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Do you live in an apartment or a house with a small backyard? Have you always wanted a garden but don’t have enough space? There’s a solution: Bucket gardening. All you need are some 5-gallon buckets, rocks, peat moss, planting soil, and compost. That might sound like a lot, but it’s actually very simple.
25 Fruits & Veggies You Can Grow In 5 Gallon Buckets
Not only is bucket gardening a great solution for people with limited space, but it also has many advantages over traditional gardening. You can have a greater variety of plants, you won’t have to do any weeding, and you’ll have fewer pests to deal with. Here are some other benefits of container gardening.
If you decide to give it a try, the first thing you need to ask yourself is what you’re going to grow. Beginners should always start with very easy plants. It will boost their confidence and give them valuable practice before they move on to more difficult plants.
Here’s a list of 25 fruits and veggies you can grow in buckets, grouped by difficulty.
Arugula isn’t a particularly well-known plant, but its sweet and spicy flowers along with its spicy leaves have made it a favorite among many gardeners. Best of all, arugula is quite easy to grow in a bucket, as it doesn’t require any more space than the average herb plant.
Chard is a leafy green from the same family as beets. It grows similarly to lettuce, but it has a slightly longer growing season. It is cold and hardy and can bolt if your summer is too hot. It is also a good double-season crop for spring and fall. If you decide to grow beets, you could skip the chard since beet greens are nearly identical to chard.
If you would like to learn more about growing chard in a bucket, check out this video:
3. Chinese Greens
Bok choi or sui choi are two fun cold-weather greens, perfect for an early spring start or a late fall and winter garden. These two greens are awesome in stir fry and are easy to grow. Once the weather warms up, these greens will bolt but the flower heads still taste good and can add a powerful spice punch to salads.
Any brassica can be grown in pots, but kale is the easiest since it doesn’t have to form anything other than nice fresh leaves. Kale can be grown throughout the year, but it tastes best after it has had a touch of frost.
All the above greens can be used for cut-and-come-again salads when they are 2 inches or so high.
Lettuce is a prime choice for container gardening with plenty of varieties to choose from. Lettuce works well in shallow containers, and if you want you can inter-plant it with slower-growing veggies.
Lettuce is great for early spring and late fall harvesting. You can plant lettuce while there is still the danger of frost, and plant again in the fall after it starts getting cool. You can even bring your lettuce pots indoors to extend the growing season into early winter.
Peppers come in many shapes, sizes, and flavors, giving you plenty of choices to choose from. As a shallow-rooted plant, peppers typically do quite well when grown in containers.
Ultimately, the variety of pepper that you choose depends on how much space you are looking for. Whichever variety you go with, though, you shouldn’t have many issues growing a healthy pepper plant in a 5-gallon bucket.
Beets are similar to chard, but they need deeper soil and more watering. Beets are an awesome root vegetable for containers. Choose smaller beet varieties, or heritage varieties to have the most fun in your container garden. If you’d rather not eat beets because of their overpowering red effects, you could try yellow or albino beets.
Broccoli feeds more heavily than many plants, meaning that it needs a little more space to grow than you might realize. However, a five-gallon bucket offers plenty of space for growing a single broccoli plant. The two broccoli varieties that do the best when grown in containers are DeCicco and green comet broccoli.
Easy to grow, and in a container, they are very easy to space out or even transplant to make sure they grow well. Choose smaller varieties that do not grow a super long taproot and try to match the variety to the depth of the container you are using. Heritage varieties are often sweeter, and smaller than standard varieties. Try Dragon for a fun purple and brilliant orange carrot.
Figs are one of the few plants that actually grow better in a container since fig plants grow larger, better fruit when their root systems are restricted. Figs are also known for being quite hardy plants that are fairly simple to grow.
Onions are simple to grow and make a great addition to many recipes and salads. The only real difficulty that you may encounter with growing onions in a bucket is having enough space to grow a worthwhile amount of onions.
With enough buckets, though, it’s fairly easy to grow a good amount of onions. Try out one of the candy hybrid varieties if you are looking for a sweeter, more flavorful onion to grow.
Quick to grow and a perfect spring crop to round out your green salads. Choose small short-season radishes so that they come to maturity before the heat hits. French Breakfast and Easter Egg are two brilliantly colored small radish varieties that are awesome to grow if you have kids.