[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”5637″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]When we first started gardening, we were in the city. Space was limited and our yard was mostly a tarred driveway and a cement deck, but we had caught the gardening bug, so we were going to have to be somewhat creative.

There was a 55-gallon food-grade barrel in the garage. Could we do something with that? To the internet! So, with a little searching we found ‘The Garden Barrel’ and knew what to do with it. There were just so many things we loved about this that we definitely needed to make a plan and take the time to create this. We found a few YouTube videos and started to study up.

Why were we so driven to make this? Well…


  • The Barrel can have up to 70 pockets on its sides and on top for additional planting.
  • It is great for herbs, lettuces, flowers, etc.
  • It only takes up one square foot of growing space, so it is perfect for someone in an apartment with a balcony or small patio.
  • The worm pipe – one of the reasons that we think plants grow so well in the barrel is the worm tea that we collect from it. There is an irrigated, capped two-inch pipe going through the barrel, top to bottom. Holes were drilled through the pipe so that worms would have access to the contents inside. The intention is to place your basic kitchen compost into the pipe so the worms have access to the compost and make all sorts of good poop in the surrounding soil. Underneath the barrel (you can see in the photo) is our juice pitcher, which is there to collect the water that runs through the soil, creating… worm tea, which we use to feed the barrel and other crops.

This barrel is one of our favourite growing containers. It’s a lot of work to create the pockets but worth it in the end.

Brad and Susan Emery are members of the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, DHS has suspended member meetings. If you have questions or comments, please contact DHS President Deb Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com or visit their website at dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. 2021 DHS memberships are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 single, $15 couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario N1A 2X5.


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