Zinnias and swamped 1/2 whiskey barrel

queenjillybeanMay 25, 2013

Hi, this is my first ever post on your forum, but I have spent endless hours devouring all of the wonderful information in my newish endeavor into gardening... I am thoroughly obsessed. I am in the Austin area, and in March of this year, I began my backyard project which has been a total makeover of landscaping, both in-ground and container... I have learned so much and come so far in such a short time that those who don't know me well and see my yard think I am a master gardener lol.
Anyway, one of my first plantings was a flat of zinnias in a 1/2 jack Daniels whiskey barrel- In march. I was lazy and KNEW I should have drilled holes, but I did not... I filled it with MG moisture control potting mix and overcrowded it with zinnias- I am now at a point of needing to pull the zinnias out- I am pretty sure that they have succumbed to poor drainage, overcrowding and fungus/ or bacteria from my ignorance. I stopped using MG and switched to LadyBug brand products including soils pretty much a few days into my gardening "bug". I am planning to drill drainage holes tomorrow on the lower portion of the sides of the barrel - and I would like to re-plant in this barrel- but I was wanting to know if a) the soil that is in it which after 48 hours of epic rains the past few days is swampy and b) is it safe to put new zinnias in same soil that may have had fungus or other disease afflicted zinnias in it as replacement?... At this point the MG is not stinky- it's just really wet- and I am looking for the least labor involved way to fix the drainage and re-plant correctly. If I have to replace the potting soil, I will- but after 7 spinal fusions, and the tons and tons of dirt, pots, plants that I have already hauled and planted all by myself over the past 3 months, I am at the point that while I can not stop planting, each time I pull into a nursery/garden center, I sigh at the thought of more heavy stuff...lol. Just today a trip to Starbucks turned into a side-trip to garden center and again, came home with a full day of planting for me tomorrow! First on my list is to fix my whiskey barrel situation, and any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

The first thing is to get some drainage holes in it YESTERDAY. The rest is up to you as to what you want to do. The container might drain well and the soil might be usable. My suggestion would be to go to your favorite big box store or garden center and see if they carry pine bark mulch in 2 cu ft bags. That would be the beginning of a new soil mix you could make by adding a little peat (or possibly some of your MG mix) and perlite and lime to it, otherwise known as the 5:1:1 mix.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2013 at 3:44PM
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