Bucket Garden Update and Bonus “How-To” Video

I thought I’d give a little update on how my bucket garden is doing.  I haven’t said anything about it before now, because it hasn’t really been doing much.  Everything germinated about a week after I planted it – just as they should have! – but they’ve just been hanging out not doing much ever since.  At first I blamed it on the cooler temperatures.  We had been having an unusually warm March, and then it got back to normal (or at least near normal) temperatures for most of April, so I figured that it was a reasonable explanation.  I even corroborated it by checking the soil temperature!  After I had planted up some strawberries in some orange buckets (rather than white, like the first ones) we got thinking that maybe the white buckets weren’t absorbing as much heat.  So I grabbed my food thermometer (don’t worry, I sanitized it before returning it to the kitchen), and what do you know?  The potting mix in the white buckets was a full 5 degrees cooler than the mix in the orange buckets!  The more I thought about this, though, the less convinced I became that it was only the cooler temperatures that were keeping them from growing.  I mean, these plants like cooler temperatures.  So I started paying more attention to the amount of sunlight the section of the patio they were in got and realized that even though they got good morning light, they were likely shaded the rest of the day by this massive willow tree.  So I moved them to their current location.  While it’s still maybe too soon to tell, my initial opinion is that they are much happier here – true leaves are finally starting to replace the cotyledons, and I’ve been able to see actual growth!

You’ll have to pardon the iphonetography, but here’s what they look like currently.  (The cute signs I made obviously haven’t withstood the elements, so, from left to right they are as follows: spinach, radish, lettuce.)  They may be small, but I think they’ll make it, and one day I will be able to enjoy their deliciousness.

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As a bonus, I’ve included a video my sister made for a class project.  It covers the same steps as in the Bucket Gardening 101 post, but you can see me plant up a strawberry in real time!  Lucky you.


  1. Hey Heather,

    Em gave me a zucchini plant for Mother’s Day from school. I have no idea what to do with it because it won’t survive anywhere in my yard. What do you think it will do in a bucket? I googled it–it’s not a bush variety zucchini. Any thoughts?!

    • Heather

      May 14, 2015 at 7:50 pm

      Hi Nikie! I’ve never tried growing a zucchini in a bucket, but I think if you had a large enough bucket (not necessarily any deeper, just wider) I don’t see why it wouldn’t grow just fine. A big rubbermaid or other type of storage bin would work if you don’t want to buy something as fancy as a half-barrel. The biggest thing would be finding a place in your yard with enough sunlight! Also, you might want to check out this blog here: http://patioofpots.blogspot.com/2013/04/grow-zucchini-in-container.html

      Good luck!

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