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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


North: Whiskey Barrel Planting Tips

Lynn Coulter
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garden barrel flowers

For instant color in your Northern garden, plant a whiskey barrel with flowers, or fill it with nutritious herbs, fruits and veggies. It’s easy with advice from our Muddy Boots reporters! Home Depot’s gardening gurus Dinah (in Connecticut),Crystal (in New York), and Sharon (in Maine) are ready to help you #digin.  

Crystal recommends thinking first how much sun your barrel will get, so you can use plants with similiar light and watering needs.

“Think about whether your barrel will be seen only from the front or from all sides. This will help you decide where to plant small, medium, and tall plants. Choose continuously blooming varieties to provide color for a long time. Adding ornamental grasses and trailing plants like ivy will provide pops of color even after your blooming plants have lost their flowers.”

Dinah adds, “Whiskey barrel planters are selling like hot cakes at our store in Glastonbury, CT! She says customers are also asking for 32-quart bags of Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix.

“I have been talking about the differences between potting soil, garden soil, and plain old top soil. We’re making sure people choose the right medium for their container gardening.”

Dinah says early flowering annuals are “hot” this spring, even though the weather in the north has been cold this spring. Early annuals provide color until the weather is warm enough for tender plants.

Sharon says ‘Wave’ petunias and ‘Supertunias’ are going fast. She suggests combining tall “thriller” plants, like columbines, lupines or pygmy delphiniums; trailing “spillers,” like ‘Silver Falls’ or ‘Emerald Falls’ Dichondra;, and shorter “filler” plants, like trailing lobelia and bacopa.

Our Muddy Boots’ picks for flowers to grow in your barrel:

  • Petunias
    “Wave Petunias sell like crazy when we get them in,” Dinah says. Thanks to their trailing habit, they’re great for a spillover effect in your barrel.
  • Ivy
  • Primrose
  • Lavender
  • Heather
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Marigolds
  • Coleus
  • Geraniums
  • Vinca
  • Spikes
  • Marigolds
  • Annual Salvia
  • Begonias
  • Pansies
  • Impatiens

Tip: African Daises, available in select Home Depot Garden Centers, will make a gorgeous addition to your garden barrel.

Image: Carsten Medom Madsen/Shutterstock




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