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Bucket Planter Gardening – How To Grow Flowers & Vegetables With Ease!

When it comes to the easiest way to grow vegetables, flowers and herbs – it is nearly impossible to beat the bucket planter gardening method!

What began as a simple growing experiment a few years back has truly exploded into a great way to garden for so many gardeners around the world. Especially ones who struggle with having the space, time, or the physical ability to grow a traditional garden.

Using common and inexpensive 5 gallon buckets, and placing them into an attractive, easy-to make raised holding box, a gardener can grow a huge variety of plants with ease. From small herbs and flowers, all the way up to tasty, delicious heirloom peppers and tomatoes. And as you will see in the video from our farm when we first grew in them, they all look neat and tidy while growing!

We have absolutely loved receiving so many wonderful photos and letters from gardeners all over creating their very own bucket planter gardens. Kathy from South Carolina sent this great photo showing her completed bucket planter filled with gorgeous flowers.

Not only do bucket planters make planting, maintaining and harvesting a breeze, they also all but eliminate weeding chores. And watering couldn’t be easier, especially considering the planters are at a raised working height.

Best of all, they can fit in anywhere you put them. In fact, one of our favorite things about the planters are that they can be painted, stained or finished however you like, easily matching any theme or landscape!

What Is Bucket Planter Gardening?

Bucket planter gardening is really an extension of a raised bed garden. But, as you’ll see below, with a lot of built in time and cost saving advantages.

Raised beds have always been a great way to grow nearly anything almost anywhere. With four-walled sides and a filling of good soil, they are perfect for placing in tight spaces to grow greens, vegetables and flowers. And if the soil is deep enough, they can even be placed on patios or concrete with good growing results.

raised bed boxes - bucket planter gardening
Raised bed growing boxes are a great option for growing at a higher level. Unfortunately, the planters can be quite expensive to build. In addition, they require a lot of soil to fill, and can be extremely heavy. That can make them difficult to use on decks that might not support their weight.

By their very nature of being off of the ground, a raised bed is also easier than a traditional garden to maintain. The confined space keeps weeds down, and allows the gardener to stay out of and off the soil. But raised beds do have a few limitations.

Raised Bed Issues…

A traditional raised bed can require a lot of soil to fill. Especially when it has large, deep sides. That can make them quite costly to fill. And, you still have to keep re-energizing that dirt to power your plants year after year. All of that soil can also make the beds extremely heavy, making it hard to use raised beds on wood decks or patios.

Raised beds are also still quite low to the ground. Unfortunately, that means there is still a lot of bending over to plant and maintain. The answer for some to this challenge has been to create a raised bed with stilts to raise it up to a better working height.

It can certainly work, but the cost can be prohibitive, and you still have to fill the entire bin area with soil. Luckily, that is exactly where the bucket planter and bucket planter gardening comes to the rescue!

bucket planter gardening
A look at our bucket planters we created for the farm. We grow everything from tomatoes and peppers, to tomatatillos, flowers, herbs and more. The working height makes them so easy to plant and care for all season long. For ours, we attach metal fencing inside the planter to work as a trellis for support for our tomatoes and peppers.

Bucket Planter Gardening – Container Growing At Its Best

We first created our DIY bucket planter box when a reader of our blog asked for a better way to container garden. At the time, we were already using 5 gallon buckets to grow vegetables on our back patio.

5 gallon buckets are the perfect, low-cost container for growing nearly anything. They are plenty deep enough for the roots of small or large plants, and they can be purchased for a few dollars. See: How To Garden In 5 Gallon Buckets

Actually, sometimes they can even be picked up for free! And with just a few holes drilled in the bottom, they instantly become the perfect container. for growing anything you can imagine.

But to dress up the look for our patio, we built an attractive wood cover box to hide the buckets. In an email, the reader asked if we could raise the wood box up to help those with mobility issues. And the rest, as they say, is history!

burlap bucket planter
We love how so many finish their bucket planters to make them their own. This first time builder used burlap to cover the buckets and we love the look!

We built two prototypes that first year, a double and a quad bucket planter box. Using only 2×4’s, the boxes went together and created an attractive cover to hold two or four 5-gallon buckets. From there, we planted tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, flowers, herbs – and everything we could think of trying.

Growing Success! Bucket Planter Gardening

It was amazing how easy the buckets were to plant and maintain. Especially at the higher working height. Even better, the buckets worked incredibly well for growing sizeable harvests!

It was so nice to head out and pick a few tomatoes or peppers right outside of our back door. No bending over. No weeding or weeds to worry about. Honestly, it was just pure gardening fun! Bucket planter gardening takes raised bed gardening to an all new level. The taller height is a huge advantage for any gardener, but especially for ones who have mobility issues.

Although the plans can be easily modified, the planter top sits at 30 inches off of the ground. At this height, it makes it easy for any gardener to plant, water, or pick their harvest. The box frame also makes it easy to attach a trellis or two for climbing plants. Etsy Plans Store :OWG 5 Gallon Bucket Planter Plans

bucket planter ad

But in addition to the higher working height, the 5 gallon buckets are easy to fill and maintain. Best of all, at the end of the growing season, the soil in the buckets can be emptied and placed into the compost bin to recharge for next year.

Bucket Planter Gardening Stories From Afar

We were certainly hooked on using them. And after putting the step by step plans for the bucket planters in our Etsy shop, so many started building their own and writing to us to share their growing success stories too. It just never gets old to see the photos and hear the stories!

One of the things we love most about having the OWG Home & Garden blog is getting to hear gardening stories from all over the world. And with the bucket planters, hearing from folks that can enjoy growing again are the best stories of all.

Here is to creating the ultimate low-cost, easy-care container garden with 5 gallon bucket planter boxes! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.

Jim and Mary Competti have been writing gardening, DIY and recipe articles and books for over 15 years from their 46 acre Ohio farm. The two are frequent speakers on all things gardening and love to travel in their spare time.

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