Gardening styles are changing, and the new trendy thing is container-growing plants. This technique saves space, doesn’t require you to have ideal garden soil, and provides an excellent base for growing all sorts of herbs, fruits, and veggies.
Container gardening will also let you achieve amazing results and give you high yields with minimum effort. And you can do it all year long since it’s easy to move your plants inside over winter!
The great news is that you don’t even need real containers. All it takes is a five-gallon bucket and some seeds or transplants of your favorite veggies.
Of course, some thrive better than others in this setting, which is why I put together this list of 10 foods you can grow in buckets all year long easily and successfully.
Let’s take a closer look at them!
Ideal Plants To Grow In Buckets
If you only have enough space for 1 or 2 five-gallon buckets, consider growing arugula, lemon, lettuce, strawberries, or any of the following plants.
Choose more compact varieties for an urban garden!
Arugula is an excellent choice for growing in buckets as it doesn’t require too much space. If you choose a five-gallon container, you can easily fit five plants per bucket.
Use a high-quality, organic, and well-draining potting substrate to fill the container, add your arugula plants, and cover their root system with the mixture.
Place the bucket in a full sun location and water them whenever you notice the top few inches of the growing medium are dry.
Note: Always water this plant at the base since constantly wet leaves can harbor diseases and attract pests.
Here are some more growing tips:
Beans are another great choice for bucket gardening. You can use both bush and pole varieties, but bush beans are simpler to maintain as you don’t have to set up a trellis.
Plant up to 3 plants per bucket so that you don’t overcrowd them too much. If you’re growing pole varieties, you need to set up a stake they can use for climbing.
These veggies thrive in full sun, but they will handle light shade just fine. After choosing the location, all that’s left for you to do is drill some drainage holes in the bottom and fill it with a moist, humus-rich, well-draining medium.
Finally, these plants do require plenty of moisture, so water them whenever the top couple of inches of soil are dry.
One of the things I love most about growing carrots in five-gallon buckets is that you can plant so many of them. This is because they require less than an inch of space between seedlings.
You can plant up to 10-15 carrots per bucket and get a great harvest.
Plant them in a lightweight, loose, and well-draining substrate, and move them to a location where they can get at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day. Finally, irrigate them when the top inch of the growing substrate drys out.
Eggplants generally require plenty of space, but if you grow a single plant per five-gallon bucket, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Choose ‘Fairytale’ and ‘Hansel’ varieties as they are more compact and will grow better in containers. Make sure to stake them.
Use equal parts compost, coco coir, and vermiculite to create the best soil mix, and expose it to at least 6-8 hours of direct light each day. Water it once per week or more frequently if you notice the leaves are droopy and wilting.
Here’s some excellent advice on growing eggplants this way:
Since garlic plants aren’t that large, it’s logical to try growing them in containers. Just pop the bulbs in and enjoy the magic!
You can grow 2-3 plants per bucket, and if you really want them to thrive, you can learn more about the garlic growing stages. You’ll know when to plant them, how to water them, and more.
Plant the garlic in a nutrient-dense, loose, and well-draining potting mix and move it to a full sun location. Water it daily if the temperatures are hot, but the dryness of the topsoil will give you a good idea when to irrigate it at any time.
The ‘Improved Meyer’ lemon is an ideal citrus for container gardening because of its compact size and ability to fruit indoors, which is crucial in cold climates.
Plant one tree per bucket and use a combination of compost, coco coir, and vermiculite to create an optimal growing medium.
Expose it to full sun and water it once a week throughout the year, and more frequently during summer (perhaps even every two days if the topsoil dries out quickly).
If you want some greenery for chicken salads, growing your own lettuce is the perfect option. And don’t worry if you don’t have enough space; they thrive in containers too!
Just make sure to plant up to 4 lettuce plants per five-gallon bucket, and you’ll have no spacing or airflow issues.
Drill some holes in the bottom of the planters since these veggies need drainage. Also remember to use a fertile, loose, and well-draining medium in a full sun location. These plants also require frequent watering, so consider getting a self-watering pot.
Finally, make sure to harvest them young and not to expose the plants to scorching heat since these are the most common causes of bitter lettuce.
Strawberries are one of the easiest plants to grow in a five-gallon bucket.
Choose a climbing variety, add 1-2 plants per bucket, and insert a trellis to conserve space, pick them more easily, and ensure proper air circulation.
Water them regularly, especially during fruiting, expose them to full sun, and use a high-quality organic potting mix.
Squash can get quite big, but you can safely grow them in five-gallon buckets. The great news is that you can plant both winter and summer squash this way.
Just make sure you only grow a single plant in each bucket so it has enough room to develop. Set up a trellis so that they can grow upwards or let them sprawl.
Drill many holes in your bucket to ensure proper drainage and use a nutrient-rich, well-draining potting medium. Mulch the young squash, expose it to plenty of sunlight, and water it when the topsoil dries out.
Here are some more helpful tips:
Tomatoes are among the favorite veggies of any gardener, so it’s only natural to wonder whether you can fit them in a five-gallon bucket and an urban setting.
And the answer is yes! Cherry or bush tomatoes are the best varieties for this type of growing. The first ones have light fruit, while the others don’t require trellising.
Grow a single plant per bucket, drill some holes in the bottom for better drainage, and plant them in a fertile and well-draining potting mix. Expose your potted tomatoes to full sun and water them every day during hot summers.
If you want to have a larger harvest, you should top your tomato plants when the time comes (all season for indeterminate, and end of season for determinate types).
I hope you found this article helpful.
Until next time!