I make these mistakes so you don’t have to.
I decided to fit the legs today and then fill it up with growing medium to await planting but as with all things DIY things don’t always go to plan.
I thought it was going to be a simple matter to drill the holes in the legs, then drill the holes in the barrel and then just bolt the legs on. I thought it would take a hour, tops. Oh dear. I drilled the holes for the first leg and pushed the bolt through the leg and into the barrel but then I hit upon the first problem. I could not reach down far enough into the barrel to do the nuts up because I had already fitted the compost tube. I tried and tried but in the end I had to drill out the pop rivets and remove the compost tube.
This meant I could access the nuts through the hole in the bottom of the barrel but still working blind with my arm in the hole I scuffed my knuckles on pretty much every turn of the spanner so I think it might be a good idea to fit the legs after you have marked out and cut the grow pockets but before actually forming them. You live and learn.
Here are the legs bolted on at last.
I used nice big washers on the inside of the barrel
I used 40mm M8 bolts with big penny washers
The next problem was getting the compost tube back in the hole which is a very tight fit because the flange at the bottom of the barrel had been heated and then shrunk around the tube. After a bit of chamfering of the tube I managed to get the tube back in but I couldn’t line up the original holes for the pop rivets so I had to drill new holes all of which took time.
All of this took at least a couple of hours and what with the idiotic concept of putting the clocks back I ran out of daylight before I could fill the barrel with soil.
I don’t know how true this is but apparently when an old native American was told about daylight saving he said ‘Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.’ I really hope that was true.
So here is the finished barrel garden in it’s final resting place.
I have a few bags of expanded clay pebbles that I am going to use in my future aquaponics system but I am going to use a few handfuls in the bottom of the barrel to stop the soil getting waterlogged.
I have started filling the barrel with soil but I ran out of light so had to knock it on the head for today but for all intent and purposes the project is finished.
The next instalment will consist of filling the barrel with soil and planting it up.