how to make a barrel garden that saves space

how to make a barrel garden that saves space

Backyard towers are a really environment friendly approach to domesticate some crops, herbs, and flowers, whereas additionally saving up house. As a vertical planting answer, backyard towers are most well-liked in small yard or backyard, however there are individuals that will even place these towers on their balconies. Regardless of their awesomeness, backyard towers aren’t low cost, and one among these might value you tons of of {dollars}. However what if we confirmed you find out how to make a backyard tower from a barrel?

Whether or not you have already got a big barrel mendacity round the home or it’s a must to buy one, both different are cheaper than shopping for a ready-made backyard tower. A lot of the gadgets you want are probably in your family already, so this might make for a very cheap and funky Saturday afternoon venture.

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What You Will Want

Whereas a number of the supplies you’ll be utilizing are fairly versatile (which means that you would be able to go for alternate options in the event you discover they’re at hand), here’s a checklist of the gadgets wanted to see this venture by:


Chemical Plant, Plastic Storage Drums, Blue Barrels

To see this venture by, you’ll need a big barrel, which gives loads of house so that you can plant all of the belongings you need. The only option could be a 55-gallon plastic barrel, one which comes with an open prime.

PVC Pipe

water pipes pvc plumbing in construction site building

Passing by the barrel, a backyard tower wants a compost tube. That is the place the kitchen scraps and the worms will go. You’ll be able to go for a PVC tube that’s about 4 inches in diameter, and about 50 inches lengthy. In fact, the precise size you’ll want relies on the peak of the barrel.

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PVC Drain Cap & Cleanout Adapter

Hot Tub Fittings & Pvc Pipe SPA DRAIN CAP 3/4" FHT Drain CapSpears P105X Series PVC DWV Spigot Fitting, Cleanout Adapter with Plug, 6" Spigot x 6" NPT Female

On the decrease and of the compost tube, you may be required to position a cleanout adapter and a drain cap that matches the diameter of the tube.

PVC Cement & Silicone

ChristyLoctite Clear Silicone Waterproof Sealant 2.7-Ounce Tube (908570)

As soon as the tube and the cleanout adapter are in place, you’ll need silicone and PVC cement to repair every little thing in place.

Soil, Kitchen Scraps, Vegetation, Worms

Garden soil in the hand.Organic waste for compost with vegetables, fruits and varied food.Hardening of Plants

You will want about 50 lbs of soil combination so as to add right into a 55-gallon barrel. You’ll then have so as to add kitchen scraps and worms into the compost tube (about one lb of worms ought to suffice). Think about making a listing with the crops you wish to add to the barrel and purchase them as nicely.

Different gadgets you’ll need for this venture:

  • A marker
  • A ruler or some measuring tape
  • A jigsaw blade
  • Paint (in case you wish to give the barrel a pleasant shade)
  • Sandpaper
  • Gadgets to raise the barrel (legs, casters, cinder blocks, no matter you need)

Step-by-Step Directions

Step 1: Making the Pockets

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Blue barrel with a pocket for gardening.

Picture Supply

  • Step one is to seize a marker, pen,or pencil, and begin outlining the spots the place you’ll be making the cuts for the pockets. You should use a ruler or some measuring tape to be sure that the traces are of comparable lengths.
  • These traces needs to be measured in line with the diameter of your barrel. For instance, you may draw six-inch traces, with 4 inches of house in between them, each horizontally and vertically. The top outcomes needs to be completely different rows of six-inch traces, and 4 inches spacing between each other.
  • Just be sure you don’t make traces which can be too quick, you need the pockets to be beneficiant sufficient to suit the foundation balls inside them.
  • Don’t stress an excessive amount of over the precision of the size for every line. When your crops develop, you received’t have the ability to see the cuts, so it doesn’t matter if they don’t seem to be all the identical.
  • On the finish of every line, you beforehand drew, drill a small gap. This may now be known as the pilot gap, and it’ll make additional slicing loads simpler.
  • Be additional cautious, as slicing the floor of a spherical barrel will be fairly a sophisticated course of in itself.
  • When you’ve completed slicing all of the pockets, it’s time to make them moldable. Use a warmth gun to use warmth to the highest and backside sides of every lower. This may can help you ply the plastic. To make this step simpler, use a marker to attract a triangular space that surrounds every lower. Then warmth the perimeters of those triangles, for simpler bending.
  • As soon as the plastic is moldable, it’s time to make the precise pockets, utilizing a 2×4 (this can be a building time period used to explain a chunk of wooden of widespread format). After shoving the wooden into the opening, push it towards the barrel’s prime, ensuring that you simply drive the higher aspect of the reduce into the barrel.
  • If you’re having any difficulties with the above course of, you may at all times reheat the plastic and take a look at shaping it into pockets as soon as once more. Tip: strive to not drive the decrease aspect of the lower, as this might create free pockets that has soil falling out of it.
  • Every time you create a brand new pocket utilizing the two×4, go away it for about quarter-hour, to permit the perimeters of the cuts to harden that keep in form.
  • After you have repeated these steps and created all of the pockets you’ve drawn at the start of this step, you may seize a file and smoothen out the perimeters of the pockets, to keep away from any future cuts.

Step 2: Creating the Drain

Upside down barrel with hole fit for compost tube and small holes for draining.

Picture Supply

  • To ensure that crops to develop wholesome, they should have simply the correct amount of water. No matter you may be rising on this barrel makes no exception. Flip the barrel over to start out engaged on the drainage system.
  • Now image what a spherical bathe head seems like. It has tiny holes all throughout its floor. Attempt to recreate these holes on a six-inch space on the underside aspect of the barrel. Draw a circle with a diameter of six inches, after which poke ¼ inch holes.

Step 3: Making ready the Compost Tube

Assembled pvc for compost tube.

Picture Supply

  • With the barrel the wrong way up, lower one other gap the place the compost tube will go. As an example, in case your compost tube is 4 inches, it has to suit by this gap. You’ll be able to select any dimension for the compost tube, so long as it’s huge sufficient so that you can stuff kitchen scraps inside it. Whereas some individuals wish to put this compost tube immediately in the course of the barrel, this will show tough when attempting to retrieve processed compost. It’s higher to position the tube (and make the underside gap) nearer to one of many edges.
  • The compost tube needs to be given fairly some consideration. Its top needs to be taller than the peak of the barrel, to be able to just remember to can use it with out disturbing the grownup crops. You’ll be able to measure the full top of the barrel after which add about 10 or 12 inches. That is how lengthy the compost tube needs to be.
  • When you’re slicing the tube, additionally lower an extra two-inch piece. Then, lower a chunk of this resulted circle, to take away about two extra inches. This may act as a reinforcement piece that forestalls the tube from sliding down the barrel.
  • Now it’s time to drill holes into the compost tube. By these holes, worms can feed on the kitchen scraps. You don’t want holes for the higher and backside aspect of the PVC tube, as these components will keep out of the barrel. What you’re serious about is making holes within the a part of the tube that may keep contained in the barrel. The scale of the holes needs to be beneficiant sufficient for worms to cross by.

Step 4: Elevating the Barrel

  • The barrel must be elevated off the bottom. To do this, you need to use casters, legs, bricks, no matter you are feeling can help the extraordinarily heavy weight of the barrel. Make no mistake, the barrel WILL be heavy, so plan this elevation help accordingly.
  • The aim of elevating the barrel is to present you entry to the captured nutrient water. That implies that a dishpan ought to go beneath it. Additionally, you’ll need to have the ability to harvest processed compost. The house between the underside of the barrel and the bottom under it needs to be beneficiant sufficient in your hand to suit there.

Step 5: Putting in the Compost Tube

Painted barrel with installed compost tube.

Picture Supply

  • The tube and the additional reinforcement piece you create at step 3 will now have to be hooked up to the barrel. Inserting the compost tube within the barrel needs to be accomplished after bearing in mind the location of the cleanout drain.
  • Place the cleanout drain and draw a mark the place the highest goes on the tube.
  • Now take away the drain.
  • Create one other mark, this time about ⅛ inches above the opposite mark, to point the barrel’s placement.
  • Place the reinforcement created at step 3 above this newly-created mark. For those who’ve accomplished every little thing proper, the cleanout drain needs to be under the barrel, whereas the reinforcement needs to be contained in the barrel.
  • Whenever you’re completely positive that the reinforcement is in the suitable place, use PVC cement to maintain it in place as soon as and for all. Remember the fact that PVC cement could be very fast to dry, so that you solely get one shot at inserting the reinforcement in the suitable place, or else you may must redo the third step.
  • Now place the barrel on one aspect, and place a bead of silicon on the reinforcement backside aspect, proper between it and the barrel. Slide the compost tube contained in the barrel, to the reinforcement.
  • Utilizing PVC cement, connect the cleanout drain to the outer finish of the tube, the one which’s outdoors the barrel. Additionally use silicone the place the barrel meats the cleanout, to keep away from any leaks.

Step 6: Sprucing Up the Barrel

  • Because you need your carrel backyard tower to look good, you must think about including a coat of paint, within the shade of your selection.
  • You should use sandpaper plus some cans of your favourite spray paint.

Step 7: Including Soil, Vegetation, and Worms

  • Place the barrel in place, preserving in thoughts that it’s going to turn out to be actually heavy after you’ve added soil. If the barrel sits on uneven terrain, be sure that the drain is on the bottom level.
  • Time so as to add the soil. The combination is totally as much as you, so attempt to discover some options and do your homework earlier than selecting one sort of soil over one other. For those who go for fluffy soil, know that it stays moist for an extended time frame.
  • As you add the soil, additionally add water. The most effective factor could be so as to add about 12 inches of soil, then add water to saturate it. Watch for a couple of minutes, in order that the water you’ve added will soak your complete soil layer. Repeat the method till the barrel is full.
  • Depart the soil and water to relaxation for about an hour, then water your complete combination once more, till you discover water popping out of the drainage gap. The soil ought to now be compressed, as an alternative of floating contained in the barrel.
  • Now place the foundation balls or seeds of your selection within the barrel. You’ll be able to select something from flowers, herbs, greens, and others.
  • Use kitchen scraps to fill the compost tube. Additionally, add water, and about one pound of worms.
  • Place a cap on the highest of the tube, to stop any bugs and sneaky predators from reaching the insides of the tube.
  • By including new scraps daily, you’ll give the worms loads of meals, and they’ll have the ability to fertilize the soil correctly.


With a little bit little bit of endurance and the robust want to avoid wasting cash and never purchase a backyard tower from the store, you may create one from a big empty barrel that you could be have already got mendacity round the home. The method itself isn’t a sophisticated one, however it may be very time consuming, particularly in the event you plan on taking frequent breaks.

It may be an exquisite approach to save house, however nonetheless benefit from the satisfaction of planting your personal flowers, rising your personal herbs, and simply sprucing up even that small yard of yours.

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