Cheap drainage material for up-cycled oil drums

I'm trying to start a community garden on a local patch of land and we're thinking about using clean open-top oil drums as containers. I know we need to punch/drill holes for drainage in the bottom. Rather than completely fill them with compost (they're 45 gallon) I thought we could save money by filling the bottom half with something else e.g. polystyrene chips. Does anyone have any ideas about other materials we could use, either free or cheaply and readily available ?


  • archiepemarchiepem Posts: 1,155

    Bricks and rubble .??

  • Polystyrene packaging chips or broken up pieces.

  • Poly chips would be good - but you'll need to be careful where you place them if they are top heavy with the soil and plants image I'm thinking about being vcaught up in gusts during the winter image or even the summer image

  • Jane R2Jane R2 Posts: 13

    Thanks for your replies; it hadn't occurred to me that using polystyrene would make the drums top heavy & liable to topple so that's useful. I'm now thinking a mixture of bricks/rubble for weight and polystyrene for volume.

    Thanks again.

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