Believe it or not, gardening is available to anybody, no matter if you have the available gardening space or not. As long as you have a little free time to take care of your crops and you have the ingenuity, you’ll get your very own “modular” garden in no time. Bucket gardening is the best solution / method for the preppers that don’t have too much time or space for gardening. The method consists in getting the best recipient for the job, filling it with the right soil mixture and planting the desired seeds. After you’re done, growing vegetables will be similar to growing ornamental plants, something that most of us are already familiar with. But to do it “by the book”, it’s important to know what bucket gardening is all about. So without further ado, let’s find out what bucket gardening is all about.
The 5 gallon bucket
The best recipient you can find are the 5 gallon buckets, available at the local home improvement store. They’re cheap and they’re always available, so you won’t be “hunting” much. The consistency of the bucket is really important, as you wouldn’t want to use a product that’s made up of toxic chemicals. You can also find bio – friendly buckets, which have no such toxic traits. Most of these are food buckets which are delivered to restaurants mostly; the restaurants have no real use for them, so getting them off their hands will save you a few bucks. Once you’ve got the 5 gallon buckets, you’ll need to properly wash them, to make sure you remove any impurities and pathogens that might damage your plants or your health. Before adding the soil and the plants, you must be aware of the fact that every now and them, you’ll need to water the plants. This means that excess water will accumulate at the bottom of the buckets. To avoid the excess water accumulating, you’ll have to drill tiny holes about 4 inches apart in the bottom of the container buckets. Don’t make them too large; for optimum results you can either use a small to medium drill or nails and a hammer.
If you’re aiming for perfection, you can also paint your bucket to make it as appealing to the eye as possible. Giving it a color coating of your choosing will make it even more appealing to the eye. You don’t have to limit yourself to monochrome theme, you can go wild and paint whatever you feel like it, if you’re the artistic type of course. But be aware of the fact that darker colors tend to attract more of the sun’s rays, and you risk dehydration, especially in warmer seasons. So choose your colors wisely.
There are plenty of soil mixtures available on the market that will work perfectly for growing vegetables in 5 gallon buckets. The potting soil is a mixture of soil and other things that will assure you get the best out of your potting crops. However, the potting soil can also be done at home, especially if you want to save a few bucks in the process. If you want to do the mixture yourself, all you need to do is mix equal parts of potting soil, clean sand, vermiculite and perlite. Once the mixture is ready, you can fill the containers about 2.5 inches from the brim.However, if you don’t mind spending a few bucks extra, you can always spare yourself the headache and buy the mixtures from your local gardening supplier.
Planting and caring for the plants
There’s no real difference between real gardening and bucket gardening when it comes to growing and nurturing plants. Whether you’re planting seeds or transplanting, you’ll have to water the pot first. Soak the soil well then let it sit for a couple of hours; this will drain the excess water. After the wait is over, get the seeds you want and plant them according to the directions on the packs. It’s advised to plant more seeds than you actually need, because not all of them will germinate and give results. After planting or transplanting, water the soil gently but thoroughly, so the seeds or transplants will settle correctly. To prevent the soil from drying out to fast, after watering you can add compost or leaf mold.
Watering the plants and inspecting them regularly, making sure that the potting mix won’t dry out, is pretty much all the care they’ll need. If watering is not your thing, you can always install a drip irrigation system which will do the work for you automatically. If you’re on a budget though, that’s not an option. After 4 – 5 weeks after planting, you can add once a week a water-soluble fertilizer, according to package directions. Weeds and pests can mean major trouble, so keep an eye out for any unwanted guests.
There’s nothing much you can’t plant in 5 gallon buckets. The method is cheap, efficient and it doesn’t require much of your part. Just follow these easy steppes and you’ll have your very own, tasty and natural home-grown vegetables in no time. Just because you’re not a pro farmer, doesn’t mean you can’t literally enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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