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My bucket garden is growing! — The Grow Network Community
Flowers are the music of the ground from earth's lips spoken without sound.

- Edwin Curran

My bucket garden is growing!

judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 ModeratorPosts: 3,626 admin

Emergency "Bucket Garden"

The mustard greens grown in the container gave me a good idea of the timing and light conditions for early vegetables. I decided to prioritize Spring peas and green beans. Peas and beans grow quickly, with peas coming in earlier, taste great and pack a lot of nutrition. The upright growth pattern makes them easy to grow in containers... and containers make them easy to move around to find the best spot (before they grow too tall and need support).

I considered this sort of a "survival" garden. Even if nothing would grow in the yard, peas and beans in containers should grow well, produce food and more seeds to plant. The early peas could be pulled after harvest and a quick crop of radishes planted, perhaps followed by Malabar Spinach... or even kudzu, with edible greens that would trellis on the same supports I would use for the peas.

I wanted tough, plastic containers of around 2 and a half gallons. It occurred to me that mop buckets would be the perfect size and have handles for easy carry. I also wanted the containers to be cheap - fortunately, the $1 store (Dollar Tree to be specific) about a mile down the road had mop buckets for $1 each. Even better, they had seed packets for .25 cents each! I assumed that the seeds in those packets would be older seeds, relegated to the discount rack, and the germination rate may not be great. So, I bought one seed packet for each bucket. I also bought a few backs of cheap potting soil.

I ended up buying a total of 17 buckets.... the first 10 worked so well, I went back and bought more to grow out some heirloom seeds I had been saving. So, a week after planting the first ten packets of seeds, and seeing them successfully sprout, I planted Dixie Lee field peas, Speckled, butterbeans, Cherokee Trail of Tears beans, Black Turtle beans, Purple Hull field peas and Zipper Cream field peas.

Being a Southerner, I'm kind of a legume fanatic... if I have some beans and peas, greens, pork seasoning and cornbread, I've got a meal!

The cost of my bucket garden was around $20 and labor was maybe 30 minutes. Drilling holes in the bottoms of the buckets was easy, because you can stack them together and drill 5 or more at once. I put four holes in the bottom of each for water drainage. I filled them with potting soil and used coffee grounds... poked the seeds in about an inch apart and watered.

So far, I am extremely pleased with the results!



  • herbantherapyherbantherapy Posts: 454 ✭✭✭✭

    This is great! I will remember this easy solution when I teach seed to supper classes later this year!

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 3,626 admin

    Thanks! It really is about the easiest gardening I have ever done.

  • Jens the BeekeeperJens the Beekeeper Moderator EuropePosts: 588 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 are the peas for shoots or for pods?

    Looks amazing and seems to be an really easy way to start growing.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 3,626 admin

    The plan for now is to let them grow t maturity. I also have some micro greens growing indoors and grow sprouts from time to time

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,830 ✭✭✭✭✭


    lol I haven't read it yet but by the looks of your pix you are having wayyyy tooo much funnnn. Can't wait to read it with cherry milk shake in hand after mowing the stinking lawn and the first sweat of the season...hoping for many more for if I ain't sweat'n the maters aren't ripeninggg.....

    Thanks for posting the pictures..made my day.🦋

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,830 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Well thought out plan, nicely executed .... great idea. There is a dollar tree across from walmart where I do some of my shopping. I usually buy the 5 gal buckets at Walmart but they are about 3 times more expensive so I'll be looking for those buckets.

    Do you know if they were on sale or the usual price hoping then that the one here will also be only one dollar each.

    If you find yourself having to water too often try placing the drain holes about 1 inch above the bottom of the bucket on the sides with coffee filters at the holes to help keep the soil in. When I made the holes in my barrels, in the bottom I was watering way too much in the heat of the okla summers so I started putting them about 2 inches up as my tubs are up to my knees or a little below...Now watering is a lot less time consuming and less expensive.

    I don't have a lot of room to plant so what peas would you recommend that grow fast and produce early and of course good flavor, so I can follow them with another crop for the hot part of the summer in case I can't find the buckets? Also your 3 fav beans? I know you like the zipper cream, and I'm planting trail of tears pretty soon so other than those two, your favs, or what is it you like about the other beans you are planting?

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 3,626 admin
    edited March 2020

    I honestly didn't even pay attention - I just bought what they had. I was please to notice that they were all non-GMO, just plain old legumes... Kentucky blue lake, provider, early Alaska... I just ripped open the packets and threw them away. I was really surprised with then germinated and grew so well... should have saved the packets or made notes... but I was just experimenting. Yep, the buckets ate $1 every day at Dollar Tree... and they have them in a nice "terracotta red" color, too..

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