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5 Plants You Can Grow in Buckets

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Grow Your Own Organic Garden in Buckets, Even if You Don’t Have a Yard!

Container gardening is a great solution for those who have limited space for a traditional garden layout. It’s amazing the garden you can create by using containers. In this article, we are going to talk about using buckets as containers for your garden.

Using buckets (and other similar containers) can solve your typical gardening problems such as young plants getting trampled, rabbits eating your plants, poor soil, hard rains, weeds taking over your garden, and ease of daily care in general. Also, you can arrange your plants throughout the day for the plants that require full sun or for the plants that need partial shade. Many vegetables can actually thrive in buckets. The most common sized bucket that most gardeners use is 5 gallons.

How to Begin Your Garden Using 5 Gallon Buckets

Grow Plants in Buckets

Start by finding a 5 gallon bucket. Make sure it is clean and food grade, meaning there’s never been any nasty chemicals stored or shipped in your container. Usually you can acquire these by visiting your local bakery, or even a trip to the hardware store will lead you to a simple 5-gallon bucket. Generally they can be purchased at your big-box hardware stores for around $2.50 each.

(Information courtesy of urbanorganicgardener.com)

Here are my top five plants you can grow in buckets:

1. Tomatoes

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Grow Plants in Buckets

For best results, especially in climates that are a little cooler, try starting your tomato plant indoors 6-8 weeks before your last average frost date. Tomatoes do well with transplanting and rarely experience “shock” once they are moved from their indoor locations out into their permanent home in the garden.

Add your nutrient dense soil into your 5 gallon bucket. Dig a hole deep enough for you to plant your seedlings and then add a small amount of vegetable or tomato plant food at the bottom of each hole. Give the soil a light water with a watering can.

Click here to read more on how to grow the perfect tomato plant using a 5 gallon bucket, or check out the video below.

2. Cucumbers

Grow Plants in Buckets

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Dish soap
  • Drill
  • ½  inch drill bit
  • Well draining potting soil
  • Vegetable fertilizer
  • 2 blocks

Click here for the full tutorial on how to grow a cucumber plant in a 5 gallon bucket. The video below is another great example.

3. Onions

Grow Plants in Buckets

Growing onions in container gardens is much like growing onions in the ground. You need good soil, adequate drainage, good fertilizer and plenty of light.

You can grow onions in 5 gallon buckets, but realize that you may only be able to grow 3 or 4 onions per bucket as onions need at least 3 inches open soil around them to grow properly.

Click here to read more on how you can have the perfect onion crop using 5 gallon buckets, and check out the video below for more tips.

4. Potatoes

If you had to, you could live on almost nothing but potatoes. That’s made them one of the most important crops in human history. Entire civilizations would not have existed without them. And you can grow this powerful food crop in a 5 gallon bucket.

When growing potatoes in buckets, start with a couple inches of growing medium (compost works great) and build up the soil level as the season progresses. Here’s a great video by Mel Bartholomew explaining how he grows potatoes in buckets.

Click here to read more on how to grow a potato crop using 5 gallon buckets.

5. Pearl Oyster Mushrooms (Edible)

Grow Plants in Buckets

The process for growing mushrooms is pretty easy. But it does vary depending on the type of mushroom you are growing. This tutorial will show you a typical and easy way to grow Pearl Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus).

You will need:

  • Some kind of bucket or container – Typically a 5 gallon plastic pail is used. In this tutorial a 2 gallon plastic pail is used.
  • Lots of coffee grounds – about half a bucket full – whatever the size of your bucket
  • Mushroom Spore
  • Some plastic wrap (optional but good)
  • Spray bottle to mist your mushrooms daily

Click here for the full tutorial on how to grow Pearl Oyster Mushrooms using a 2 gallon bucket, and check out the video below for more tips.

If you’ve had great success growing plants in buckets, please share your story in the comment section below!


Many city and apartment dwellers think that growing their own food isn’t a possibility in a rented home with limited yard space, but this is simply not true. If you’re willing to get a little creative, there are plenty of options for growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables even in limited space — and yes, even if you don’t have a yard! Want to know more? Check out these related articles:

Modular Garden Systems for Tiny Homes and Apartments

Container Gardening for Your Patio or Balcony

21 Garden & Patio Projects

 

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