Bucket Gardening 101

Love gardening but having a space constraint? Then indeed, this bucket gardening 101 article is for you. Urban gardening is a variety of intelligent and easy ways of gardening, both innovative and efficient, and most importantly, this can be implemented in urban surroundings. 

These could include bucket gardening, street landscaping, rooftop gardens, greenhouses, and many more. On today’s blog, the spotlight is on (drum roll, please!) bucket gardening.

Benefits of Bucket Gardening

  • Easy
  • Affordable
  • Easy Maintenance
  • Mobility

This improvised method of gardening has numerous benefits. It adds up to being a creative and innovative outdoor accessory and serving its original purpose of safeguarding the environment.  The benefits and uses that are associated with bucket gardening are numerous!

It’s easy, quick, and straightforward, and it’s definitely in a good trend. Almost anyone and everyone can implement this gardening method because it’s that doable, so you can choose to add it to your bucket list.

Basics of Bucket gardening

Up and till now, we’ve been talking about this term, bucket gardening, and what it is that if you ask, here you go. Bucket Gardening is an easy and hassle-free way of growing vegetables, plants, flowers, and many others right in a Bucket or container. This savvy way of gardening is also known as container gardening.

Gardening can never be done more uncomplicated with this method. It’s ideal for amateur gardeners as this takes up minimal space. It is lovely to know that there is no need for complex and expensive gardening equipment to assist you here.

Things Needed

All it requires is a hand trowel, hand cultivator, pruner, soil scoop, watering can, gardening gloves, and kneeling pad (for your safety), and of course, the essential tool that is a sturdy bucket or a container.

The tools mentioned above are the essential tools required for gardening. When you have polished your skills a bit and are growing different varieties of plants, you can start getting fancy schmancy and using more job-specific tools such as micro-tip scissors, plant support, and plant labels.

Effective solution for common garden issues

Bucket gardening solves specific issues that arise due to gardening directly into the soil. First of all, you can save your produce from animal trampling because you can quickly move the container to higher ground to protect these plants. This freedom of mobility gives you an added advantage; in case of insufficient sunlight, you’re free to move the Bucket to a place where sunlight is abundant.

Pro tip: If you have young children at home running about in the backyard, you can surely save your beautiful vegetable bed from being trotted over. 

You can significantly avoid the risk of overwatering or under-watering. The weed problem is very minimal in bucket gardening, It suits plant lovers living in urban areas or apartments without backyards. All you have to do is allocate a corner for the container anywhere you want!

bucket gardening

Step by Step process

 Firstly, after carefully selecting your container with good drainage, you must thoroughly clean it with soapy water. Thorough rinsing is a must. Dampen the pot soil mixture in the container or the bag you mixed it in, then partially fill the container with the potting mix. Avoid adding gravel or other materials to the bottom of the container because that will reduce the drainage.

Carefully remove the plant from its original container and make sure to loosen the roots before planting if the plant is root-based. Now set the plant in its new container, maintaining the same depth level as its original container, and it must be below the rim of the pot of almost 1 to 2 inches. Watering the plants is essential.

Steps summary

1: Select a suitable container with proper drainage

2:Clean with soapy water and rinse

3: Dampen the pot soil mixture in the container

4: Fill the container with the potting mix

5:Install the plant

Everything is excellent, but what should I plant?

Well, there are plenty of answers to that, you can choose from growing plants, vegetables, flowers anything you want. After deciding what you’re planning to grow, it’s crucial to select your container’s size. 1 to 2 square feet or a 5-gallon bucket would be best to grow one plant. 

Pro tip: However, it’s essential to make sure the Bucket or container has adequate drainage.

Numerous vegetables can be grown in a 5-gallon container. These would be bush tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, eggplants for all these vegetables. You can plant 1 per Bucket. i.e., one tomato plant per Bucket. On the other hand, you can grow carrots and radishes up to 10 per Bucket. 

Not just Vegetables

Apart from veggies, you can also grow herbs like Basil, rosemary, mint, and parsley. You can have a visual treat by planting flowers like fuchsia, geranium, roses, and many more. The point to be noted here is always to make sure you’re growing the plants the right way. 

Once you have decided what you want to plant, you can surf the internet, read books, and gather all the necessary information about the plant.

bucket gardening

Sunlight

The most basic requirement for growing any plant anywhere would be water and sunlight. It applies the same for bucket gardening, too but, how much is the question here. Bucket or container gardening doesn’t usually use regular garden soil.

Plants mostly require 7 to 12 hours of sunlight. This depends on the type of plants you’re growing; this is why gathering information about the plant before gardening is highly recommended. 

The container’s space must also be taken care of, making sure there is enough space when the plant grows bigger.

Soil

 Instead, it uses potting mix or potting soil. The potting soil is made of peat moss, topsoil, and other components. You can do it yourself or purchase it outside.

This pot soil mixture is relatively less dense than garden soil, so it’s essential to keep the soil moist, not wet. Watering the container every day is a must. You can do it twice a day if the weather gets hot. 

Nutrients for the plants 

The vitals required for any plant or any gardening would be water and sunlight but for healthy and weed-free plant, fertilizers play an important role

Apart from your perfect pot soil mixture, it is essential to add proper well researched harmless fertilizers to your container. By doing this, your bucket plants can sustain and absorb their feed efficiently in all seasons.

Go Organic

Fertilizers are often perceived as harmful chemicals, This is partly true, though, but today with the help of research and development, there are many organic fertilizers available in the market, mutually beneficial for humans and plants. Using organic mulch on the top of your containers is also highly recommended as it serves many purposes.

 Mulch helps retain soil moisture, reduces weed growth, improves soil fertility, and serves as an aesthetic factor. As we water the plants every day, it’s not surprising that the nutrients tend to leak out. Hence adding fertilizer every week or two is a healthy practice.

Fun container ideas

Buckets or containers you would use for this gardening method need not always be the traditional mud or clay pots. You can get fun and creative with gardening using everyday household items too. 

Teacups are almost ideal for succulents. You can gift them or place them on your work desk and look all cool and professional, and the best part is they are so aesthetically pleasing.

Pro tip: You can re-use and multipurpose cans that are lying at home, clean them thoroughly, and sand the edges if they are too sharp, then that’s just it. Add a vintage look with burlap sacks which provide good drainage. Baskets would be a great decor too. 

You can also line up your buckets in rows, stack them in a short wall, and display your lovely vertical garden. The options are plenty. It’s up to you to choose the best fit.

bucket gardening

Exploring different container materials

Terra cotta containers 

The most frequently opted material would be our clay pots or Terra cotta containers because it’s relatively safe and provides an earthly feel. It also adds a natural look to the garden, and planting in a terra cotta pot is also relatively easy, even for amateurs. 

Well, there is a bit of con associated with this kind of pot. First of all, it’s pretty heavy and prone to damage quite easily as its base is clay. Especially in hotter weather, frequent watering helps. Cacti, succulents are ideal plants to be grown in this container. Both outdoor and indoor plants can be well grown. 

Ceramic glazed containers

Glazed containers are very amicable and serve amazing visuals too. Apart from its price and delicateness, it’s an excellent container for gardening as the glaze allows the soil to retain as much moisture as possible. The plants best suited for this material would be any tropical plants. It’s effortless to nurture and maintain because of the retention of soil moisture.

Your creativity can be put to the test here as repainting the ceramic is necessary after a time. You can go crazy and wild as you wish by customizing your very own glazed container. However, you must do adequate research and find food and plant-safe glazed containers to maximize your safety and plants.

Plastic containers 

bucket gardening

This container proves that there’s nothing stopping anyone from trying out this style of container gardening. Plastic is very cheap and easily accessible to anyone and everyone, considering that its lightweight mobility will be more effortless too. These containers are flexible and sturdy, almost altogether avoiding the danger of breakage. 

Environment & Food Safety

Plastic containers will retain soil moisture. However, we must give these containers proper care to prolong their activity as plastics are often considered an item of use and throw. We must well take care of these plastics’ quality considering the harmful effects of plastics on the environment. Plants like Basil, strawberries can be quickly grown in these plastic bottles.

You can use other materials such as wood and cement to build an efficient container garden. No matter which material you choose, the quality of the material must always be kept in check. Ensure using food safe graded material is vital.

Conclusion

The critical point about bucket gardening is to keep it minimalistic and efficient so that you will ultimately find it easy to do. Bucket gardening truly gives you the pleasure of watching the seeds you planted grow into healthy produce. It also makes it easier to have your undivided love and attention. Patience is required, though as plants take their own time to grow, all you have to do is nurture them properly. Your garden will be in full bloom.

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