Make and Plant a Bucket Garden

If you don’t have space for an in-ground garden or access to a community garden, planting in 5-gallon containers can be a great option for making a “bucket garden” along a sunny walkway, balcony, or porch. In this video, Extension Specialist Jon Traunfeld demonstrates how to make a self-watering container garden using 5-gallon buckets and a few basic materials. You can get these buckets for free from restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. They are used for shipping food products and then they are usually thrown away afterward. This is a great way to give them a second use!

Tomatoes, peppers, and basil are some of the most popular plants to grow in a bucket garden. It is too late to start those plants this season, but in late summer, you can still plant kale and other leafy greens, carrots, beets, and perennial herbs. Use our Vegetable Planting Calendar as a guide.

Instructions for the self-watering bucket garden are also available on the University of Maryland Extension website, on the self-watering containers page.

By Christa K. Carignan, Coordinator, Digital Horticulture Education, University of Maryland Extension Home & Garden Information Center. Read more posts by Christa.

2 thoughts on “Make and Plant a Bucket Garden

  1. KENT PHILLIPS August 11, 2023 / 9:18 am

    Great presentation by Jon. Been using the system for 2 bucket system for many years. Great for growing broccoli, cauliflower, etc. in early spring and using the same bucket to grow warm season crops.

  2. hydro shop September 5, 2023 / 6:25 am

    It’s a great article written by Maryland Grows. I have learned a lot about bucket gardening and hope to utilize them from the next week. The growing process of cauliflower, basil, and tomato is awesome.

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