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Self-contained Box Gardens: New Ebucket thread (we continue)

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gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 8, 2010
3:33 AM

Post #8200452

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1056426/
is getting so long we need to start over again.

Let's post new comments here.

I would be interested in hearing about disappointing experiences with the system; that way we can attempt to do better.
Rene10
Wauchula, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 20, 2010
9:24 AM

Post #8221814

i have just started my first bucket! How often do you need to add water? I have planted tomatoes in it!
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

November 20, 2010
10:16 AM

Post #8221891

Rene10, as long as water comes out the overflow spout you do not need to add water. The answer is actually, it depends. If you have your overflow pipe positioned right you can not overfill, it will simply overflow; if too full the water will simple come out the pipe. After a while you will develop a sense of timing; until then just check everyday by attempting to put more water in. There should ALWAYS be water in the reservoir.
Rene10
Wauchula, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 22, 2010
8:30 AM

Post #8225095

Thanks!!!
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

December 6, 2010
12:07 PM

Post #8247118

Aren't we quiet!

I still have a broccoli in one bucket, and some hibiscus in two other buckets. Need to get some more buckets going.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

December 6, 2010
12:55 PM

Post #8247191

Um, my original 6 eBuckets of sweet bells are loaded with blooms, and defying all scientific data that says they should've froze and stopped producing weeks ago. These are the same ones from the WS seeds of January 9, 2010...I'm still picking fruits in this squirrelly weather!

Hugs!
joy112854
Crestview, FL

December 10, 2010
8:48 AM

Post #8253229

Gymgirl: I'm just dreaming of my Spring/Summer garden in ebuckets, just got all my seeds in too. But, still too early, have all my e buckets tucked in my walk in closet, needless to say, there ain't much room for walking in that closet now, as some of them are in my office too. I did give away a few as gifts but still have 38 of them left.
joy
donlaclair
New Port Richey, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 23, 2010
10:29 AM

Post #8273842

I have a few results to share using the e-buckets.Since approx.the late summer early fall of 2010 I've switched from the 2 bucket system to the single bucket. First may I applaud the effort of the one's who created it.
After just putting together a few I realized using a commercial potting mix would be cost prohibiting. Then it was suggested I use the 5-1-1 mix. In between those 2 steps I experimented with a few different combination of soil mixes. Any of those combination that included composted mulch or other composted organic material (coming from my compost pile)produced a very sour smelling (septic smell) odor coming from the water reservoir . Lesson learned.
Now I'm using the 5-1-1 mix and have found that watering from the fill tube is not working for me in regards to wicking up any further and a few inches above the reservoir . I'm now testing a mix at about 3-1-1 . I'm also considering eliminating using a fertilizer ring and going with water soluble (The Blue stuff). Then top watering especially on tomatoes or anything that develope roots along the stem. I've started Brandywine, Tropic ,and cherry tomatoes and all showed sign's of very slow growth that looked like lack of water.After taking apart the buckets and seeing the only area that was moist being about 1 to 2 inches above the colander and the top of the root ball being dry . I'm going to the 3-1-1 mix and on some I will water thru the fill tube and some I will eliminate the fertizier ring and top water and see if there is any improvement.
Now I should add that cabbage and Broccoli are doing just fine in buckets.
Also found plants I've had very little success with in the past do very well in the buckets like pineapple sage, Buddleia. Don

This message was edited Dec 24, 2010 5:52 AM

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TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 23, 2010
11:47 AM

Post #8273940

donlaclair, "some I will eliminate the fertizier ring and top water" -- why eliminate the fertilizer ring if you are going to top water?
donlaclair
New Port Richey, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 23, 2010
2:30 PM

Post #8274127

TX_gardener The fertilizer ring in the orginal earthbox and put together with a very heavy peat base mix was able to wick enough moisture up to the top to release enough 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 granular fertilizer to feed the plant or plants for a growing season. Same with the ebucket if using a very heavy peat mix.In theory should work fine. I'm using a 5-1-1 or a 3-1-1 mix 5 or 3 parts pine bark fines -1part peat moss - 1part perlite I have found with these mixes the wicking height in the bucket to be much less and not able to release any of the fertilizer ring. So I believe that if I were to top water with 10-10-10 granular fert there it would do more burning of the roots than benefit. Therefore I also believe that a water soluble fertilizer (the blue stuff) could be used with just as much benefit to the plant and not much more expense. Time will tell I'll be putting my theory's to the test as soon as it warms up a be here in central Florida.. Happy Holidays Don
TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 23, 2010
2:43 PM

Post #8274139

Don, I'm also using ebuckets (a single and a double) and a homemade ebox with water tubes, using water soluble fert, but I've "jiggled" with the planting mix til I don't know now what's what. Started out with a 5-1-1 (sorta) and then topped with a bagged container mix, etc... All that being said, I too haven't found the wicking to be completely satisfactory so I occasionally top water. My broccoli is slowly forming heads (I may end up having a couple of bites) and my brussel sprouts are yet to be seen. Glad my livelihood doesn't depend on my slap-hazard veggy growing! Enjoy your Holidays. Mary
joy112854
Crestview, FL

December 24, 2010
2:23 PM

Post #8275560

Don: I use the two bucket design, with the bottom bucket being a different size than the upper bucket, one is a 5 gallon bucket, the other a 3 1/2 gallon bucket. I use a pond basket (5 1/2") size for a wicking device and my drain hole goes through both buckets, no problem with wicking that way. When you fill the bucket up with medium, you should not use compost, use a potting mix, the lighter the better, like mix in some perlite. Also, wet the potting mix as you fill up the bucket, if it is dry in the first place it will stay that way, so make sure it is really nice and moist. I do not put my fertilizer ring around the top either, I put it on the sides of the bucket and down a bit. It would hurt to use compost tea to wet the potting mix, I use Merrill's compost tea and do just that or Sea Magic. But; never use compost or soil in the bucket. Also, how deep do you plant the tomato plants? All my buckets have the 5 gallon bucket on top, so the roots have place to go; but, I bury the plant up to the top two leaves when I plant it. I believe a lot of people use a liquid fertilizer first to give the fertilizer ring a chance to work also.

I don't use my EBs for tomatoes and the huge tomato types roots pop right through the mulch cover, and there is not enough room for two tomatoes in one EB; but, my 5 gallon bucket is deep enough to accommodate a huge root system of one tomato plant.

The EB does fine for everything else though even my eggplants.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

January 20, 2011
1:44 PM

Post #8320949

My eBuckets of bell peppers from seed I sowed January 9, 2010 is LOADED with bell peppers, as of last night.

Uh, huh, right now, in Houston, with the freeze coming, as we speak...

uh, huh...

eBuckets work!

Wait'll you grow an eggplant in one...

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
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joy112854
Crestview, FL

February 3, 2011
4:22 PM

Post #8351960

Gymgirl: What do you mean wait til you grow and eggplant in one, have you done that before? I have always used my EBs but the thought had crossed my mind as my tomatoes do well in the bucket one compared to the EB.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

February 3, 2011
4:55 PM

Post #8352048

"A Thousand Words..."

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joy112854
Crestview, FL

February 9, 2011
8:44 AM

Post #8362482

What a beautiful eggplant gymgirl, yes, I see the buckets do well with eggplants too now. I just had all my tomatoes (the first wave of them) die, and have ordered more seeds. Dumby me, decided to try these one steps expanding coir pellets and it was a real cheap grade of coir and the seeds didn't germinate, the ones that did were very weak. The peppers in my bio dome did well and are under lights for now; and I will be using a coir brick on the new batch of seeds when they arrive.
joy

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 24, 2011
11:11 AM

Post #8447412

How are things progressing with the ebuckets?

Now that hubby has cleared out the running bamboo, we have more gardening space, so I'm toying with various ideas to use it. Unfortunately, I know the bamboo will regrow for several years, and that we'll be cutting it back daily, so I need something portable, and the ebuckets seem to fit the bill, if they work.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 24, 2011
12:57 PM

Post #8447609

HoneybeeNC,
Yes, indeed, they do work! I would highly recommend them for your cole crops of cabbages, broccoli, cauliflowers & maybe Kohlrabi (not much return for the space) One plant per eBucket. Also, eggplants, okra, and bell peppers do very well in the eBuckets. These plants are all WATER hogs, and, from my experience, take off with full access to the built-in reservoirs in the eBuckets. The plants get to drink WHEN they want to. All you have to do is keep those reservoirs filled (every 4-5 days early on, then, maybe once every 2-3 days as they mature, then twice a day when they take off).

And, this season, I'm experimenting with replacing the all-Miracle Grow potting mix with Tapla's 5:1:1 container mix (modified to a 3:1:1 ratio for more wicking action). It's an experiment in progress, and I'll report at the end of the summer how the eBucket plants fared in the new container mix.

If it is successful, it will save eBucket gardeners a TON of money NOT spent on huge bags of MG potting mix! The recipe uses pine bark fines:peat (I still use the MG potting mix as my peat):perlite. The difference is that the recipe uses 3x as much MG and Perlite, and the PBFs are relatively inexpensive. I bought 1/2 yard for $18.

Out of roughly 25 total buckets of PBFs I started with then screened through 1/2 hardware cloth to remove particles larger than from dust to right at nickel size, I have removed 6 buckets of chunks too large for the container mix. But, these can either be reground and sifted again, OR I can redirect these into my raised beds as part of Al's raised bed mix. So, I won't lose anything.

To date, I have about 4-5 buckets remaining to be sifted for use. I have just finished one whole 2.65 cu. ft. bag of MG potting mix ($12.50), and one 4 cu. ft. bag of perlite. I have filled a total of eight 5-gallon eBuckets and ten 10-gallon planters. Using a straight 2.65 cu. ft. bag MG potting mix in the past would fill approximately THREE eBuckets -- go figure!

SAVES YOU MONEY!

The modified recipe I'm using for the eBuckets is:
3 parts PBFs (dust to nickel size)
1 part peat (I'm using the MG potting mix as my peat component)
1 part course perlite
1 cup dolomitic lime per eBucket
1/2 cup granular 13-13-13 fertilizer in a ring around the top of the soil.


Here's what the sifted PBFs look like.

Linda

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HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 24, 2011
3:46 PM

Post #8447986

Thanks, Gymgirl - it was the broccoli I was thinking about putting in ebuckets. The area where the bamboo used to be gets shade in the summer, but once the neighbor's trees lose their leaves it gets full sun all winter into spring.

I walked the area this morning, and sure enough, bamboo is beginning to sprout all over the area. I hope to be able to run the mower over them tomorrow. The bamboo doesn't seem to grow during the winter (fingers crossed) - so ebuckets would be handy in that regard, too.

I'll have to look in Lowe's or Home Depot for pine bark fines. Will Pine Mulch work? I have never purchased mulch.
TX_gardener
Brady, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 25, 2011
4:30 AM

Post #8448806

honeybee, check out Nature's Helper soil conditioner. I used this for landscape beds when I lived in NC and SC and seem to remember it's "mulch" in smaller particles. I can't buy it around here or I would be using it for my PBF portion of the potting mix.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 25, 2011
6:23 AM

Post #8448995

TX_gardener - thank you. I put "Nature's Helper soil conditioner" into Google and found this link:

http://www.hdbulk.com/

I'll have to see if our local HD carries it.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 25, 2011
6:44 AM

Post #8449035

In case anyone else is interested in this product, here's a link to the specs:

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202247349/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
chilimonsta
Lexington, KY

March 25, 2011
12:06 PM

Post #8449629

Gymgirl,
I was excited to see that you have had some very good results with the two bucket approach lat year. I am a recent convert, but I'm sold on the sub-irrigation/self watering approach.
After first reading and learning about both the earth box and global buckets last season, I decided to transition away from simply growing in single 5 gal buckets with drain holes.
In 2010 I grew 20+, various hot pepper plants in 5 gallon buckets. They all did very well, but I was spending around 45 minutes a day watering at least once, and later in the season twice daily.

So I started collecting food grade buckets (5, 3.5 and 1 gal.) from Chick-fil-a, local pizza parlors, O' Charlies etc.
I currently have enough for around 40 two bucket set ups, utilizing the 5 and 3.5 gal sizes, for the hot peppers.
And 20 or so 1 gallon size two bucket set ups for some leaf lettuce, radishes,green onions, green bush beans.
Then after seeing your egg plant picture...I'm gonna have to plant a couple of those also.
Good luck with the 2011 season.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 25, 2011
12:10 PM

Post #8449636

Chilimonsta,
Have you not seen the ONE bucket colander design we've been using for over a year now? Double your growing capacity!

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1011889/

That eggplant was grown in a ONE bucket eBucket! Complete with a built-in reservoir! So were these...

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
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chilimonsta
Lexington, KY

March 25, 2011
2:17 PM

Post #8449861

[quote="Gymgirl"]Chilimonsta,
Have you not seen the ONE bucket colander design we've been using for over a year now? Double your growing capacity!

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1011889/

That eggplant was grown in a ONE bucket eBucket! Complete with a built-in reservoir! So were these...[/quote]

Oh yes...in fact, this forum was one of the first I encountered when beginning my research last year, I've read each and every posting...some several times.
I also read a bunch of good info posted by Greenscaper that focus on urban gardens in NY, and I have a few single container projects going on as we speak,using several different reservoir materials. So believe me,I'm not questioning or have any doubts about a one bucket system

But I've got plenty of free buckets...with several additional ones coming in almost every day...which will continue until I say "enough".
Considering my potential expense for an appropriate potting mix, I chose to go with two buckets and not have to purchase some 60+ collanders.(plus...I never found any of those $1.00 collanders folks have mentioned)
I made a few experimental two bucket set ups, just to make sure, and everything wicked and worked as anticipated.
Now if mother nature would just bring some warm temps my way...I'll be able to move some of my seedlings into their new digs.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 25, 2011
4:35 PM

Post #8450109

Well, Okie dokie, then! ^^_^^
chilimonsta
Lexington, KY

March 25, 2011
6:06 PM

Post #8450330

[quote="Gymgirl"]Well, Okie dokie, then! ^^_^^[/quote]

I guess ???
sorry if I wasted your time.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 25, 2011
8:05 PM

Post #8450583

Chilimonsta!
I meant to convey that I am 200% wIth you on your idea! My apology for any misunderstanding.

That's a big AFFIRMATIVE!



This message was edited Mar 26, 2011 7:29 AM
joy112854
Crestview, FL

March 26, 2011
12:57 AM

Post #8450754

I have a question, last year everyone was using shower caps for mulch covers on their e-buckets where do ya'll find them and how many do you use on each e-bucket? I'm setting up my buckets now, we have one week of showers coming, so I bought some mason twine and put my buckets on the platforms I had them on last year and twined them into place so they don't tip over and am going to let the rain fill the reservoirs! I would like to use the shower caps this year though.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 26, 2011
6:27 AM

Post #8451041

Joy,
Go to your local beauty supply shops. They sell bags of clear caps that seem to be larger and sturdier.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

March 26, 2011
7:37 AM

Post #8451160

Gymgirl: Thanks, will do that. Spring is here!
joy
Rene10
Wauchula, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 26, 2011
3:44 PM

Post #8451884

Here is my Tomato doing great & fullof fruit!!! This was taken severl weeks ago, it is bigger now!! No ripe ones yet but soon!!!

This message was edited Mar 26, 2011 5:46 PM

Thumbnail by Rene10
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joy112854
Crestview, FL

March 27, 2011
1:28 AM

Post #8452652

Rene: Yours are doing much better than my puny ones right now. What is the plastic around the inside of bucket for? My thoughts are that the plastic will hurt the plant eventually? I just gave my plants on the deck a good shot of algoflash diluted of course as I have 140 tomato plants and about 40 pepper plants on my deck, all in 6" pots. I am using a 5 ft circular kiddie pool with a hole punched in the lower bottom about 1 inch from the bottom so I can fill it with water and liquid fertilizer, easier to water them all that way.
joy
Rene10
Wauchula, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 27, 2011
3:40 PM

Post #8454082

Joy, I covered the top of my bucket with a WM bag, just pulled down over the top instead of a shower cap.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

March 27, 2011
6:35 PM

Post #8454483

Rene: Let us know how that works ok? I'm on the prowl for shower caps.
joy
Rene10
Wauchula, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 28, 2011
8:01 AM

Post #8455607

So far it has worked well!!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 28, 2011
10:02 AM

Post #8455915

Joy,
Shower caps aren't a requirement -- they're just a convenience. You could cut up a garbage bag to cover with.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

March 29, 2011
5:14 AM

Post #8457796

Gymgirl: I took your suggestion and went to a beauty supply store, picked up about 45 shower caps for around $9. I start potting up today 10 a day til they are all potted up.

I'm using 1 cup of 13-13-13 and 1 cup of dolomite and mixing in perlite also. I decided instead of making the ring around the bucket top this year, I'd just mix the fertilizer and dolomite lime in, starting at about 1/2 from the bottom of the bucket.

I do have a few questions, I know TPlant uses a pellitized dolomite, and I can't seem to find it, have been using last years Sunniland's dolomite but it is gooey, anyone have another brand I can get at Lowes or Walmarts?
joy

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 30, 2011
7:52 AM

Post #8460200

joy112854 - I'm no expert at growing vegetables in buckets, but one cup of 13-13-13 seems like an awful lot of fertilizer. Won't it burn the plants' roots?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

March 30, 2011
8:51 AM

Post #8460314

I've learned the hard way this season, that 13-13-13 IS too strong for the early applications. I've sinced purchased 10-10-10. I was using TWO cups of Triple 13, and almost killed all my tomato seedlings.

Thanks, Honey!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 30, 2011
10:32 AM

Post #8460457

Gymgirl - I guess I'm just stingy when it comes to fertilizer. I always use the "less-is-best" approach. Plants get a small amount at transplant or when seeds are sown, then I side-dress during the summer every two weeks or so.

Right now, I'm waiting for the weather to warm up a little so I can fertilize the garlic and beets. We've had lots of rain recently, so they are probably hungry.

dreaves

dreaves
Hutto, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 21, 2011
6:22 AM

Post #8510699

This is the start of my E-bucket crop this year. I'm growing peppers away from the garden because I have a pepper virus in my soil. Hopefully I will be able to grow a few bell peppers. This batch is actually 'Yummy', a small sweet pepper like they sell at Sams and Costco.

David

Thumbnail by dreaves
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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 21, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8510777

Those look GREAT!
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 27, 2011
9:28 AM

Post #8524048

Okay, so, can I do lettuce and romaine in eBuckets? How many plants per eBucket can I plant? Strawberries?

You know, I think we should start a separate thread with 'recipes' of what we put/how many plants we put in eBuckets. I think that would be helpful.

What do you think?
VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2011
11:38 AM

Post #8524243

I'm growing Romaine in an eBucket this year for the first time. I planted five seedlings after drilling five 1.5" holes in the bucket lid (one in the middle), and they seem to be doing well so far. I think the seed packet said to plant them 8" apart, so they are closer than that.

I grow leaf lettuce in other self-watering containers that have a larger surface area than an eBucket, but I thought the Romaine would welcome more growing room for it's roots.

I think you're idea for a thread on "how many plants in an eBucket" is great. I would call it the eBucket "Planting Guide", modeled after the EBox terminology.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2011
8:47 AM

Post #8526162

Lane,
Go check out Kindlekat's raised eBed design, inspired by her use of the eBuckets!
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 28, 2011
9:14 AM

Post #8526192

gymgirl:

Do you have a link to Kindlekat's design?

thanks.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2011
9:44 AM

Post #8526234

It's right at the top of the Self-contained Box Gardens Discussion Forum...
drsaul
Hereford, TX
(Zone 7a)

April 28, 2011
5:10 PM

Post #8527050

Here ya go.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1175894/

Darin
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 28, 2011
5:40 PM

Post #8527135

gymgirl:

Oh,didn't realize the link was there; sorry.

cool *ss project though! wow!

very creative! kudos to kindlekat
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

May 1, 2011
9:46 AM

Post #8532281

Hey there again:

I cut down one of my sunflowers, which was apparently providing shade to my lemon balm and mint. I'm thinking of starting an eBucket for each of them.

Has anyone tried herbs in eBuckets? I figure since it's for eating and I'm not using flowers, don't really need them outside - i can put them in partial sun/shade on my back patio.

What do you think?

Gymgirl: showed your project with my husband. he was impressed; and he doesn't impress easily.

I'm thinking of doing a salad green table now. :)

Thanks, all.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2011
4:59 PM

Post #8533032

SoFlaCommercial,

Not sure which project you're referring to. I've made so many posts on so many things lately, I wouldn't want to take credit for someone else's idea.

If you're talking about eBuckets, credit should go to Gessieviolet for the design. I hold the unofficial tItles of "eBucket Queen," and/or "eBucket Cheerleader," because I took the design ball and ran with it, building an entire eBucket garden immediately after the design was launched.

As Lane (Gessieviolet) puts it, he was research & design, and I was implementation. I was growing so much in eBuckets, I became very knowledgeable about what the plants were doing in them!

And, as a prolific amateur writer, I found myself posting the results in easy-to-decipher, straightforward, instructional language. And, people who were looking for an efficient, economical container gardening method picked up the buckets and ran with 'em!

The rest is history.

This fall will be the first time I will have a raised bed dedicated to the majority of my crop. I will still, however, grow certain veggies in my eBuckets, for comparison research.

And, I will always promote eBuckets, in my attempt to "feed the world, one eBucket at a time!"

Linda


see what the mention of ebuckets gets yah?

mom2goldens
Carmel, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 1, 2011
5:06 PM

Post #8533045

Have to confess, I've not tried Ebuckets, but have been growing in the patented EBs for several years. As a dedicated herbie, I think it's important to note that most herbs like well-drained soil, rather on the dry side, and require very little, if any fertilizer. But mint and lemon balm are quite hardy, and would probably be OK with the steady watering. I'd reconsider the fertilizer, though. Also, most herbs require full or part sun, so I don't think they'd be too happy in shade.

Keep us posted on your progress, please!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2011
5:15 PM

Post #8533084

Mom,
Thanks for posting the herb growing instructions! Much appreciated.

Linda
joy112854
Crestview, FL

May 1, 2011
5:52 PM

Post #8533167

I cannot grow lettuce this time of the year, unfortunately, it all bolts on me, it's too hot, so have to grow it as a cool weather veggie; but, made an agreement with my neighbor, we will take turns buying lettuce and bread, onion and bacon this year, as I have 60 tomato plants, 3 GPs of cukes, and 40 bell peppers, so will have a steady supply of BLT's, salads and mater/onion wiches.
joy
mom2goldens
Carmel, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 1, 2011
6:41 PM

Post #8533274

That sounds like a great arrangement, Joy.

I just spoke with my mom (she's 86, and she lives just a few minutes from us). She went to the store today to buy lettuce, and refused to pay $2.00/head. When I told her I paid almost $4.00/lb for zucchini a few weeks ago she was outraged! LOL She said she was very glad I was growing veggies this year, as high as our prices are. I've got leaf lettuce almost ready to harvest, and will plant onions, radishes and carrots this week in self-watering containers.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 1, 2011
7:38 PM

Post #8533404

I'm about to enter into some cooperative gardening with some fellow DGers. It makes sense to swap excess rather than have it go to waste!
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

May 1, 2011
7:49 PM

Post #8533434

[quote="joy112854"]I cannot grow lettuce this time of the year, unfortunately, it all bolts on me, it's too hot, so have to grow it as a cool weather veggie; but, made an agreement with my neighbor, we will take turns buying lettuce and bread, onion and bacon this year, as I have 60 tomato plants, 3 GPs of cukes, and 40 bell peppers, so will have a steady supply of BLT's, salads and mater/onion wiches.
joy [/quote]

How do you know your lettuce is getting ready to bolt? how do you know it's ready to harvest?

joy112854
Crestview, FL

May 2, 2011
6:01 AM

Post #8533991

When you go outside and there is a flower starting instead of lettuce you know it bolted on you, and when it bolts it tastes bitter. I love my lettuce and spinach, but; both are hard for me to grow because both seem to bolt on me so quickly.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 2, 2011
6:29 AM

Post #8534054

Joy,
When are you starting your lettuce and spinach?
joy112854
Crestview, FL

May 2, 2011
11:50 AM

Post #8534772

This fall. It's way too hot for them now. I do wish I could grow lettuce and tomatoes in the same seasons, my weight and my dr would both love me; but, it's not possible. My eggplants are doing terrible this year also and I've replaced them once already with new plants. I used Jungle Grow professional mix this year, as I ran of coconut coir, and I mixed the Jungle Grow with perlite as it just didn't feel light enough. the leaves are yellowing up and turning brown and I have no idea what the fuss is about, as my tomatoes are doing well. Man, I miss that coconut coir.
joy
luvcats
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8a)

May 7, 2011
7:44 AM

Post #8545499

Hello all!!
I just made two ebuckets and have a couple of questions.
Do i fill the bucket to the top with soil or a few inches from the top?
do I have to cover the bucket with a top or plastic? My patio can get really hot. I've put down a outdoor rug to try to combat this but it still gets a bit hot. I'm afraid to overheat the plants.
Thanks for any info provided!!

This message was edited May 7, 2011 12:44 PM

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 7, 2011
1:46 PM

Post #8546091

Luvcats,
I usually fill an eBucket to within 2" of the rim if I'm not covering it, so my soil won't wash out from any rain. And, sometimes I actually aim the hose at them from the top.

Covering with a lid or plastic serves several purposes. It keeps back splash off the bottom leaves, & it keeps the bottom leaves from sitting on the soil. It also keeps the heat in the soil, so the rug will help. Also, using light colored buckets in the summer helps deflect the heat.

But, I've never been overly concerned about heat build-up in the buckets. Probably, 'cause I never worried about it in the Earthboxes, which also have a built in reservoir.

Hope this helps!

Linda
luvcats
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8a)

May 8, 2011
10:37 AM

Post #8547739

It does! Linda! Thank You!
Have anyone decorated their buckets! My are the Lowes grey ones but i'm thinking of doing something to make them a little festive!
Tiff

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 8, 2011
11:43 AM

Post #8547835

There's a spray paint by Krylon, specifically made for plastics
joy112854
Crestview, FL

May 8, 2011
7:49 PM

Post #8548812

Luvcats: I couldn't help but notice you used the word "soil"; that would be no-no dear. You should use a potting mix, as it is lighter and mix in some perlite to make sure the plant you put into the ebucket gets the proper amount of moisture. I've had problems with the full sun here in my area, especially when it comes to planting the plants right into the ebuckets or EBs. So; what I have done is when I buy the plant or the starting is big enough and hardened off, I let them sit in the back yard for a few days before transplanting them, if not they get stressed and die on me. Make sure to water the plants in when you do transplant them, getting all the air pockets out and you whould have no trouble. My front yard gets morning sun; but, the back yard where I have my ebuckets and EBs get full sun, all day long, and that can be a bit much, and they need to get used to it before transplanting them up into their new home.
joy
luvcats
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8a)

May 9, 2011
7:31 AM

Post #8549457

I used MG potting Mix in both of the buckets. Sorry I should have been more specific.
So far so good on all the plants I planted!
oh another question, does anyone here use a rain barrel for watering. I'm thinking of making one but our patio is so small. I'm really doing alot in this tiny area but I think a rain barrel will be really useful.
Thanks!!
Tiff
joy112854
Crestview, FL

May 9, 2011
8:25 PM

Post #8551281

Tiff: I think Boca Bob and perhaps Gymgirl used a rainbarrel but am not sure.
joy

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2011
7:26 AM

Post #8551921

Nope, I don't have a rainbarrel -- yet!
SoFlaCommercial
West Palm Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

May 10, 2011
8:00 AM

Post #8551995

hey, all!

I'm thinking of making an ebucket for my mom up in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It's about an hour north of me. I *Think* it's zone 9b. She really wants some eggplants. Anyone have any experience and advice for eggplant ebucket? I figured since eggplant likes it hot, it'd be perfect.
VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 10, 2011
9:27 AM

Post #8552174

[quote="luvcats"]Hello all!!
I just made two ebuckets and have a couple of questions.
Do i fill the bucket to the top with soil or a few inches from the top?
do I have to cover the bucket with a top or plastic? My patio can get really hot. I've put down a outdoor rug to try to combat this but it still gets a bit hot. I'm afraid to overheat the plants.
Thanks for any info provided!!

This message was edited May 7, 2011 12:44 PM[/quote]
The answers depend on whether you're using your ebuckets like a simple bucket or more like the actual EarthBox upon which it was derived. If you're doing the latter, you overfill the ebucket with a 2" mound of soil (to allow for some settling, but still keep the soil above the rim so that rain will not puddle) and then cover it with plastic. I use disposable shower caps ($2 for a pack of 8) which fit the bucket perfectly. The plastic helps retain water so you can wait longer between refills, and keeps the soil from splashing on the plant when it rains. If you also spread a cup of fertilizer around the outside edge of the bucket (like the fertilizer strip in an EarthBox), the plastic cover is essential to prevent this fertilizer from washing away and burning your plant through over-fertilizing. I have about 12 ebuckets right now, and nearly all of them are planted this way, mostly with tomatoes and peppers, but also Romaine lettuce and collard greens (with the greens, I mix slow-release fertlizer into the soil instead of the fertilizer ring). The only ebucket I have without a plastic cover holds carrots, where there are far too many seedlings to plant them through a plastic cover.

Also, if you use the 2-bucket design for an ebucket, it will help keep the plant a bit cooler because there is an air gap (thermal cavity) between the outside bucket and the soil.

This message was edited May 10, 2011 12:45 PM
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

May 10, 2011
10:54 AM

Post #8552332

Hi again all. Been a while since I posted but have been keeping up with Ebucket comments ------ very interesting.

Read back over the post from the beginning and one absolute seems to stand out: YOU MUST USE A LIGHT POTTING MIX in the Ebucket; other than that, I am amazed and thrilled to see ingenuity seems to be the rule being followed more and more.

From the beginning I have encouraged users to take the attitude--I wonder if? and then try and see what happens

What kind of mix should I use? On this we all agree -- a soilless mix.-- whether it is level with edge of Ebucket or a little lower seems to be personal preference and each reason given has been excellent reasoning.

Do I need a cover? Many use them, others don't. Each has his reason. Personally, sometimes, I do--many times I don't. It is interesting that we use everything from plastic to mulch, or nothing at all.

Is the Ebucket affected by the extreme heat? I grew my tomatoes in full sun all day 100 degree heat (that killed everything in the ground) last year; some survived, most did not; I wonder if it is more of a plant variety stamina than the environmental factor (Ebucket)?

Gymgirl, you are rightly viewed as the authority on the Ebucket. Folks, you could have no more level headed, reasonable leader on this subject. Linda, I salute your humble informative attitude.

It is hard believe that this idea began to be promoted less than 2 years ago, yet it has such positive continuing following. I am proud to be a part of it all.

Lane Cockrell


This message was edited May 10, 2011 1:08 PM

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2011
1:13 PM

Post #8552644

Eggplants LOVE to grow in eBuckets. Single OR double design...GO FOR IT!

This message was edited May 10, 2011 3:19 PM

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 10, 2011
1:26 PM

Post #8552661

Oh, Lane! You're too modest. It was YOUR design!

Here's another ingenious adaptation of a bucket. Not necessarily an eBucket, but I could see a reservoir in that design. Anyway, it's brilliant small-space AND crop rotation gardening at its best!


Posted by BJWILSON in the Beginner's Veggie Gardening forum
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=8552543
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/p.php?pid=8552547

[quote]I know this is an old thread, but I felt compelled to write this. I start my bush beans in starter pots all the time... and here's why.
In the picture below you can see the bush bean plants popping out of the holes in the side of this large bucket. The beans won't come out of the holes naturally if I plant them directly into the holes, so I start them in little 6 pack plastic starter pots that I save from buying annuals at the garden center. You have to be very careful to not disturb the little roots when you transplant them, but they will work. I don't start my seeds indoors though, I set them out on the deck in direct sun and keep them wet until I see some activity. Then. I cut back on the water for a couple days, but still keep them damp. These seedlings are about a week old. When I transplant, I tear or cut the plastic 6 pack and carefully remove the root ball and push the leaves through the holes in the bucket, then cover with soil, and water. Works every time. This bucket sits on my patio and gets full morning sun, filtered and scattered sun from nearby trees in the early afternoon, then about 2 hours of full evening sun.
I plant this bucket for two reasons.
1. I plant potatoes in this same bucket, and the same soil. The beans replenish the nutrients and clean up any bad bacteria the potatoes leave behind, so I can reuse the soil again and again. I grew potatoes in the bucket in the early spring... just harvested them, and will grow bush beans in the same bucket all summer. Then, I'll grow another fall crop of potatoes... planting in September.
2. My garden space is rather small, and we love beans. So, when my pole beans (climbing my corn in the background of this picture) start producing, I like to start my next crop. Just makes sense to keep the bucket full of something to eat.

Oh, and yes... the baby swimming pool in the background is growing watermelons. Cut the bottom out and it makes a great raised bed.[/quote]

To which I replied:
BJWILSON!!!!
I am soooooooooooooooooooo GLAD YOU POSTED THIS! It is a totally brilliant rotation system, and right on time!

I've got potatoes growing in 15-gallon molasses tubs, and I've been agonizing over what to do with all that soil after the potatoes. You just answered my prayer!

Do you mind if I post this over on the SCVG forum, on the eBuckets thread? Gessieviolet (Lane) would be interested in your adaptation of a bucket.

Thanks, again!

Linda

And, finally, her?his? reply:
Of course Linda... after all... I had to steal the idea from someone else too. It works every time, and every year I have more potatoes and beans than we can eat. All out of that one bucket.
So glad you found your answer ... good soil is a terrible thing to waste.
bjwilson
Kemp, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 10, 2011
2:53 PM

Post #8552887

Yes, Linda... the reservoir is a tall, skinny, plastic flower vase that I have sitting on top of a Folger's can turned upside down on the bottom of the barrel. I drilled holes around the bottom edge of the vase, and a few more about middle ways of the vase. I only use the reservoir for the beans... the potatoes don't need it.
I also use a design close to what I've seen here for my strawberries. Just a piece of pvc pipe with holes in it down the middle of a big pot (like trees are sold in). I turn a small quart size pot up side down in the bottom of the pot and tape the bottom of the pvc pipe with painter's tape... drilled holes around the pvc. then I water by pouring water down the pvc pipe.
Here's a picture of a new pot I just started... dolled it up just a bit with some red plastic spray paint.

Thumbnail by bjwilson
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 12, 2011
2:04 PM

Post #8558415

I managed to get my tomatoes planted outside on 4/30 (last frost date is 4/23 in my zone), all of them in homemade self-watering containers. Clockwise from top left:

- In the EarthTainer III - Big Beef and Black Krim. I still need to build the support cage from two pea fences.
- In the EarthTainer II - Early Goliath and Juliet. When these get bigger, I'll attach another set of tomato cages on top (upside down).
- In a white 6-gallon eBucket - Black Prince. The 6-gallon buckets are harder to come by, but hold more soil and water.
- In the hanging basket - Tumbling Tom Yellow and Lizzano (not visible).
- In the red 5-gallon eBuckets - Mega Bite (2), Maskotka, and Patio Princess. These pickle buckets are $2 at Firehouse Subs.

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 12, 2011
2:12 PM

Post #8558434

More self-watering containers:

- Two EB's with staking system - three peppers of each type: Gypsy, Cajun Belle, Mariachi, Blushing Beauty
- Middle EB - three types of bush beans: Blue Lake, Purple Queen, Dragon Tongue
- Hanging basket - Lizzano tomatoes (2)
- Red 5-gallon eBuckets - peppers (Marconi Red, Giant Marconi, Super Chili hot pepper, Serrano Tampiqueno hot)

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 12, 2011
2:13 PM

Post #8558441

Romaine lettuce in an eBucket (5 heads)

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 12, 2011
2:16 PM

Post #8558448

Collard greens in eBucket.

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 12, 2011
2:17 PM

Post #8558450

Last one - I promise! Touchon carrots in an eBucket. This is the only one without a plastic cover or lid.

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 12, 2011
2:30 PM

Post #8558480

VitaVeggieMan,
You have got it going ON!! Great looking vessels and veggies!

Linda
mom2goldens
Carmel, IN
(Zone 5b)

May 12, 2011
5:57 PM

Post #8558890

Looking great, VitaVeggieMan. Please keep us posted on your progress.
Kindlekat
Washington, DC
(Zone 7a)

May 13, 2011
1:16 PM

Post #8560663

@ luvcats

Yes, I decorated mine with a stencil I made myself. But then I forgot to spray the rest. I might do that again. It was just a little design with leaves coming out of a bowl, like a visual "container garden" symbol. I was worried the neighbors would complain I was making my yard look trashy because of all the buckets, but no one ever complained to my face.

I also use a water-barrel system to water everything. I built it myself from an instructable (not of my design) and it works great, I never worry about running out, and I don't have the chemicals in my water that the city water has. The only thing is that it's not too high pressure, so doesn't "mist" well, but it fill my PVC piped reservoirs great!!

I haven't checked this thread in awhile, as soon as I find my camera cord, I'll post some updates for the veggie-table (doing great!) and my e-buckets in their second year.
Rene10
Wauchula, FL
(Zone 9b)

May 13, 2011
2:07 PM

Post #8560781

My tomato in my bucket is almost done. I have picked hundreds of little tomatoes from it. I think they were called Tiny Tim.
joy112854
Crestview, FL

May 16, 2011
3:13 AM

Post #8566028

VitaVeggieman: I hope those aren't the last of your pics! I plant lettuce, cabbage, collards in the fall/winter, and was wondering where and how I was going to do this, you just gave me the answer! Looks great, so keep us updated on they grow will ya?
joy
luvcats
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8a)

June 5, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8610146

Hi yall!
Okay, I planted two "better boys" tomato plants in ebuckets this year and they are doing great! I was wondering should I prune the bottom of the plant to promote better growth?
Thanks

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 5, 2011
10:51 AM

Post #8610624

[quote="luvcats"]Hi yall!
Okay, I planted two "better boys" tomato plants in ebuckets this year and they are doing great!
[/quote]

Uh, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it..."

^^_^^
lonejack
Longview, WA
(Zone 8b)

June 6, 2011
2:26 AM

Post #8612004

Hi,
It depends upon the type of mater, determinate or indeterminate. Indeterminate maters, you should wait until the first bloom branch appears. Trim all branches below the bloom branch. Stake and tie the stem as it grows.
Be sure you have a long stake, about 10', as it will keep growing up and up.
Some people even have to take the mater loose and lay the lower part of the stem down it their stakes are too short.
Determinate maters are bushy and won't get any taller that God made them.
Always pinch off the sucker branches that form at the crotch of main branches.
With Indeterminate maters, you can force a V by tipping the plant over and encouraging side growth from a lower sucker early, treating it as another main branch.
I was in a greenhouse where they were growing commercial cherry maters in a hydroponic system They were 8 years old and the vines were about 3" in diameter. The vines had grown around and around the greenhouse.
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 6, 2011
5:24 AM

Post #8612194

I didn't realize tomatoes could be made to act as perennials, those plants must have looked like bonsai trees with trunks that size!

BTW: my brother- in -law came up with a unique stake system for his tomatoes in eBucket.

This was his fist attempt and he misinterpreted my oral instructions, but I think this is a fantastic idea.

He used a long pvc pipe, positioned in the middle of the bucket! He waters through this but also ties his tomato to the pipe.

So far, pipe is holding up to weight of a full load of tomatoes.

I believe he will eventually have to anchor the eBucket someway to keep it from tipping. We'll see. Trying to get pictures of his set up.

Last year he tried growing tomatoes in a plain 5 gallon pail, with total failure. He is a convert now.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2011
5:51 AM

Post #8612236

I was wondering about dried bamboo - maybe a teepee over each bucket?

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 6, 2011
6:28 AM

Post #8612297

The bamboo teepee would work wonderfully well!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 6, 2011
8:52 AM

Post #8612624

AmandaEsq - I use dried bamboo as stakes in the garden, they work very well.

One caution about bamboo - don't be tempted to plant it! We have been having a terrible time trying to keep running-bamboo from invading our garden from the woods at the back of our home.
luvcats
Raleigh, NC
(Zone 8a)

June 6, 2011
11:32 AM

Post #8612968

I'm currently using dried bamboo for staking. Its working well so far.
Thanks for info Lonejack and gymgirl!!

Hey Honey! i was in your neck of the woods, on Friday! Comic book convention! Nice city!

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 7, 2011
6:44 AM

Post #8615033

Hey everybody.

I injured my R hand at work a couple of weeks ago and am incapacitated as far as powertools and 5 gallon buckets are concerned. Going to have to get these vegetables into pots and start the bamboo teepees for the driveway. Does not look good in terms of building ebuckets.

The Scotts topsoil I mentioned is really fast draining which is good for your purpose. Did I see some one else simply drop a plastic gallon pot or larger into a small tub at the bottom with water in it?

I have got to do something really simple but fast. I am kinda put out with this wrist/hand thing. I'm sure you all can understand. :/

A.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 7, 2011
7:02 AM

Post #8615068

AmandaEsq,
If possible, could you recruit a teenager, or a neighbor to come help you build the eBuckets? If he/she could cut the parts out and assemble the eBuckets, would you be able to put the plants in? Actually, it would be a win-win. They'd help you, and you'd teach them!

Or, better yet, recruit a DGer who lives in your area! Put out an SOS! We often underestimate the number of folks willing to come help us in our time of need. Remember, "we have not, because we ask not..." I heard that DGers have rallied to rescue and move whole gardens for each other.

Just ask... So, sorry I don't live closer. I'd come lend you a hand!

Linda
VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 7, 2011
7:40 AM

Post #8615151

My Romaine lettuce (Gilad) decided to bolt last week, so I cut it all down and we had Caesar salad two nights in a row, enough to feed 6 people from one eBucket.

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 7, 2011
7:50 AM

Post #8615176

After cleaning, I filled two large bowls with Romaine. This variety (Gilad, from Park Seed) is pretty to look at and quite tasty, and it's supposed to hold up in the heat as well. I'm planting some more now to see for myself, along with some Jericho Romaine, another slow-to-bolt Romaine variety. I should have started them inside a month ago - it will be at least 6 weeks before it's ready for harvest!

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
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VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 7, 2011
8:07 AM

Post #8615225

I built a few more eBuckets, and used the one on the left for pole beans (Violet-Podded Stringless, direct seeded) and another for Teddy Bear Sunflowers (on right).

The larger maroon planter is not self-watering, but I found it cheap at Walmart and thought it would make a good container for Scarlet Emperor Runner beans and Night and Day Nasturtium's.

For both of the bean poles, I used an 8' Sturdy Stake and topped them with a Trellis Wheel, a little plastic contraption from Lee Valley Tools that makes it very easy to string garden twine like a Maypole. I drilled 1/4" holes in the top edge of the eBucket to thread the twine through. Made it nice and easy!

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 7, 2011
8:15 AM

Post #8615253

VitaVeggieMan,
Please show closeups, and explain more of the Maypole trellis for your beans. Thanks!

Linda

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 7, 2011
1:21 PM

Post #8615867


I really like that string contraption! :)
VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 8, 2011
6:39 AM

Post #8617418

Thanks Amanda! The "string contraption" did turn out pretty good, but it seems like it may be a bit tippy in a strong wind. I may strap it to the deck post for stability.

Linda, here are a few closeups. It's a little plastic trellis wheel with tabs that you lift to insert garden twine. The pins on top keep the twine from slipping off, and the tabs close tightly enough to keep the twine in place as well. In fact, you can lift a tab and pull the loops of twine up to take up the slack as the twine stretches. I noticed that my twine was very loose two days after installing it, so I'm going to tighten it tonight.

There's a small hole in the middle of the trellis wheel to screw it onto the pole or stake. This little device does make it easy to create a Maypole-style trellis. I used one long piece of twine, and just threaded it up and down through the holes in the wheel and the side of the bucket. And it's cheap - only $3.70 from Lee Valley Tools (they also have lots of other cool gardening gadgets that I haven't seen anywhere else).

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
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VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 8, 2011
6:44 AM

Post #8617429

Here's a picture of the eBucket with the bean pole. I just drilled 1/4" holes at six spots around the rim of the upper bucket and threaded the garden twine through them. The pole goes all the way to the bottom of the wicking basket which rests on the bottom of the outer bucket. I don't think this would work in the single-bucket eBucket design because the inverted colander would not likely support the weight of the pole and plants.

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 8, 2011
6:47 AM

Post #8617434

VitaVeggieMan,
You just helped me figure out what to do with some surplus material I almost threw out last weekend. I gave it a double-take and decided to go ahead and keep it.

At one point, I was also trying to help design an efficient, one-bucket, eBucket system, and came up with the idea of using pegboard as the soilbed, propped up on an overturned planter or something or other. The problem of keeping the pegboard waterproof was daunting, and I never moved forward with using all those circular jigsaw-cut pieces of pegboard...until now...

Can you say, "Maypeg?"

Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 8, 2011
6:53 AM

Post #8617443

One last pic: this is the 8' Sturdy Stake I used for the bean pole. It was a little too fat for the trellis wheel to fit over the end (supposed to fit a pole 5/8" in diameter), so I just took a course rasp and filed it down a bit until the wheel fit snugly and then I screwed it on. Overall, a very easy and cheap project, and provides a nice compact way of growing pole beans and other vining plants, e.g., peas, Malabar spinach.

Mark

Thumbnail by VitaVeggieMan
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Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 8, 2011
6:57 AM

Post #8617447

[quote]I don't think this would work in the single-bucket eBucket design because the inverted colander would not likely support the weight of the pole and plants.[/quote]

If you drilled a hole straight down the middle of the colander, the maypole would sit flush on the bottom of a one-bucket design, and not interfere with anything. Drill the hole just a tad smaller than the maypole diameter, so there's no extra space for soil to fall into the reservoir.

Set the maypole before adding the potting mix to the eBucket, and it would be anchored by the soil... ^^_^^
VitaVeggieMan
Clifton, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 8, 2011
8:00 AM

Post #8617582

[quote="Gymgirl"]

If you drilled a hole straight down the middle of the colander, the maypole would sit flush on the bottom of a one-bucket design, and not interfere with anything. Drill the hole just a tad smaller than the maypole diameter, so there's no extra space for soil to fall into the reservoir.

Set the maypole before adding the potting mix to the eBucket, and it would be anchored by the soil... ^^_^^[/quote]

That should work - good thinking Linda!

I like the "Maypeg" idea too. It's always good to use what you have laying around. If you file the diameter of the Sturdy Stake down a bit like I did, and then drill a hole in the pegboard so it fits snugly over the reduced diameter pole, the Maypeg would fit securely on top of the pole, supported by the ridge where the pole gets wider.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

June 8, 2011
8:45 AM

Post #8617736

Here's a link to Lee Valley Tool's Trellis Wheel

http://www.leevalley.com/us/garden/page.aspx?p=59783&cat=2,33286&ap=1

looks like a handy gadget.
OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

June 8, 2011
6:28 PM

Post #8618922

LOL! I used to love to peruse the Lee Valley catalog! They have some of the most amazing gadgets , and their prices are very reasonable. I wanted almost everything in the catalog, whether I could use it or not. I made one tiny order from them, and received their printed catalog for three or four years. Better than a novel any day!
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 8, 2011
10:56 PM

Post #8619335

Don't you think it is time to start another thread for this? Almost 100 posts long. Since I am seldom on anymore, Gymgirl, you have my blessings to act as admin of this thread to change whenever ya'll feel the need for change.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 9, 2011
10:58 AM

Post #8620219

Ok,
I'll start a new thread, BUT GESSIEVIOLET is still in charge!!!!

Don't
Can't
Won't

are totally UNacceptable with me!!! ^^_^^
gessieviolet
Saluda, SC
(Zone 8a)

June 9, 2011
1:28 PM

Post #8620527

Yes mam, how long do I have to sit in the corner with my nose against this little circle? LOL (used to make naughty kids do that, guess would be considered abuse in these modern times)

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

June 9, 2011
1:47 PM

Post #8620564

pushy...


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