A half wine barrel just might be the perfect answer to our backyard landscaping questions. We needed something that allowed for a lot of soil, had plenty of room for a large root ball, and can be moved (technically). With those issues in mind, we started hunting around for large outdoor planters that appealed to us visually and worked with our budget.
I’m pretty sure it was Andy’s idea to search for wine barrels. And given how much we have enjoyed wine tastings and visiting California’s Central Coast, the idea of using a half wine barrel as a large outdoor planter seemed like genius.
Where Can You Buy Wine Barrels for Outdoor Planters?
We also just happened to be passing through Santa Maria, California, on our way back from our latest road trip (more on that to come). Being close to local vineyards means that wine barrel wholesalers, like Quality Wine Barrels, have a booming business. While you can’t request a barrel from a particular vineyard, you can choose darker or lighter shades, the style you want (how many metal supporting bands, etc.), and the size (full, half, and quarter barrels). And buying them directly meant that we saved a lot of money.
How Much Do Wine Barrels Cost?
How much do wine barrel planters cost? We bought half barrels from the Quality Wine Barrels yard for about $25. If you buy them from reputable garden supply places that feature large outdoor garden planters, like Lowe’s, you’ll probably pay around $40. Specialty stores will sell them for as much as $420. I’m sure those are great barrels, but for $420, that wine barrel better arrive here filled with wine. We simply did not want to stretch our budget that much.
How Do You Maintain These Large Outdoor Planters?
We managed to load up the car with two stacked in our hatchback and drove them back to LA. We rinsed them out (naturally, they have red wine stains in them), and we will have to keep watering them when we water the plants and trees in them to keep them in good shape.
What are We Planting in Our New Garden Planters?
As for what will go inside these already much-loved outdoor garden planters, we aren’t sure. But right now, we think it will be a Meyer lemon tree (which stays bush-like) and maybe the avocado plant (or possibly the young loquat tree). To prep the planters, we’ll add about 4 cu. ft. of soil — possibly a bit less for the lemon tree because its root ball will be relatively big. Landscaping fabric will also need to be added to help the plant retain moisture between waterings. We aren’t quite ready to transplant, but I’ll update you with pictures of our newest outdoor planters when we do.
Stay tuned for more backyard gardening ideas!