Do whiskey barrels need liner for planters

GBates(z4 IL)April 4, 2005

I am planning on growing several Elephant Ears in half whiskey barrels and I am not sure if a plastic liner is needed. The barrel halves right now smell like an open bottle of Jack Daniels and have been burnt black inside.

Is there any thing I should do to prepare these for planting. I also plan to use some of the as a small water gardens. Thanks in advance. Gary :()

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Hi Gary, take care for Colonel Huttey ( never seen his name written! ) for making Elephants drunken!
To tell the truth - I believe watering the barrels before use and filling them with soil dilutes the small rest of alcohol so much that it won't do any harm to your plants. And without plastic they stay air-permeable, that's an advantage - I think.
Good luck

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 2:18PM
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Has anyone had any problems with growing plants in these barrel liners? I have impatiens and nasturtiums in miracle gro potting soil in these liners. The soil seems to stay too wet. Do these liners need drainage holes, or is the problem with the type of potting soil I'm using? The plants have not grown much in the two months I've had them planted. Our summer has been very warm and humid for WI.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2011 at 9:05PM
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I had to drill holes in the bottom of mine to grow most annuals. When wet the barrels are water tight or they wouldn't have been good for whiskey. The staves will shrink if allowed to dry completely and the barrel will flop apart. I have some old nail kegs in my barn from relatives past and they are very delicate from lack of moisture.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2011 at 9:13AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

MG soils tend to hold too much water when used by themselves, combine that with a container with no drainage and your asking for trouble.

I would take the plants and all the soil out and drill some holes, then mix the soil with wood chips or shredded bark and some real wood charcoal for added drainage.

Do not use charcoal briquettes, some types have added chemical in them and the natural charcoal is various sizes which will also increase drainage.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 6:57PM
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or you could just use perlite/pumice/sand (interswitchable) for sure-fire drainage as charcoal, if kept wet all the time will eventually not be drainage any more, where these rock-based drainage mediums will always have the same draining properties.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2011 at 4:48PM
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Yesterday, my helpful husband drilled several holes in our plastic liner--while we propped them up on two chairs. Hopefully this will give the soggy roots the boost they need for this season. Will reconsider the system before planting next year. Thanks all.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 7:10AM
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