Thinking of a "barrel garden"

nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)January 19, 2013

While wine tasting last week, we came across a small winery who's owner said he had to PAY someone to take his older barrels away! They are only good for about 6 years.
My breathing got quick and shallow, eyes dilated and a bit of shaking was going on as I asked him when I can call him about picking up any and ALL barrels he wants to get rid of!!!!!
We had planned on expanding our garden, but we have to have raised beds due to gopher infestation. This sounds like the perfect solution!
I'm also thinking of a wine barrel fountain, maybe a wine barrel bar, chairs.....anything else you can think of?
BTW I live in "wine country" Sonoma Co, CA!
WooHoo! Nancy

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i saw the most amazing adirondack chairs made from wine barrel 'pieces'. just thought i would give you another idea for your wine garden!!
good luck

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 11:03PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I just looked those up! Great idea! AND my husband is an out of work furniture maker! HA!!!! Nancy

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 9:02PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

At one point, I had considered setting up half barrels in a fashion conducive to the kids to use for running around, etc. The kids are got older before I had time to place them.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 4:32PM
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gardeningwithlcgrace(7 Delaware)

A friend of mine purchased bar height chairs and put a table top on the top of a wine barrel for an outside table & chairs on the deck! What a fabulous find!!!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 3:06PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

WooHoo! So many ideas! Nancy

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 8:36PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

Wine barrels make great containers, there are a few tricks for increasing your chances of success. First of all, you need to drill holes for drainage. Secondly, the wood will eventually soften and gophers will get in unless you put gopher wire on the bottom. Ideally, cut the entire bottom out and replace it with wire instead, giving great drainage and keeping the little monsters out. Lastly, irrigation! Our summers are hot and even though it seems big a wine barrel planter can dry out in a day. I have some that do best with morning and evening water in the hottest days of summer. I'm in Sonoma County too by the way, so I probably have similar growing conditions.

One more thing, if you have a handy person to help, I tried stacking half barrels to make a 'wine barrel strawberry tower' and it worked pretty well. It would look nicer as a decorative thing with flowers, and the raised aspect didn't keep pests away as well as I had hoped so it wasn't a home run with the strawberries. But it looks pretty darn cool. Ours is leaning worse than the Tower of Pisa though and I think it's going to have to be dismantled and changed, we have it on a slope and the gophers may have undermined it in their attempts to get in...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:42AM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Peachy, thanks for the info! I have recently found that I'm also getting some waist hight planters (very well built) from the neighbors who are moving to Hawaii!
It seems that I'm going to have a very large container garden next year! Nancy
P.S. Where in So Co?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 9:20PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

I'm just outside of Santa Rosa, to the northwest. To be honest I do more than half of my gardening at my Mother's house, also just outside of Santa Rosa, because she has twice the space and way more sun. My property is surrounded by tall trees so it isn't well suited to growing many fruits, veggies, or sun loving flowers.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:28PM
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