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The Garden Bucket Experiment – A Container Garden Made Easy!

Tucked away in a tiny corner of the garden this year, was our Any Age, Anywhere Experimental Container Garden.

It was our little trial to see how our tomato and pepper plants would grow in simple containers. And the results certainly surprised us! 

container garden
The San Marzano tomato growing wild in the 5 gallon bucket container

Realizing that not everyone has the space, time or ability to have a traditional garden – we wanted to see what we could be grown successfully in a non-traditional, but still basic – container based garden set-up. 

The goal was simple. Design an inexpensive and functional container garden that anyone, of any age could plant.

It needed to be easy to create, maintain and harvest – and conserve on space. It also of course had to produce a big enough yield to make it all worthwhile. 

For the experiment, we built and trialed three different sized container boxes. A 5 gallon bucket size, along with a 10 and 15 gallon nursery sized container.

The Results – Why A 5 Gallon Bucket Is The Perfect Workhorse!

Of all of the sizes we trialed, I have to say that we were both most impressed with the plants grown in plain old 5 gallon buckets.  

We thought that the larger containers might be more productive with more soil. But as it turned out, the 5 gallon buckets grew the plants just as well. They were also much easier to handle!

container garden
We built container boxes to not only cover the buckets, but serve as an anchor for a growing trellis. We built ours for free from reclaimed barn wood and pallets.

We grew three tomato varieties and two peppers in our 5 gallon buckets – and they all performed unbelieveably well.  

In fact, our San Marzano, Roma and Jalapeno pepper plants continue to be three of our heaviest producing plants in the entire garden!

Each of the single tomato plants has produced nearly a bushel of tomatoes over the course of the year. And the jalapeno plant has been been just as productive – with heavy fruiting all season.

Advantages of the Bucket Container Garden Method

The container garden bucket method has many other built in advantages as well. The wooden cover not only looks great in the garden, it also serves as a strong anchor for the trellis – which keeps plants growing strong in the toughest of winds. 

container garden
One of our first container experiments – our potato crates

The grow boxes also virtually eliminated weeding, and made the chores of planting, watering and harvesting a snap. 

It just goes to show you that no matter where you live – you can grow your own vegetables!  I think we are both looking forward to expanding the trials a little more with the 5 gallon buckets next year!

For more information on the trials – you can check out our page devoted to the entire method here :  The Any Age Garden

Happy Container Gardening! – Jim and Mary.  

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