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One of the perks of living in Nashville is the proximity to the Jack Daniels distillery in Lynchberg (which is, oddly enough, a dry county). This weekend, we stopped by Southeastern Salvage, which always has a hodgepodge of items for your indoor or outdoor needs. This particular Saturday was an outdoorsy type day, so we were on the hunt for flowers and things for the patio.

After picking up a few potted flowers, we came across these lovely guys (Jack Daniels whiskey barrels), and they were a steal!

Half barrel planters are all the rage, so we were excited to try our hand at converting it into a garden staple.

1. Drill holes for drainage
Before you begin the process of planting, you should ensure that your plants will have plenty of holes for proper soil drainage. Nothing kills a plant faster (speaking from experience). My husband did a lovely job drilling the oak barrel with this drill attachment. It makes perfect quarter-size holes.

2. Decide if you want to line the planter
After doing research, there isn’t really any conclusive evidence that says that a plastic liner slows the aging of the barrel, so we decided against the liner. But if you choose the plastic liner route, be sure to punch holes in the plastic directly over the holes in your barrel.

3. Give it props
If you are putting the pot on a patio or deck, put it on casters or wheels for easy transport. We put it in our garden, so we built a platform under it to give it room to drain. For the esthetics, we buried the bricks so that you couldn’t tell.

4. Fill it with potting soil
A standard half barrel will hold around 4 cubic feet of soil, but we used roughly 3 for ours because the plants we put in it had rather large root balls. We used a moisture control potting soil which ran us about $14 at Home Depot.

5. Water the plants
Be sure to soak the roots of the plants before you place them in the barrel. I’ve read different opinions, but the plants should be watered often for the first 3 days to avoid transplant shock. Around half a half a gallon a day.

Now, you have a beautiful and rustic way to showcase any plant. We chose a hydrangea bush and a butterfly bush, both attract butterflies and hummingbirds (fingers crossed).

Any gardening tips that you would like to share, feel free to put them in the comment section.  I’m always looking for secrets to keeping my plants alive once they’re in the ground!  🙂  And since it is planting season, my readers would appreciate them, too.