Kitchen Garden Planter From Old Plastic Barrels

Introduction: Kitchen Garden Planter From Old Plastic Barrels

this instructable is about using recycling old barrels to make a kitchen garden.

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Step 1: Step 1: Why I Felt There Is a Need for This Project?

Two main reasons: I love gardening and I always try and find new ways to reuse plastics. waste plastic is a huge problem. If it can be put to good use, nothing like it!!!

attached herewith are a few images of flowers and veggies that I attempted to grow.

kitchen gardens are a great way to produce your own veggies, fruits and flowers. And they are all organic!!! Nothing like planting your own veggies, tending to them and reaping the harvest!!! nothing is more satisfying than this for me!! okay, enough of blabber, lets cut to the chase.

Step 2: Step 2: Gather the Materials That You Need.

  1. Hack saw and blades
  2. old plastic drums
  3. plastic sheet/ cloth sheet (old bed sheet)
  4. gladiolus bulbs/ seeds of veggies/plant cuttings
  5. coconut husks/ covering/ dry grass
  6. hand drill and drill bits
  7. plastic string
  8. brick powder

Step 3: Step 3: Cutting Your Drum and Getiing the Layers Right

  1. cut the drum in halves vertically
  2. cut the two semicircle for each of them.
  3. put the two parts into one another. the two parts could be used individually but inserting them into one another provides better structural durability after soil is added.
  4. drill drain holes on the bottom of the half cut barrels to drain excess water from the soil or there is a chance that the roots will rot and plants will die
  5. put plastic sheet/old bedsheets between the two overlapping areas of the drums. to avoid soil being flown away with heavy rainfall from the interface of the half cut barrels
  6. add dried coconut husk as the base layer (20 mm) and brick powder as the layer above it (10 mm) (these values are from trial and error, and the best fit). dry coconut husk and brick powder are helpful to retain soil and avoid the soil being washed away from the drain holes.
  7. you can also drill holes at the overlap of two drums and put a rope in those holes to hold the two barrels together. this is optional though, if your drums are pretty thick then you need not do this.

Step 4: Step 4: Adding the Manure the Natural Way

  1. get some cow/sheep/ buffalo dung from near by dairy farm
  2. may be disgusting to some but it works wonders.
  3. mix it with the soil thoroughly using a shovel
  4. some unwanted grasses grow due to the dung carrying the seeds of them but you can remove them.
  5. do not use industrial fertilizers like urea. if added in excess they can ruin your garden, the plants simply start drying and wilt if excess is added. veggies and fruits grown this way are organic and good to eat
  6. for pesticides I used ash from dead wood from my garden. spread warm ash over your plants and this takes care of most of the pests (common ones). if you want to go for a simpler but a higher level of pesticide (not recommended), u can use diet coke (spray with water sprayer), the ants stop dead in their tracks (if the pests become too much to handle not otherwise)

Step 5: Step 5: Adding Your Seeds

  1. I grew gladiolus and it blossomed like never before
  2. I also planted some other veggies (brinjals, tomatoes, basil etc)
  3. for gladiolus plant the tubers approximately 10-12 cms apart
  4. for other veggies plant 2 seeds at 4-6 inch distance to provide enough space for them to grow

Step 6: Water and Deweed

remove the weeds regularly, they grow if there are any undigested seeds in the dung

also water only when required, the upper layer of the soil should be moist not muddy and watery

Step 7: Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labour

Step 8: Pros and Cons


  1. suitable to grow veggies and small flowering plants, creepers
  2. if u have multiple barrel units, pest management is easy (pests do not spread easily as they are confined to one barrel only )
  3. better fertilizer and nutrition management for plants and creepers
  4. can be modified to have a green house above it by placing arches in place above the barrels


  1. big plants like papaya, kiwi, chikku, cannot be grown
  2. weed removal is necessary from all the barrel , regular monitoring required
  3. if barrels are not thick enough, they become brittle due to suns rays and break, average life for one barrel unit with 5-6 mm width of barrel wall is about 6-7 years
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    3 years ago

    Looks good! This is a great way to use an old barrel. Thanks for sharing these ideas :)