Earth Barrels

March 28, 2012

The days are getting longer and longer yet I’m still focusing on growing rather than wandering.  In addition to the Square Foot Gardening which I mentioned in my previous post, the concept of “Earth Barrels’ has snagged my attention. This appears to be a different take on the Earth Box which has been around for a while.  Both are self-watering containers.  


I was first introduced to the barrel version at a small local nursery and was immediately convinced it would work. I have a tendency to over-water or neglect to water anything and everything plant-like.  That, along with the notoriously long, hot, dry weather here in Florida means disaster for any plant in my care. With tomatoes in particular being thirst driven plants, my luck at growing them would be non-existent without a little help.

The Earth Barrel is made out of a plastic barrel and a PVC pipe.  You fill the container with soil (in my case, 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 compost), then place the hose in the PVC pipe to fill up the reservoir.

When water starts to run out of the small spill hole drilled into the side of the barrel, you know the reservoir is full. Then plant your plant.  It’s that simple.  Just be sure to add water to the reservoir via the pipe on a regular basis.


Although we purchased these ready-made for $30, if you feel up to the challenge, the Instructables website has step-by-step directions to make your own.  Or, for a simpler project, you can go the route of a Tomato Pail. Find out how at the Full Moon Native nursery website.