Category Archives: Barrels +

All about wine barrels and relative items

Cash On The Barrelhead

There are thousands of idioms spoken and we here at Paso Wine Barrels use many of them. From ‘a dime a dozen’ to ‘you can’t take it with you’, there are thousands with meanings for each of them. However, since we use the term here – literally as well as figuratively – the unique phrase we’re talking about is: “Cash on the barrelhead”.

Old shipping barrels

In its simplest form, which you may know, the most straightforward meaning of ‘cash on the barrelhead’ is paying for something with cash at purchase. But what would be the fun with ending it there?

Up until maybe the last century, products often were transported long distance using barrels, especially shipping waterways and overseas. Certainly liquids such as wine and beer are obvious but also honey, spices and many types of foods were also contained in wooden barrels.

As the ancient cultures learned long ago, it’s easier to roll products from point to point rather than lifting boxes or any other odd shaped item. So the barrel became a simpler and standard way of transporting goods.

Table

Credit wasn’t widely used until banking became a way of paying for services or merchandise. So when something was shipped into port and a barrel of product was for sale, unless there was credit, you paid for the goods right then and there with cash laid down on the ‘barrel head’.

Cash on the barrel head

To maybe pinpoint the definition a little more, although history is murky here, the most common thought is that in the American West, barrels were commonly used as tables – when they were not able to contain products effectively. When services or merchandise were offered, the transaction would commonly be for cash only placed on the table, i.e. barrel or barrelhead.

There’s a similar term that’s more international: ‘cash on the nail’. A nail, in long ago times, was a small table in front of an exchange outlet. Without going into another big explanation, to pay ones debt promptly or on the spot, they paid cash on the nail.

There you go. A little bit of knowledge on a typical idiom that not everyone knows about … but now you do.

Cheers,

Daryle Hier

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How To Make A Decorative Wine Barrel

What’s old is new again

Over time, we at Paso Wine Barrels have received many compliments on the beauty and quality of workmanship shown on our Decorative Wine Barrels. These accolades are greatly appreciated. Periodically we receive requests for information on how we handle the make-over of some of the ugliest and most awful looking wine barrels you have ever seen.

Used barrel

Actually, if you are willing to take the time, have the desire and a true “I can do this” attitude, with just average ability and a few tools, you can take that crummy old wine barrel and make it look better than new. Don’t get discouraged, used wine barrels are usually pretty unsightly, but they don’t know it. And note that we had a four part series on recrafting a beat up project barrel – check it out if you want additional information (Recrafting An Old Wine Barrel).

How to do it

An important item in recrafting a wine barrel is the work stand. An empty wine barrel weighs 90 pounds, it is three feet tall and its bottom and top are between 22 and 24 inches in diameter (26 to 27 inches at its widest point), depending on your particular barrel. You don’t want it to tip over on you while working on it. It should stand about a foot and a half off the ground or whatever height is comfortable for you as a good working position.

A suggestion is concrete blocks available at most home and garden centers. They run about a dollar each and a good solid platform can be built for fewer than ten dollars. Another suggestion is a large metal wash tub placed upside down, making sure the diameter gives you about three inches extra all the way around the barrel – so approximately 30 inches in diameter will suffice.

Although it is possible, we do not suggest working on your project without it being elevated. Please keep in mind, that this is hard work and should only be done if you are handy, determined and/or have some woodworking abilities.

Partially sanded barrelThe Process – Sanding

With the barrel sitting on its stand, the process can begin. If you prefer natural color bands (hoops) now is the time to clean them up. Depending on how badly they are stained, the easiest and most efficient way to do it is with a “3M rust/paint remover wheel” attached to an electric drill, which are available at most hardware stores. If this method is not available, hand sanding with a heavy grit (80-100) sand paper should meet the necessary requirements of a clean looking hoop band.  Be sure to sand the bands in a straight horizontal direction around the barrel, not up and down.

When all the bands have been cleaned they are ready to be removed. Remember to never remove all of the bands at the same time. One band must remain below the center of the barrel and one above center at all times – preferably with nails still in them. This is very important as the hoops hold the barrel staves together at both the top and bottom. Should all of the hoops be removed, the barrel WILL come apart. It’s like a giant Rubik’s cube to try to put back together and can take days. Trust us, we learned the hard way.

Sanded wine barrelLeave the top and bottom bands on the barrel, remove the other bands. It will require the removal of the nails (usually mini-hoop nails with a head shaped like an “L” – see thumbnail pic near bottom of article). Remove them by placing a chisel or screwdriver on the edge of the “L” and give it a tap with a hammer then remove them with pliers or side cutters. If the head breaks off, use a small center punch and just drive the remainder of the nail back into the barrel, the band will then slip over the nail hole upon removal.

After detaching the bands (except top and bottom), you are ready to sand. When the hoops are removed, there will be a line where the bands have spent the last five or six years while the wood has faded around them. For your barrel to come out smooth and beautiful when stained, you must sand out all these lines. For best results a belt sander with an 80 grit belt should be used. Care should be taken while sanding to not push too hard on the area where the band lines show. Just take your time and “feather” this area into the body of the rest of the barrel. Don’t get too close to the upper and bottom bands when sanding as this portion will be done after changing the bands and turning the barrel over.

A finish sanding should be done with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth out the texture and grooves left by the heavier paper on the belt sander. It will take about two 8 x 10 sheets. Cut several 3 x 5 pieces, then with a glove on one hand, sand with up and down strokes staying in line with the grain of the staves. Use the ungloved hand to feel the wood until the finish becomes smooth all around the barrel. Leave about seven to ten inches from the bottom band. This will be sanded when the barrel is turned over.

An arm after sanding wine barrel

Now take the bilge band, the closest band to the center, and install it. Make sure it’s tight by using something like a large punch or a small ball peen hammer placed on the edge of the hoop which you will hit with a bigger hammer. Go around the barrel doing this until the band moves down and tightens up. Now, take three small finish nails, driving one partially in on the upper side of the band and bending the nail over. Go around the barrel doing this in at least three places – you will remove these later. When you know it’s tight you may now remove the top band and continue sanding the upper part of the barrel.  When finished, get the help of another person to carefully turn the barrel over. By the way, use a tarp underneath where you work – there will be a lot of sanded wood material every which way.

Follow the same procedure on this end as you did on the other and when finished, re-install the top hoop and remove the bilge band. Touch-up with the 220 sanding and now you’re ready for staining. Pick a stain of your choice that preferably includes a sealer. Lowes, Home Depot, Ace or most hardware and paint stores have a myriad of stain colors. To insure sealing and give it a rich tone, at least two coats are required.

Stain sealer and varathane  

At Paso Wine Barrels, we go through the same routine for staining as we do for sanding. Remove the bands (except top and bottom), stain the barrel, replace the bands, turn it over to remove the other bands, stain some more, replace the bands, turn the barrel over and finish by permanently affixing the bands.

Stained wine barrel

The next course of action is Varathane or Varnish. We at Paso Wine Barrels prefer Spar Varathane to insure a shiny and professional look. The procedure is best with two to three coats and requires moving the bands around the same as when sanding and stain sealing. An alternative to this would be to mask off the bands with masking tape and just apply the varathane between bands as the last operation when the barrel is finished.

Whether it involves sanding or staining, as the different phases evolve you will find yourself removing bands and re-installing them in order to completely cover the barrel while not removing all the bands. It may sound complicated but once you look at it and see what the barrel needs, it’s really quite simple – hard work but simple. To temporarily re-install each band as you go just use three or four small finish nails, driving them only partially in and bending them over.  Before final installation, they will be removed. Each band will be lined up evenly with the bung hole, receive a final tightening and be attached with professional hoop nails.

Finish

Hoop nails are not available in stores; however, they can be found on line at www.dwinesupplies.com or Barrel Builders in St. Helena, California at www.barrelbuilders.com. Each band will have a section where it is held together with two rivets. Use this spot to align the bands with the bung hole on the side of the barrel.

Hoop nails

Setting a hoop nail with the fingers can be painful so a safe and easy way to hold them is with needle nose pliers. The nails are shaped like an “L.” With the pliers, hold the nail on the very tip of the “L” and place the tip of the nail on the bottom of the band between the rivets using a ball peen or smooth tipped hammer. Go directly across to the other side and drive another nail. Now visually measure the distance across and split the diameter to place the other two nails directly across from each other for a total of four nails. Make sure all bands are tight before nailing. Using this procedure, continue nailing until the “top” bands are secure; then turn the barrel over and repeat the process for the remaining bands. Your beautiful natural band, stained, sealed, varathaned, recrafted wine barrel is complete.

Decorative Wine Barrels

If you prefer painted bands, simply wait until you are finished with the barrel. After at least 24 hours use a good masking tape and with newspaper mask off the entire barrel with exception of the bands. Being very careful with the wood surface directly above and below the bands, paint with your preferable color – a primer coat would be the preferred method. The painted band wine barrel project is complete.

There you have it, an almost furniture like barrel that will certainly be the talk of conversation when anyone sees this beautiful reworked wine barrel. Of course, you know where to go to find a used wine barrel – Paso Wine Barrels. Good luck!

Salootie Patootie,

Ron Hier

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Smaller 2014 Harvest? More Barrels Available?

The 2012 and 2013 grape crop production was huge and this year, many thought 2014 would bring yet an unusual third straight big vineyard haul. This is still possible but several factors that have changed the harvest process this year may reduce the tonnage for producing wine. And that may increase the likelihood of more used barrels becoming available.

California wine grapes on the vine

Wishful thinking on our part? Yes, I’m hoping for this potential bonanza of unneeded barrels, but it appears those hopes have some facts to back them up.

Leading up to 

To back up a moment, the season began with ideas of yet another larger than normal crop year. The combination of some spring rains just at the right time after another relatively dry winter, gave an early indication that production could be big again. After an earlier than normal bud break, early veraison happened in July and although that didn’t necessarily mean more and/or bigger grapes, it did offer an earlier timetable that for one, would mean earlier harvest and less chance of freezes or early Autumn rains that might create mildew.

Winemakers told us at Paso Wine Barrels that they were holding on to their neutral and used barrels in case a third-in-a-row big harvest occurred. With an earlier than normal picking period, wineries were busily processing their grapes – so we waited.

Raisin crop drying

At that same time, in the Central Valley, the raisin crop was off the vine. However, a smaller than expected yield – attributed mostly to drought and government induced water shortages – gave pause to the rest of the industry. It should be noted that farmers have been hit hard by the state and federal water regulations that have forced vintners in particular to use less water or just plain not grow some of their crops. Catch more of this insidious man-made disaster here.

Some farmers had a compressed harvest but one good spell of cooler than normal weather in August slowed harvest down for others, giving several winemakers a little break while allowing the grapes to mature, improving the quality. The little bit of rain that vineyards in the northern part of California received in mid-September was nowhere near enough or even on time to help improve growing conditions.

More barrels?

Filling wine barrel

How many barrels will be needed this harvest?

Now it appears that a lighter than normal crop set up, but with good quality grapes. Smaller berries are being reported and from a personal standpoint, I too have seen grapes from different vineyards and they appear smaller than normal. This decrease in grape crop tonnage from the past two years seems to becoming more obvious, which leads us to, well, us.

Barrels have been much harder to come by with vintners essentially hoarding them until harvest came through. I haven’t seen an abundance yet of request from winemakers to come pick up their barrels, but from all the current signs, it points to the possibility that more of the wonderful wooden casks that make our business possible, could be available soon.

I’ll let folks know as time goes on, but if we are right and a cornucopia of barrels flows our way, this will be good news for everyone who follows our little family-run company.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

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Wine Barrel Beer

I’ve been a homebrewer for almost two decades and although I’m essentially a simple brewer by trade, many in the craft are more than a bit adventurous. That could be true with the microbrew world as well.

Wine Barrel Beer

Like the wine garagiste brethren, with that daring and bold streak, some homebrewers are actually going back to beginning – they’re brewing in barrels … mostly wine barrels to be specific. And to that point, more than a few folks have ventured my way, asking for wine barrels that they can use for aging.

Unique flavors

Looking for unique and distinctive flavors, these risktakers – meaning craft brewers – purposefully want to impart that tinge of wine aroma and flavor along with whatever the oak can still give off after several years as a wine producer. The part that is tricky for Paso Wine Barrels is we are receiving barrels that most wineries don’t want, and sometimes there’s reasons for why they don’t want these particular barrels.

Vintners typically hold on to wine barrels for roughly six years. This isn’t set in stone as some winemakers use barrels for only two or three years while other use them as long as they don’t leak or no longer offer any oak value.

Leakers

So you can see the situation arise where someone asks us if the barrels are still good – we don’t really know. What we do know though is whether they leak or not. No matter where you go to purchase your used barrel, just be aware that leaks are possible. Often I will go through a new batch of used barrels and sift out some that are obviously no good for holding water because maybe I can literally see through the seems in between the staves. Also, a decent leak can appear as major stains and let anyone who is looking know it likely won’t hold wine … or beer.

By the way, these circumstances offer one of the many reasons why barrels are getting harder to find. Combined with whiskey distillers, these groups are making wine barrels harder and harder to come by. Just a few short years ago, wineries were giving away their barrels, or selling them for a very nominal fee. That’s no longer the case as just about no one gives them away and some hold out for steeper and steeper prices.

Regardless, with wine barrels becoming popular with brewers, there appears to be many nuances that should give these whimsical crafters an abundance of capricious if somewhat volatile and fickle creations. Which means if you are a fan of home or craft brews, expect some wild variances and interesting flavors, to say the least. At 59 gallons a crack, homebrewers will be taking big chances – but than again, that’s part of what is so fun with garagiste and homebrewers as they experiment, while the rest of us might taste that rare flavor … and smile with amazement.

Here’s to homebrewers and down the hatch,

Daryle W. Hier

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Napa Earthquake And Wine Barrels

*Update at bottom

I’ve received some inquires regarding the Napa Earthquake and whether it was affecting us here at Paso Wine Barrels. The short answer is no.

Napa Earthquake wine barrels

The fallout from the damage which is over a billion dollars so far – mainly concentrated in the south end of Napa County – is still not known, but so far, the Central Coast of California has not been largely affected by the seismic activity north of the Bay Area.

With the damage to so many wine barrels, it has been wondered if there might be a shortage. However, many of the wineries had just recently done bottling to get ready for 2014’s vintage, so they had emptied the wine and most of those empty barrels, don’t appear to be damaged.

Again, reports are all still preliminary and much of what has been reported, doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of what real harm has been done both physically as well as monetarily.

Damage was very localized 

Also, those in other parts of the country or overseas speculated as to how the big tremor affected all our wine regions. To be clear, there was significant damage near or at where the epicenter (was not far from the Napa County Airport), but it shook only in the immediate area and was not widely felt. Being just north of San Pablo Bay, except for Vallejo, Sonoma and obviously Napa, not much in the way of damage was incurred. The Central Coast didn’t feel even the slightest whiff of a quake.

Napa Valley Grape - Ready For Harvest

Although harvest started early this season, percentage-wise, much of the berries have not been picked yet and that is some consolation for those in Napa. Luckily, a cooler than normal summer helped slow ripening … or we may have had a different story.

We will keep monitoring barrel needs, but it seems for now, there doesn’t appear to be much or any problem. Paso Wine Barrels will keep barreling away. 🙂

*UPDATE: As some had thought, once the devastation could be viewed more clearly, damage is not as bad as it originally was reported. Obviously there’s destruction, but as this story offers, things aren’t as bad as news services first noted.

Cheers,

Daryle Hier

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Wine Barrel Tables

Folks ask me all the time how to make a good-looking table out of a wine barrel. Yes, we do offer the Decorative Glasstop Wine Barrel Table, but for the most part, we’re plenty busy with producing these striking decorative barrels and don’t have the time to put together real furniture type products. Still, there are those out there who have many ideas and thoughts on what and how to do-it-yourself.

So, I’ve thrown together several pictures on here with a little bit of information that could help with what should be a great yet simple project. DIY Wine Barrel Table

Whole Barrels

The whole used wine barrel can offer up more than one piece of furniture that should be the talk of any room. Much like our Glasstop Table, you can purchase one of our barrels and then acquire a glasstop at your local glass shop and voila! You have a simple yet attractive table top. If you already half some bar stools, you’re all set. Wine Barrel Outdoor Table

I may have mentioned this before but if you picked two or three used barrels, find a nice table top or if you want to be recycle-crazy and go all the way, obtain a used door and sit it on top of the barrels. This is quite eclectic but would make for a great barroom or patio table. If you wish, you can place a large tablecloth over it to give it an elegant look. Either way, it will present a relatively inexpensive yet useful while being unique piece of furniture. And likely no one else in your sphere of influence will have one. You can take this idea even farther and create a long bar or table counter either inside or out and set several barrels underneath some flat wood. This offers a countertop in large open areas. Yes, there’s no end to what ideas are available.

Half Barrels

If you’re interested in half barrels, There are a great many ideas including the simplest idea of all – sitting the barrel on its wide end and using the head or cap area (as they’re widely known) as the table top. This is one coffee or end table that will never be knocked over.

You can also do what we mentioned above with the full barrel and that’s to put a glasstop over it. And remember, you can add unusual items underneath the glass such as wine corks. When it comes to these half barrels, you can turn them upside down so-to-speak and place a glasstop over the wide end where the barrel was cut. With an open area underneath the glass, the suggestions are endless. You can place any of many things or nothing at all.

Half Wine Barrel Table - Glass top 2 picsHope these pictures and ideas help inspire and give you a better overall view and thoughts on how and what you can do with wine barrels as tables. If you have some suggestions, feel free to add them here.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

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Rain Bearrel

Yes, I do know how to spell. Bear with me – pun fun intended.

You purchase a half barrel and maybe place a liner inside to catch rain water. That’s one way to do it although anytime you leave an open container out, especially as big as a half barrel, varmints like mosquitoes tend to breed. Then there are bigger intruders – like bears.

Bear-in-a-barrel

Bear1

Maybe you saw this story a few years back when it came out in Colorado. The homeowner had half barrels with liners to fetch rain water for his garden. Problem was something was emptying his barrels. That something was a bear – maybe a black bear … and it was caught on camera.

The owner was mystified and set up cameras to catch the perpetrator, which happened to be the aforementioned bear, who would cool its tush off by sitting in the barrel … a bear in a barrel, so-to-speak.

We’ve talked about rain barrels in the past and you can go here for some valuable information but this story brings up the issues of pest. Whenever dealing with something outside and exposed to the elements, some care and caution should be taken.

Skeeters

Mosquitoes are a real problem with water and if you don’t have an enclosed system, you might have to add a horticultural spray oil as one idea. Also, kerosene or mineral oil can work as well. Chlorine does a good job as well but then again, you have to be careful since you’re going to use this same water for your garden.

For bears, there’s really no deterrent for a huge animal like a bear except to have a full barrel and preferably an enclosed system – simple as that.

Bear3

The bear from these pics was likely trying to cool down. Unless water is scarce or it’s summer, bears won’t be this bold. However, it makes for some great fun. The one shot (at right) with the bear sitting there with its feet up is cool. I mean really, you expect them to bear the heat? 😉

Mahalo,

Daryle W. Hier

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Wine Barrel Weddings

A few followers and friends have contacted me in the past, asking about wine barrels for weddings. Consequently I thought I’d show some pictures, so folks can get an idea of just what a wine barrel wedding would look like.

Wine barrels as outdoor barn wedding decor

I’m not a wedding expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I did play one on television – okay, that was a joke. However, I have collected many pictures over the last few years for wine barrel ideas and these images represent the best that I could find regarding weddings.

Idyllic setting

Getting married in a winery isn’t new but it is a growing phenomenon with settings and surroundings that are hard to beat. I mean really, when doesn’t scenery with rolling hills of vineyards not conjure up a greater illustration of the wedding spectacle. What better way to set off that idyllic look than wine barrels.

Rustic drink station, perfect for a country wedding.

If they are Decorative or the more eclectic rustic used barrels, the appearance of wine barrels adds a stunning charm, character and well, they’re just plain cool to view. Whether at or in a vineyard, wine barrel weddings have a certain flair and maybe even add some elegance to the celebration.

Bring vineyard to you

And don’t let the idea of not being at a winery slow you down. Even if you’re not using a winery and it’s vineyard for the wedding, you can bring the vineyard to you, so-to-speak. You can order used barrels to have on the special day or if the investment is a bit too high and you’re so lucky as to be within a couple hours of Paso Robles, you can rent the barrels. Most local wedding rental companies should have wine barrels available.

Louisville Wedding Blog - The Local Louisville KY wedding resource: Rustic Wedding Props, Rentals and Decor

Regardless, having wine barrels as decor in your wedding ceremony is a unique rustic yet exceptional way to enjoy the special day.

Additional sources: Pinterest

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

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Everchanging And Portable Flowering Wine Barrel

If you’ve considered a half wine barrel as a planter for flowers, you may be concerned with the weight and therefore difficulty of moving you’re oak planter. Let go of your concerns because we have an almost magical half barrel idea for you.

Take note that using this idea will likely make your planter last forever given certain care is taken or you use a Decorative Planter Barrel.

Portable potted planter

Inside magic

This is simple but a great idea nonetheless. First, you need a genuine oak wine planter barrel, either new or used. Next, purchase wood chips to fill about half the barrel. Acquire multiple flowers at your nursery or garden center and you can either place the flowers in another planter or leave them in their original existing plastic containers.

You can use the chips or add more to fill around the potted flower containers so as to keep them secure. Water them as you would normally. That’s it. Now, you have a barrel that you can move around and add, subtract or change flowers without having to dig them out. It’s almost magical when you’re able to make changes and nobody knows how easy it was for you.

Moisture

It should be also noted that since you won’t be watering this barrel’s soil, the construction of a used barrel will dry up and become somewhat wobbly as the staves condense and pull apart. There’a an answer to that though with – as we mentioned above – the Paso Wine Barrels Decorative Half Planter Barrel. Because it has tightened bands, stain, sealer and varnish, they don’t tend to dry out as quickly as standard used barrels do. Also, they are reinforced with an interior band allowing them to sustain many years not being moist.

If you decide on the used barrel, you might want to spray it with a garden hose occasionally or each time you water – keeping the wood from drying out will allow the barrel to stay tighter.

Now it’s time to have what your friends, neighbors or cohorts didn’t figure out – an almost magical everchanging and portable flowering wine barrel.

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

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Fresh Lettuce Right Outside Your Door

In a garden, what a garden
Only happy faces bloom there
And there’s never any room there
For a worry or a gloom there

Lettuce in a barrel

Believe it or not, this oh so positive refrain comes from the ‘Beer Barrel Polka’ (Roll out the barrel) and I couldn’t agree more.

What’s more positive and fun than a garden at your footstep. Lettuce is one of the fastest growing plants in a garden. In fact, their cousin the spinach, grows a bit faster. Here’s what you do to have pest free lettuce and spinach in three to seven weeks. Why the wide spread? Read on.

Start with a quality barrel

First, purchase a wine oak half barrel from a reputable source – like Paso Wine Barrels. I mention reputable, because so many garden centers, especially the notorious big boxes, offer barrels that for one, aren’t wine barrels and sometimes aren’t even oak … plus they want to fall apart.

Not to toot the horn, but places like Paso Wine Barrels offer fresher and usually better looking half barrels along with decorative types that are reinforced and sealed, making them last almost forever. Still, regardless where you purchase the barrel, unless it’s sealed, you might want to go ahead to add a sealer – both inside and out. You don’t have to do this but we recommend it for a longer lasting barrel.

Half barrels

Pssst … I know where you can get authentic genuine quality wine barrels.

Next, drill a half a dozen or so holes in the bottom of the barrel for drainage – this is a must. Find a small hole saw or large drill bit to make the holes. Make sure to place a sheet of weed barrier cover over the bottom of the holes. Place about two to three inches of small rocks on top of the barrier underlayment as this will offer proper drainage. The underlayment will help keep dirt and soil from draining out the bottom of the barrel holes.

Now add a mix of dirt, garden soil and compost if you have it. This gives the necessary nutrients for the garden lettuce and spinach. We use only organic seeds but regardless, purchase seeds from your local nursery or garden center and plant them a couple inches apart. The seeds should be covered in no more than a half an inch of soil.

Voila! Lettuce at your doorstep

Water as recommended but don’t be too concerned with over watering because for starters, you have drainage and two, plants like these need regular watering. Mulch around the plant if needed to keep in the moisture, but check with a local Master Gardener and/or the American Horticultural Society for more information.

In any case, seedlings should sprout within a handful of days and you should have a bunch of little plants within the first couple weeks and about seven weeks later, you will be eating fresh leafy garden salads.

If you want to up the ante so-to-speak, purchase small plants from your local nursery. When you plant them, make sure you compress and compact the soil around the base of each plant. In a few short weeks, salad days are back! As Martha Stewart interminably says: ‘It’s a good thing.’

Set your planter with lettuce and spinach near your back or front door, but make sure it has shade. These leafy vegetables usually don’t do well in sunny hot climes and tend to bolt when extreme heat hits them.

Lettuce in a barrel

Again, please be cautious what kind of barrel you use. I’ve seen some dilapidated barrel at certain garden centers which will remain anonymous that have poor excuses for barrels. They may have an eclectic look but won’t last long and may not even make it home without falling apart.

Okay, it’s time to get out there, have some fun and roll out the barrel with some fresh greens …

Roll out the barrel, we’ll have a barrel of fun
Roll out the barrel, we’ve got the blues on the run

Cheers,

Daryle W. Hier

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