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Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

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Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

Post  mapspringer on 11/13/2015, 10:06 am

After 3 years one of my SFG beds has bit the dust (or Mel's Mix shall I say!) Moisture and termites have completely destroyed at least one side board, and so it's time to replace.  Well, I've decided to experiment with (2) raised horizontal half barrels- (blue 55 gallon food-grade barrel laid over and cut lengthwise.)  I know many a folk have built vertical barrel "towers", but a quick g00gle image search only reveals a few pics where people have done the horizontal type.  With holes drilled at the bottom for drainage, and plenty of elevated support, is there any reason this shouldn't work?  Any feedback is very welcome, as I plan to start building tomorrow.

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Re: Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

Post  Zmoore on 11/13/2015, 10:42 am

My 2 cents:
I think it can work fine. Drain holes like you said, with a layer of cloth over the holes to hold the mix.  55 gal barrel is about..  2 ft in diameter and... 3' tall?, sooo you should have about 1' depth in the very center. Theoretically you'd have a grid about 3x2, but the outside edges of your planting area is going to be shallow due to curvature of barrel.  That may not be a big deal as long as your not trying to plant lots of dense planting things like onions, carrots, radishes, you might not be able to fit in that last row right along the edge. 
Also, due to curvature of barrel, your outside edges are probably going to dry out quicker as water "slides" towards bottom center of barrel. It should work.  Heck, might even be fun for something a little different.

OH!!  You could rig a rotating awning for the barrels!  That could be fun Smile
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Re: Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

Post  trolleydriver on 11/13/2015, 10:44 am

The one thing that came to my mind is that the horizontal edges will be flimsy and will need some extra support. This guy has attached wood boards along the edges with a threaded metal rod connecting them together in order to strengthen the sides. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrL_il7Dk2s

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Re: Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

Post  mapspringer on 11/13/2015, 12:07 pm


This is the model that I had in mind. The edges are simply fastened with screws.  Looks like an easy and (fun!) weekend project to me Smile
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Re: Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

Post  sanderson on 11/13/2015, 6:08 pm

I would add one wood cross piece under the middle of the barrel. Go for it.

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Re: Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

Post  AtlantaMarie on 11/14/2015, 8:47 am

Agree with Sanderson on that support...  And have fun!!  Please let us know how it turns out!
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Re: Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

Post  trolleydriver on 11/14/2015, 9:16 am

Yikes ... now I see another project in my future.  I have a large black olive barrel that I bought last summer and that I have not yet put to use.  My original intention was to use it as a rain barrel or as a composter (placed horizontally on a stand with rollers so that it can be rotated and the contents stirred up). Now there is the option of making a couple of raised beds.
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Re: Raised Horizontal Half-Barrel

Post  Scorpio Rising on 11/14/2015, 9:31 am

What a great idea! Keep us posted!
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