Introduction: Tub Garden

For many people tearing up the backyard for a garden is not really an option, this presents you with a low cost easy to build alternative.

Warning: Woodworking is inherently dangerous. You are using sharp tools some of them spinning at large RPM's. You need to be wearing eye protection at all times, hearing protection as needed and because you are going to be working on some very small pieces you must use a push stick. Neither I or Instructables bear any responsibility if you do something stupid, lose focus, act carelessly, or recklessly. Also the saw dust from pressure treated lumber may cause skin irritation and depending on your source of barrel the contents may be dangerous as well.
I strongly suggest that you only use food safe containers.

I have seen several of these before, but this design is based on one from "Backwoodsman Magazine"

Step 1: Supplies

You will need:

1) 2 2x4's 8 ft long

2) 2 1x 6's 8 ft long

3) 1 plastic barrel (Food safe is the best choice).

4) 18 outdoor grade wood screws. Do not use the zinc coated ones. zinc is a heavy metal and I don't want it to contaminate your soil. Yeah it is a small amount but why take the chance.

Step 2: Tools

1) Square

2) Pencil or Sharpie

3) Drill motor and drill with counter sink

4) 1/4 inch spade bit or Speedbore.

5) Hand jig saw or Bandsaw

6) Circular saw or Motorized miter saw/ Chop saw.

7) Clamps

Step 3: Mark Boards and Cut to Length.

Mark the 2x4's and 1x 6's to a 24" length.

I was able to stack cut the 1 x6's but not the 2x4's

Set 4 of the 1x 6's aside, these will be your sides.

Step 4: Mark and Cut Your Arc Radius

I set the edge of one of my barrels one of my 1x6 boards so that it was about 4 1/2 inch from each edge.

This gave me about 2 3/4 inches to the bottom

I took my pencil and traced the arc (I high lighted it with Sharpie for the camera)

I am using a band saw so I was able to stcck all four of the end pieces and screw them together from both ends.

Carefully cut the arc out staying as close tot he line as possible.

If I had been using the hand jig saw I would have only been able to cut two at a time.

Set these aside..

Step 5: Building the Sides

Pre-Drill The 1x6's and lay one on a pair of legs

Use the framing square to make sure the side is square to the leg and attach it using two screws.

You will notice that I attached my sides to the wide sides of the 2x4's It is not critical which side you use, I just thought it looked better aesthetically.

Next attach the side to the other leg using one screw initially.

Measure the length of your side as in the second picture.

Move the tape to the open end and make sure the distance between the legs is the same at both ends.

Now attach the second screw.

This will help to keep the assembly square.

Step 6: Attach the Ends.

Pre drill the end pieces and clamp one end to the leg assembly and attach with two screws.


Picture 3 is the corrected and completed stand

Step 7: Cutting the Barrel

Each barrel will have a mold seam up both sides and across the top and bottom.

I took my Circular saw just followed this line.


You are going to be doing the majority of your cutting on surfaces that want to shift and roll, this could cause the saw to kick back on you.

Because the top has the bung holes I started there. I them cut both sides and saved the bottom for last. This allowed me to have a flat surface that was not rolling.

Step 8: Mounting the Barrel to the Base

The next step is to lay the barrel in the cradle you cut previously.

I used a 1/4 speed bore to drill a single "weep" hole in the center of the barrel bottom. this will allow drainage of extra water. I drilled two holes through the plastic and used drywall screws to attach the barrel firmly to the cradle.

This will prevent assembly from shifting.

I found out that my barrel had been used for commercial grade Hydrogen Peroxide. Please make sure that you clean all barrels thoroughly before planting anything for human consumption.