Planting Ideas for Half Whiskey Barrel

Updated April 17, 2017

You can put out the cost of a large planter or make one for a bit less, while expending a fair amount of time and effort. Half whiskey barrels are a modestly priced alternative and you can plant flowers, vegetables and even small trees and flowering bushes in them. Keep the rustic flavour of the natural wooden barrel or paint it bright white or another colour that coordinates with your landscaping and home. Drill a few holes in the bottom of the barrel for excess water to escape. That's about all the effort required for this large planter option.


Fill a half whiskey barrel with bright summer annuals. Place the container on a deck, patio, porch or even in the landscaping amid other plants. Fill the barrel tightly, starting with taller flowers in the centre, such as Shasta daisies, begonias or zinnias. Fill it in with pansies, petunias and alyssums. Annuals produce flowers throughout the whole summer, offering a better showing than perennial flowering plants. However, sprigs of trailing ivy are especially attractive growing over the sides of the barrel.


Half whiskey barrels offer more than enough depth for many types of vegetable plants. This large container enables small vegetable gardening for those with limited space or time. Tomatoes are one of the most popular home gardening plants and they grow perfectly in a half whiskey barrel, whether you choose cherry tomatoes or hefty beefsteak tomatoes. Other vegetables that grow well in a barrel include cucumbers, squash and eggplant. Shallow-rooted vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach, don't need the deep container but are also good choices for your whiskey barrel vegetable garden.


Grow a mixture of herbs in your half whiskey barrel and set it outside the kitchen door. You'll be able to cut the fresh herbs you need for your culinary endeavours quickly and easily. Plant the herbs you love and use most, such as basil, rosemary, mint and oregano. Herb plants are very attractive when blooming, but keep in mind that the flavour of many herbs is weakened or made bitter by the onset of blooms. Snip the buds off as they appear.


Dwarf fruit trees grow well in large containers, such as half whiskey barrels. There's plenty of room for their root systems, which are much smaller than those of regularly sized fruit trees. Your favourite fruits, including lemon, orange, tangerine, apple, pear and cherry, likely are available in a dwarf-sized tree. You can also grow small decorative trees in a whiskey barrel. Mugo pines, Korean fir, skyrocket juniper, Japanese maple, star magnolia, lacebark elm and crepe myrtle all make excellent candidates to grow in these large containers.

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About the Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.