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wooden planters

I have just bought some half whiskey barrels as planters for my north facing garden

Do I need to line them? If so with what?

Should they be raised or can i put them directly onto the flag stones?

Any help will be appreciated, I am totally new to this.


  • Jean GenieJean Genie Posts: 1,724

    Hi Pattie, just wanted to share my experience of wooden planters . I acquired a big square box made from substantial wood and decided to plant an acer in it which worked well for about 3 years . I then decided to move the acer from the box which I hadn't lined and hadn't treated . I then discovered that the roots from the acer had grown into the wood which had split and started to decay and in removing the shrub , managed to snap off what I believe was the tap root image. Result - a very poorly acer which is still clinging to life but I'll know better next Spring.

    That was the reason I joined the forum. I would say to do something with your whiskey barrels but I'm not sure what but someone wiil advise you. image

  • Hi Jean

    Many thanks for your reply. I do hope your acer survives, they a re lovely.

    Maybe someone out there can advise us both image

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    First thing - do the barrels have drainage holes?

  • Hi

    No they don't

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Drill some drainage holes is the first thing to do-can't visualise half whisky barrels at all- what dimensions are they?

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,088

    To protect the wood and the plant roots, I would line the inside walls with small gauge bubble wrap.  It will keep the worst of the moisture off the wood and give an extra protection against frosts to the roots. 

    You will need to drill drainage holes in the bottom and then stand them on either pot feet - available at garden centres - or bricks to allow excess moisture to drain away and also protect the tubs from excess water on the ground in winter so they last longer.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I agree with all of above. I would also put some broken up pieces of polystrene in the base to help with drainage( on top of the liner) and keep down the weight - be sure where you want to put these barrels as they are going to be heavy and difficult to move later. What are you thinking of putting in these planters - seasonal/permanent planting as that might influence the type of compost you use.

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