First timer needs help - Planting multiple perrenials in a Barrel

marstarApril 30, 2011


I am planting a few flower plants in a very large whisky barrel and I am very nervous about transplanting all these plants. I am new to gardening and very excited about learning but I just don't want to learn the hard way so I thought to get input from the pros. When I moved into the house I bought, they left wood barrels everywhere. The soil seems pretty good but there were weeds that I removed, my husband said to remove all the old soil but nursery says to leave it. I took out half the soil that was left in the barrel and put in EB Stone container soil, but didn't mix it with the old soil, should I? Also, the barrel is located in morning sun with some early evening sun, maybe 4-5 hours of total sun.

I am thinking about planting the following:

2 tall foxglove plants

4 snapdragons that I purchased in a six pack

2 evolution blue salvia

Possibly 1 medium trailing lobelia

and maybe 2 small cora white vinca came in 6 pack-I really dont know if that is going to look good or not

3 dahlia

2 zinnia

I have no idea if this is too many plants and if I should leave any of them out. I really wanted to add something soft like grass or some ivy but didn't know which one and thought maybe it was an overkill.

I was told to put in Osmocote flower fertilizer and Sure start, but I hear different things from different nurseries, so I am really confused and don't want my money I spent on these flowers to go down the drain. The soil I purchased said I didn't need to fertilize until 90 days but to use sure start.

If anyone can give me some tips and/or things to avoid, I would be so grateful!! : )

Thank you

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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Ok I'll do it. I think nobody is saying anything because all of the plants you listed would likely suffer from lack of sunlight in your barrel, except the lobelia. Early morning and late afternoon sun is not very strong, and the plants you listed really all need at least 6 hours of stronger sunlight. I might try the lobelia, foxglove, vinca, but the others I think will disappoint you in such a shady spot.

Since it is mostly in the shade, I would recommend a lot of white and/or very light colored flowers, and variegated foliage, which show up well. How about some of the taller begonias, caladiums, coleus, impatiens, maybe some tradescantia, sweet potato vine and/or pothos trailing out of it?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 4:10PM
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Thank you for responding, I didn't think anyone would!! : ) I had a feeling I was doing something wrong. I am going to be moving the barrel to spot that gets a lot of sunlight, didn't want to do this since its so heavy but my plants will hopefully thank me. After doing much research, I realized that I might be putting too much in the barrel. The zinnias and dahlias spread pretty wide. Thank you so much for your great suggestions on other plants as I need to fill in two barrels I have in shady areas.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 12:44PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

You're welcome. I like to think of better/not-as-good instead of the terms right/wrong. Don't give yourself a hard time, and your plan sounds great. Hope you have somebody to help you move that!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:59AM
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