Why Black Buckets In The Bucket Garden?

Why Black Buckets In The Bucket Garden?

When I bought the buckets for my first planting of beans and peas, the "Bucket Garden", I chose black. I wanted to experiment to see if black would absorb heat and produce an earlier crop. To further this experiment, I chose a little nook by the front porch, when the brick would also moderate temperatures.

My experiment has been a tremendous success!

The peas and beans in the buckets were planted within days of those in the ground. Those in the buckets sprouted within a week. That was before the equinox, when temperatures were still going into the upper 30s/lower 40s at night and the days were still short.

Those planted in the garden took 3 weeks before I saw even the first little sprout. All the plants pictured are about 1 month old.



  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Luckily your buckets can be moved into the shade when the heat gets too high and can damage the roots. (Cooking the roots is a real danger for me doing container gardening in the desert.)

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    Yep, that was the other consideration. It gets 100-110 here in the summer

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Be careful of your back when you move those buckets 😊

  • burekcrew86
    burekcrew86 Posts: 248 ✭✭✭

    Awesome experiment. Thanks for sharing.

  • Brueck.iris
    Brueck.iris Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

    I wonder if any colour of bucket would have worked. The soil in the buckets (and in front of stones) surely must warm up faster in spring than the soil in the garden.

    Your idea has inspired me. If I can find some cheap buckets next time I go to town I'll buy different colours and put them next to each other to see if black works faster than white, yellow, red etc.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,461 admin

    Once it got too hot for peas, I turned those under and planted tomatoes and cucumbers - they are doing great!

  • karen
    karen Posts: 80 ✭✭

    I use the so-cALLED paint buckets. I have two tomatoes against a west wall of brick. One is in a black bucket with drainage holes about an inch from the bottom and the other is in a yellow bucket The latter has holes all over the bucket with the lowest one being a couple inches from the bottom, and in line with a plastic mesh strainer. In that sits a shopping bag bag full of compost. This is air pruning. both of these plants are huge. I am thinking the air pruning plant may last longer and it doesnt dry out as fast. both plants are growing in compost. Now, on a north brick wall i have five tomato plants that are growing in a raised bed - same compost material - and they are all dying! a friend has suggested that the west wall plants are more protected from the unseasonably cool weather we are getting. and the buckets black and yellow are retaining the daytime heat much better than in the raised bed.