcanic rock sand or powder at 10 lbs. per 100 sq. ft., and dry molasses at 1 - 2 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. or 10 – 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. Rototill, fork or air spade to a total overall depth of 8”.

NEW BEDS IN GRASS AREA: Scrape away existing sod with sod cutter or by hand to a depth of 1 ½”, add 4 - 6” of compost, organic fertilizer (2 lbs. per 100 sq. ft.), volcanic rock powder at 10 lbs. per 100 sq. ft., sugar or dry molasses at 1 - 2 lbs. per 100 sq. ft., and horticultural cornmeal at 2 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. Rototill or air spade to a total depth of 8”. Do not till first - the grass, especially Bermuda, will be a weed forever.

AZALEA BED PREP: Mix 50% shredded hardwood bark, cedar or shredded coconut fiber with 50% finished compost. Add a 5 gallon bucket of lava sand and a 1 gallon bucket of greensand per cubic yard. Thoroughly moisten the mixture prior to placing it in the bed. Excavate 3” and place 15” of the above mix into the beds. The entire mixture can be put above ground if it doesn’t block drainage. The top should be flat and the sides sloped at a 45 degree angle. Add a mycorrhizal fungi product per label directions. THRIVE micronized productE is a good choice.

Note: Volcanic sand can be omitted if property has volcanic soil.

TEAR POT-BOUND ROOTS: Pot-bound plants can resist water and cause the growth of deformed and unhealthy root systems. Cut or tear the mat of circling roots at the outside edge of the root ball, but don’t destroy the root system.

WET ROOTS INTO MOIST SOIL: Dip plant balls into water and install sopping wet roots into moist beds. Add compost tea, Garrett Juice or mycorrhizal fungi product to the water for best results.

PLANT LEVEL: Set the plants so that the top of the rootball is even or slightly higher than the surrounding soil. Setting the plant too low can cause drowning. Planting too high can cause the upper roots to dry out.

MULCH BEDS AFTER PLANTING: A 2 - 3” layer of organic mulch should be placed on the soil after planting. Use shredded native tree trimmings or “Living Mulch” for shrubs and ground cover and a thinner layer of compost for annuals and perennials.

Note: If it sounds simple, it is! Just add plenty of compost, rock minerals and molasses into the native soil and mulch all bare soil after planting.

Hope this helps..

5 Dec, 2010


Useful additional information N2... thanks...

I'm pleased I nominated this for GoYpedia Tomatoes ;o)

5 Dec, 2010


Thank You so much for all the additional tips, N2O - just realised how well your name fits here, lol!! :-)

Am pleased you did, too, Tt - added into "soil tips", also.

5 Dec, 2010



5 Dec, 2010


Just remember: Healthy biologically active soil is the key to growing healthy plants...

When I first moved into my new home, I didn't have a clue about growing plants and the first year of landscaping, I lost about 30% of what I had planted when the first winter happened.

Now, it is rare that I have any plant die. This year, the only casualties were my "bell pepper" and "banana pepper" plants that always die off when it gets cold. Cannas die off as usual, but when a plant is growing in biologically active soil, the plant has an automatic 4-5 degree advantage when the weather turns cold. That can mean the difference between "dead plants and surviving plants" when the dreaded "cold fronts" invade the garden.
Heavy mulch greater than 3" also will give a 2 deg advantage.


10 Dec, 2010

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