Garden towers are a great idea to grow plants at home, especially when your house has limited space. Unfortunately, a readymade garden tower costs up to hundreds of dollars. That is not a small amount of money, right?
Why not build a garden tower on your own and save tons of money?
Read the following article on how to make a garden tower from a barrel, and you can do it with ease.
- Let’s Start DIY Garden Tower
- How To Make A Garden Tower From A Barrel
Let’s Start DIY Garden Tower
Even a barrel can be your plants’ future home should you know how
Below is a checklist of the materials you need to start building your own tower garden. Check it out.
55 Gallon Drum Barrel
Of course, you need a barrel. It should be a large one to accommodate all the plants you want to grow. Otherwise, the plants will have to push against each other in a barely livable space, with a critically insufficient amount of nutrients, air, and even water. When all the deciding factors that nourish them are pushed down below the acceptable level, plant deficiency will come to pass for sure. That is not to mention some veggies such as carrots need space to root.
If you do not want to watch your beloved green babies withering with each passing day, the best option is a big 55 gal drum barrel.
A compost tube plays an integral role in a garden tower, and that is the reason why you need this pipe. Making one is super easy without being a master of craft. Your one and only job is to put worms and kitchen scraps in the pipe.
Yes, worms, no wordplay or metaphor whatsoever, living, wriggling worms living their life digging through your backyard. The worms eat the compost and leave castings, which supply fertilizers to the plants.
A word of advice, I highly suggest a 50-inch PVC pipe with a 4-inch diameter, but what you actually choose needs to fit your barrel’s height.
PVC Cleanout Adapter and Drain Cap
When you water the plants, the droplets rain down and travel through the soil, collecting vital nutrients and worm castings, and excess water drains at the bottom. So at one end of the tube, you need to attach the tube with a drain cover as well as a PVC cleanout adapter.
PVC Cement and Silicone
These components are going to keep the cleanout adapter as well as the drain cap firmly in place.
You need to fill the barrel with soil so that the plants can thrive well. Based on my experience, a 55-gallon barrel needs 50 pounds of soil.
There are plenty of plants that make a great fit for your barrel garden
Now come the most vital parts of your garden, the green beings that will make it their home. Don’t know what to grow in a garden tower? Here are some of the most common choices.
You also need a jigsaw blade to make the cuts and some items to lift up the barrel, for example, legs or casters. Others include a ruler, a marker, and sandpaper. Paint is optional.
How To Make A Garden Tower From A Barrel
Step 1: Make The Pockets
The pockets are where plants grow on the side of the barrel.
Measure and mark the spots you will cut. The pockets can be of any size you want, and make sure you leave space between them. For example, outline 6’’ holes with 4’’ spacing between two columns and 6’’ space between rows. Nonetheless, do not let the precision of measurements become a burden. The plants will soon outgrow the pockets and keep them hidden
Then, drill a pilot hole at the end of each line so that the jigsaw blade can fit in. Use the blade to make careful cuts along the line.
Next, you need to make the plastic moldable using a heat gun. Take the marker and draw a triangle surrounding each cut; then apply heat to each edge of the triangle and you are good to go.
Are you ready to make actual pockets?
Shove a 2×4 wood piece into the hole, force it against the top of the barrel and push the plastic on top of the cut back. Do not push the lower side of the cut out, since it can result in soil dropping out later. Once you finish making a pocket, leave it there for 15 minutes to cool to its new shape.
In case you cannot force the plastic back, try heating and shaping it again.
Repeat all the steps to make all the pockets you have drawn in the first space.
Step 2: Create the drain
This means to create tiny holes at the bottom of the barrel. Then, you draw a circle that has a 6-inch diameter and drill several ¼ inch holes within it.
Step 3: Prepare the compost tube
The working mechanism of compost tube
Turn the tank upside down and cut a hole fit the compost tube in. You can put the tube in the middle or near the edge of the barrel. In addition, cut out an additional 2-long piece to avoid the tube sliding out of the barrel.
Next, drill the holes in the middle of the compost tube so that the worms can eat kitchen scraps. The parts outside of the tank need no holes.
Step 4: Elevate the barrel
Use the legs or casters to lift the barrel off the ground and let a dishpan stay under it so that you can harvest the compost and access the nutrients.
Step 5: Install the compost tube
Attach the additional piece and the compost tube in step 3 to the barrel. Put the pumping cleanout below the tank and put the piece inside the barrel; use cement to keep them in place. Now you put the tube inside the piece in the barrel.
It is time to attach the drain cleanout at the other end of the compost tube. Make sure you use silicone for fear of leaking.
Step 6: Add soil, kitchen scraps, worms, and plants
Your green fellows can have a wholesome life within the small space of a barrel
Be patient, the hard work is almost finished, you have reached the last step.
Add a mixture of soil and water to the barrel. You should do it many times until the tank is filled with soil. After an hour, water it again until excess water comes out. Now plant the seeds you want.
Fill the tube with kitchen scraps, worms, and also water. Attach a cap to avoid any uninvited insects or small creatures from getting in. Do not forget to add new scraps regularly to feed the worms.
You have finished building a perfect garden tower at home. Now, just wait until the herbs and veggies once they have reached the right size and enjoy them!
The Bottom Line
You see, it is not hard to transform a barrel into a garden at home. With patience and effort, you can own a lovely garden even though your house is small. Remember to follow my guide on how to make a garden tower from a barrel and you will be fine.
Thank you for reading.