Wheelbarrow Planter Ideas You’ll Love for Your Garden

A wheelbarrow is one of the most the most helpful tools for a gardener. It’s classic, easily identifiable and can be readily found in nearly every shed. So it isn’t surprising that a growing DIY trend right now is centered around this garden staple. Up-cycling your wheelbarrow into a trendy and beautiful planter is a great way to add a stunning focal point to your garden. Old and rusty? Not a problem! New and shiny? We can work with that too! A wheelbarrow planter is a quick and easy project that has literally hundreds of possibilities. So let your creativity and imagination run wild as you transform your favorite garden tool into a whimsical garden feature.

Types of Wheelbarrows

Look at the materials used to make your wheelbarrow. Different Metals such as steel or aluminum, wood, or even plastic are all common wheelbarrow materials. Any wheelbarrow can be used to create a wheelbarrow planter no matter what it is made out of.

Metal Wheelbarrows

If you are using a metal wheelbarrow, chances are pretty good that it is old and rusty. Years of hard work and being left out in the sun and rain can take take a toll on metal wheelbarrows. It may have rusted handles, cracked bed, or deflated tires. Do not despair if your wheelbarrow isn’t in its glory days anymore, it will still make a fantastic wheelbarrow planter. Simply line the wheelbarrow planter with plastic so that it won’t rust into the soil. You can then use a power drill to add ¾ inch holes to the bottom of your wheelbarrow bed and pull the plastic through. These holes allow for adequate water drainage for your wheelbarrow planter.

Wooden Wheelbarrows

Wooden wheelbarrow planters are a great way to add a shabby chic look to your backyard. They can be easily painted, stained or distressed to add versatility and uniqueness to your project. If your wooden wheelbarrow planter is older, the wooden slates may not be as fitted as they once were. To solve the problem of soil falling through the gaps, you can cut a tightly woven mesh screen to fit the bottom of the wheelbarrow planter. This will allow water to drain, without pulling soil through with the water. Wooden wheelbarrows will often have an open back. Simply, cut a piece of wood and nail it to the end of your wheelbarrow planter so can fill it to capacity with your soil.

Plastic Wheelbarrows

If you are using a plastic wheelbarrow, chances are it may still be in very good condition. Using a plastic wheelbarrow planter adds a fun, modern, and colorful vibe to your outdoor space. If the wheelbarrow is still in good repair, put a large plastic plant box inside the wheelbarrow bed. This way you can easily remove your flowers and still use a functioning wheelbarrow in your garden. Just make sure that your plastic container has a way for the water to drain, which will avoid over watering your plants.

Benefits of a Wheelbarrow Planter

Using a wheelbarrow planter in your garden has many benefits. The first is the versatility of your wheelbarrow planter. It is easy to make any wheelbarrow planter adapt to your creative vision. Rusty wheelbarrows, or weather stained wheelbarrows create vintage looks for your garden. Meanwhile, new plastic wheelbarrows add a pop of color for a modern flare. Another benefit is how easy it is to move a wheelbarrow around. This means that common garden problems, like lack of sunlight or water, can be easily solved. Simply move your wheelbarrow planter to a new location! A wheelbarrow planter can be versatile inside and out! You can change up the outside with a quick paint job, and the possibilities for the inside are practically endless.

What to Plant in a Wheelbarrow Planter

Wheelbarrow planters can house flowers, succulents, greenery and even vegetables. Their big open beds provide ample space to design and plant multiple flowers in each wheelbarrow planter. First, fill up your wheelbarrow planter with soil. You can use store bought soil, or you can make your own. If you are using your wheelbarrow planter as a mobile planter, try using peat moss based soil so it will be light and easy to move. Next, choose the flowers or crops to plant. This is where your creativity can really make this project your own. Finally, once your plants have been planted you may wish to cover the remaining soil with mulch to prevent weeds from sprouting.

Planting Flowers in Your Wheelbarrow Planter

Play around with colors, size and textures to find a unique design. A good rule of thumb to follow when planting your flowers are to try and add three types of flowers - thrillers, spillers, and fillers. Thrillers draw your attention quickly, have lots of color, and usually stand taller than the other plants. Spillers have long vines and can draw the eye to the outside of the container they are planted in. They often tumble down out of the container. Fillers are the “fluff” plants that fill in the negative spaces to create full looking planters. They can also add much needed greenery to help accentuate the color provided by your thriller plants. 

Planting Vegetables in Your Wheelbarrow Planter

If you prefer to think outside the box, planting vegetables in your wheelbarrow planter maybe the route you wish to take. You are quite literally taking your veggies out of a traditional garden box! You can fit lots of different small crops like radishes, spinach or lettuce into one wheelbarrow planter. You could also add a trellis to the back of the wheelbarrow for crops like peas or cherry tomatoes that need to climb.

Where to Put Your Wheelbarrow Planter

Because a wheelbarrow planter is bound to turn heads, it becomes a great focal piece in your yard. You can change its location by simply picking it up! You could put it by your front door or your mailbox for a warm welcoming feeling. You could cut a flower bed out of your lawn and place the wheelbarrow in the center for a more structured and modern look. You could simply leave it in a corner of your garden with a weathered wheel for a “forgotten garden” feel. Because it is a raised box planter, you can place your wheelbarrow planter on top of rocks, concrete, grass or dirt. Its mobile nature also allows you to be further away from water, you can simply use a garden hose or watering can if you choose to place it away from sprinklers.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has gotten your creative juices flowing. The possibilities of a DIY wheelbarrow planter are endless. There is a wheelbarrow planter for every backyard. It could be a permanent fixture in your yard or a statement piece at an outdoor event.  The ease of creation and sustainability will have you wondering why you didn’t create a wheelbarrow planter sooner!

Amy O'Brien

I am a mother, homeowner, and a DIY kind of gal. Whether it’s backpacking in the mountains or throwing a BBQ in my backyard, I love bringing my family to the great outdoors!

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