Wheelbarrow Planter Ideas

Wheelbarrow Planter Ideas

Feb 01, 2022

We love an old wheelbarrow. This particular guy doesn't roll anymore and has duct tape holding the front wheel together. Before you put these old workhorses out to pasture, consider converting your wheelbarrow to a planter. An old metal wheelbarrow has the advantage of being solid and large, holding a good volume of soil. Most planters cannot boast those charms and are rarely free. 

A wheelbarrow makes the perfect seedling home. To convert yours, consider drilling holes in the bottom for drainage. Fill the interior with soil and compost, moisten the soil, and plant the seeds according to the package directions. Make sure to mark where you planted the seeds because any seed blowing by may germinate in the open, fertile soil. Place the barrow near a door where you can check on it frequently. Once the seedlings are large enough, transplant them to a more permanent part of the garden. 

Another option is to fill the planter with lettuce or some other quick cutting crop. Crisp, fresh greens…

Purple Basil perhaps? Let it go to seed and you will get a second crop!

Here are a few crops to grow in an abandoned wheelbarrow:

Lettuce -- Loose-leaf forms, purples, greens, butters, all of them

Herbs -- Cilantro, Italian parsley and curly parsley are all easy

Perennial Herbs -- Lemon balm looks nice in a short clump atop a wheelbarrow

Seedlings -- Pea starts, tomato starts, and certainly any squash, pumpkins or watermelons

Flowers -- Trailing plants used for hanging baskets are especially nice cascading over the sides :)

To be honest, a nice old wheelbarrow is cute with flowers, but is far more functional when growing edibles and starting seeds. 

Tips for a Growing Wheelbarrow

  • Make sure the wheel is at least half buried. If it starts to roll, the whole thing could tip over.
  • Consider adding drainage holes in the bottom or moving the barrow to a rain protected area. The barrow can flood easily.
  • Label all seeds and starts. You will may forget what you have planted and if it is edible.

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Author Chris Link - Published 1-31-2022