This thread is a continuation of PART II. We're interested in hearing about disappointing experiences with the system and/or ideas for improvements or modifications, so we can attempt to do better. Let's build a better eBucket!
Well I took some updated shots of mine today, so I'll be happy to post. Some are re-used buckets from last year of the same design, and some are new. It is worth nothing that in the old ones, I did not provide protection during the winter months because I was trying in vain to do some fall gardening, and so I have revamped the potting mixture inside each of them. Dumping out large root masses, and mixing in 50/50 compost and miracle grow potting mix (WITHOUT moisture control). First up, this is what they look like in spring after being out all winter, and why I remixed everything. All colanders and pipes came out in one dried up bundle.
Here are tomatoes in new buckets looking great so far this year. I started the seeds for these in March, so I'm understandably super excited that these are doing so great! A side note though, because of the nature of tomatoes, I did extra fertilizing when I planted these. I used an old "recipe" told to me by my gardening friend who says she got it out of the Washington Post years ago. 4 tbsp garden lime, 2 tbsp epsom salt and 2 tbsp Osmocote slow-release fertilizer per plant. I thought I would try it because her tomatoes are always the biggest, and it seems to be working for her. Also because I can just reuse the same buckets for tomatoes next year and I don't have to worry about planting the wrong thing in the wrong spot.
Amanda - My rubbermaids are also self-watering like the ebuckets, but use those square storage baskets that have holes on the sides instead of colanders. I got most of the instructions here: http://www.josho.com/gardening.htm but modified them slightly. I don't use two bins, I use the storage baskets instead.
I've found that I like the ones I have, but they are heavy when full and hard to move to refill, etc. So I won't be building any more. Instead, the 5 gallon ebuckets are not too heavy for me even when full of water and plants, and they are MUCH quicker to make. I estimate it only takes me about 10 minutes to make 1 or 2 now. That includes drilling the overflow hole, cutting the pipe, and trimming the colander if needed.
Lookin' good Kindlekat! I'm curious, where did you got the green 5-gallon buckets from?
Also, what varieties of tomatoes have you planted in the eBuckets this year? I planted mostly determinates in mine (Mega Bite, Patio Princess), but I did plant one indeterminate (Black Prince) and it's already grown taller than the tomato cage. I'm going to have to attach another cage (upside down) on top, but it will be quite tippy being that tall and narrow. That's one reason I like the Rubbermaid type containers (especially EarthTainers) for large indeterminate tomatoes. Since they are so heavy, they can handle a tall cage without tipping over. Plus, with extra soil capacity, the roots have more room, and the tomatoes seem to grow larger than they would in a 5-gallon bucket.
VitaVeggieMan - I actually was in Walmart where I used to get my plain white 5 gallons since they had the cheapest prices. Now it seems Home Depot, Lowes, and Walmart all have them at $2.50 . They didn't have any white ones when I went, only colors, so out of desperation I grabbed green. I would have gotten red if they had had them, but I'm not a fan of pink or purple buckets for my garden, I think my neighbors REALLY wouldn't understand then!
I'm growing both indeterminate and determinate tomatoes this year. I got most of my seeds from a swap back before I thought to pick only determinate, only bought the one kind of determinate - Better Bush. The others are Ozark Pink, Good Neighbor, and Best Boy. So far the bush variety (I have two buckets of them) are looking great. Dense and compact growth habit, just like the package says! I'm glad I'm growing both this year, to see which is more successful in my area, and for fun. It was also easy to put basil and chives in the bucket next to the bushier ones, for some companion planting. I'll be interested to see whether or not mine can get as big as yours and risk toppling over! I'm also interested to see whether the bush variety will produce as much fruit as the others. If so, I can see myself switching to just determinates for next year.
Kindlekat, I like the green buckets. My local Walmart has buckets in weird colors, like turquoise, pink, and yellow, but I've never seen the green ones.
So, if you put basil and chives in the bucket with the tomatoes, that probably means you're not using a cover (like the Earthbox), right? Did you mix your fertilizer into the planting mix? I've got "shower caps" (literally) on all my eBuckets, and used a ring of fertilizer around the top edge of the bucket. It seems to be working well so far (for the tomatoes), but I wish I had planted some the other way for a comparison test. For some reason, most of my peppers in eBuckets are NOT doing very well this year. I think I may have overdone the fertilizer - I mixed a 1/2 cup of Super Triple Phosphate into each bucket, and later found it should have been more like a tablespoon! (oops)
Yesterday, I added another tomato cage on top of the first one (on right in picture, yellow cages) in my 6-gallon eBucket with an indeterminate tomato (Black Prince). It's very tall and probably top heavy, but it held up to a big rainstorm that came through last night. I'll probably tie the cages to the bucket with some rope or bungee cords, and lash the whole thing to the deck.
I'm with you on growing more things vertically! I haven't grown most of the things you listed in eBuckets (yet), but I think you should stick to one plant per bucket for most of them, except for peppers and bush beans. I have one bucket with three sweet peppers this year as a trial, and so far it's doing well (see picture). I haven't done bush beans in a bucket yet, but based on my experience growing them in an Earthbox, I would say you could fit 4 bean plants per bucket. If you plant pole beans in an eBucket, I think you can go up to 6 or 8, using a Maypole-type trellis. I planted six, and they're doing well so far.
VitaVeggieMan - You're right, I don't use a cover. I thought about it last year (my first year with ebuckets) but never got around to it. Same this year. I can see the benefits, but never really found I needed them. I do mix some of the Espoma regular fertilizer in with the potting soil and compost when I'm making my mix. Then, I fertilize as needed in different ways for my different plants. I don't do the ring of fertilizer.
Your tomatoes look AWESOME! I love the variety you have, looks like you'll be getting a great harvest soon. We had a storm blow through last night and filled my rain barrels, so everything is happy with water, but a little droopy.
Thanks VeggiMan. Still putting together materials. And starting stuff from seed. :D
I have some old garden hose we cut off this spring to make a repair where it had sprung a leak. What do you all think about using that instead of PVC? I do have a lot of bamboo, but it would be great to find something useful to do with this length of hose.
Kindlekat wrote:Your tomatoes look AWESOME! I love the variety you have, looks like you'll be getting a great harvest soon. We had a storm blow through last night and filled my rain barrels, so everything is happy with water, but a little droopy.
Thanks Kindlekat! They look healthy so far, and I haven't had to spray them with anything yet. They are starting to put on fruit, so I've got my fingers crossed that I'll get a lot of tomatoes this year.
We had the same storm as you last night and it made a mess in all of my planters without covers, but at least I didn't lose any more plants!
I just built a rain barrel, but I haven't hooked it up yet. I'm planning to rig up an automated watering system to the rain barrel using the siphon method described over on the Global Bucket website. Unfortunately, I won't get that done before our vacation in a few weeks, so I'm counting on my teenage daughter for daily watering while I'm gone. Anybody want to take bets on how many plants are dead when I come home?
I found this thread and am glad to read that folks are still interested and using ebuckets to grow plants in! I love mine!
I want to make a suggestion ... for those of you looking for buckets ... you might very well be able to get them for FREE from any local fast food restaurants. Pickles come in the 5 gallon buckets that McD, Wendy's, BK, etc. use. And often the buckets are white which is perfect for me as I live in the south and needed something to reflect the heat away from the roots. If you need darker buckets, you could wrap a black trash bag around the outside of the bucket with a hole for the drain hole. Re-using them would help keep these large buckets out of the landfills. They will deteriorate in time, but for free, who cares?!!!
I am still doing the double-bucket method instead of 1 bucket with a colander. Because it is so hot here, I like the 1 gallon reserve in the exterior bucket. I don't have to water as often. But I also really want to try a drip system. Many of my plants are grown in them because I have horrible soil here that is infested with knot-root nematodes which kill any new plants in the ground.
Here are 3 eggplants (only grow 1 per bucket as they get quite large and mine are pretty crowded - live and learn!). It's hard to see in the photo but it has quite a few black beauty eggplant veggies growing on it! The fence is 6' tall. So the plants get quite large! I have 3 stakes tied at the top to form a tee-pee shape shoved down inside the bucket soil to stabilize the plants from heavy winds. I am very happy with my buckets. This is my second year of using them! :-) All my buckets are free, so I'm helping the environment and growing happy plants at the same time!
The biggest issue for me is how to make all these white buckets aesthetically pleasing. What I have been doing is actually placing them in my garden area. I have been trying to hide the buckets behind more appealing containers of plants or behind in-ground plants. At one point I thought of painting the buckets, but have decided against that idea because I prefer the white color. Trying to hide them behind plants or other containers seems my best option currently. I just need more attractive containers to place in front of them. Would love to hear other's ideas!
Here is a line of them growing in my west garden bed along the fence. There are various veggies, fruits, and flowering plants in all these buckets. I grow bearded and non-bearded irises, plumeria, brugs, various vining plants (which include clematis, morning glories, and passiflora), and all kinds of other flowering plants.
Nice suggestion about the stripes. A lot of buckets to paint though if I did that. LOL! I am not motivated to get out in this heat and do that this year. I do like the solid white. I just think the buckets look like ... well ... BUCKETS!!! LOL! Not planters or containers, but buckets! LOL! If they looked more like white plant pots, I don't think the look would bother me at all.
In all honesty, if my yard soil was good soil, I'd be growing everything in the ground instead of containers. I'd much rather have a natural looking cottage garden appearance. But at least I can grow plants in my yard using the buckets and other containers. Otherwise my yard would be barren of plants.
The main thing I like about the buckets is that I can move them. I can move the plants around and I often do. Change the grouping of plants by color or foliage or sun or shade needs. I love that advantage. Probably why my plants do so well in the e-buckets. And the buckets are lighter and easier to pick up. My back thanks me for that! lol
So ... there are some things I like about the buckets and some things I don't. The end result is what really counts though ... and my plants win hands down! :-) Lots of happy and healthy plants are growing in all my buckets! What more could a gardener ask for! ♥
You know an idea that just popped in my head that might look cute ...
The wide wired ribbon that you can get at Christmas time would look really cute wrapped around each bucket and then make big bows at the front of the buckets to look like gifts! Maybe use different colored ribbon to match the plant blooms? Wouldn't that look rather whimsical? I think that would look really nice! I know the ribbon would fade, but probably last during the growing season. I'm going to have to try to locate some of that ribbon at Wally world. I used to see it go on sale after Christmas. May have to grab a bunch after the holidays this year. :-)
I have collected all my stuff, and I am going gung-ho tomorrow (even with the brace on my wrist).
I am thinking if I do the tee-pees that they weight of the plant will eventualy pull it down and make it sturdy against the ground as it grows larger. I do not intend to put the stakes into the buckets for this to occur. I will not have earth to secure them to as my container jungle is going in the sunny concrete driveway.
Any thoughts on how to make the tee-pee sturdier? I was thinking about an arbor, but wondering if that would block too much sun for the plants?
There is an able-bodied middle aged man in my home (his birthday Wednesday, 45 years old) and he is bringing me a truckload of mulch from the municipality and picking up the soil-less medium I need for the buckets. He's a vegetable gardener so he's glad I'm growing vegetables. See how far I can push him.
We were walking to an event for solstice at our arboretum last evening and saw a plastic colander on a small pile set out for trash day where a yard sale had been this weekend. We picked it up on the way back. See? gathering materials a little at a time. They turn up where you least expect them. :D
Thanks for the reminder about my hand. Nothing worth giving up my hand, ya know.
Amanda, I'm not clear on your plan for the tee-pees. You say you don't want to put the stakes in the buckets, but they are on the concrete driveway, so what will hold the stakes together at the bottom? What type of plants will you be growing in the buckets with tee-pees, and how tall are the stakes? An arbor could replace the stakes/teepee completely, but I'm not sure how you would attach it to the concrete driveway. A bit more information please...?
Veggie man - I need to sit down and make some drawings, probably. If I lash 3 lengths of bamboo together to form a teepee, I would think that instead of inserting them into the pot that they would be self-sustaining as sort of a tripod. As the plant grows and becomes heavier it would weigh the teepee down with less risk of tipping which sounds like a concern. The teepee could be reinforced like an upside down tomato cage with wire or twine horizontally at intervals. Maybe it could be tied around the rim of the bucket somehow. OR the legs could be secured to one another around the bucket with twine or wire.
The point is to avoid tipping. I have access to dried bamboo 6'-10' lengths and plenty shorter than that too. With a wider base i would think there would be greater balance and lower center of gravity.
I have toyed with the idea of building an arbor also but wondered if that would allow enough light. Our driveway runs from the street down the length of the house - at least 100' or more. There is some soil on one side of the driveway but not on the house side. Like the idea with the teepee - I would think that the downward force of the plant's weight would offer structural integrity/equilibrium as well. It wouldn't be anything too fancy - we rent the house. Maybe some posts for legs, 2"x4"s to make cross braces on either side, a facing board on the outside at the top for sort of cosmetics. I have access to a friend's wood heap and the arbor is something I will visualize and plan depending on the amount/type of wood available. I'm in a pinch right now and can't go out to purchase supplies.
My BF has generously offered to purchase my soiless media for me.
With this bum hand I have had trouble getting to work with the power tools and setting up the buckets, but the materials are coming together and I'm pleased with that.
Sorry I can't give you specs on teepees or possible arbor. It's in my head and I will know it when I see it.
Amanda - If you are going to attached the bamboo to the container one way or another, I can see it tipping over if the plants get top-heavy, but when you place a bunch of the ebuckets together, that's less likely to happen. If you don't add the bamboo teepees to the inside of the buckets, then what happens when you have to move them? You're likely to break the branches or stems to untangle them from the bamboo.
Thanks. I am way behind you all as you can see. The wrist brace has really slowed everything down. I'm thankful for the long growing season, though. Just about have everything together to fill those buckets EXCEPT:
My BF offered to go get me my soil-less soil components for me and I was very happy with that.
He called me from the big box store to tell me they didn't have what I wanted.
When he got home he was very pleased with himself because he bought the best he could buy - MG Organic Garden Soil 1.5 cf. :/
It's forest product, PBF, sphagnum peat. There is also the chicken poop fertilizer and I have always told people not to use garden soil/mix in containers because the nutrient content might be too much for containerized plantings.
What do you think? Do I have to take these 6 bags of soil back?!
Yeah, I already knew the answer. I hate that. Wonder, if the MG Organic potting mix is the same price I could trade 'em out. He's away on vacation - was trying to do a nice for me - hate that - he rarely goes out of his way like that - and spent a lot on it too.
Will head out today to discuss with customer service at the big box store.
I used the colander in a slightly larger container than the buckets, this year, and my tomatoes look terrible. I used the dolomite per instructions, and the fert. ring, with coir and about 25% perlite. I'm wondering if they're staying too wet, since the wicking material is packed all around the colander, or if that is limiting the air space. I ate the first tomato yesterday, and it was dry and tasteless. The grape tomato next to this is somewhat better, but still has very few leaves. Any thoughts before I yank them and start over?
No. They just never developed many leaves. They obviously aren't going to make it through the summer, so I will be replacing them soon, but I'm wondering what else I need to change. The grape tomato is almost as bad, but at least they're edible, if a little tough skinned. Both are "Bonnie" plants.
Dolomite- about 1 1/2 cups, Fert.- Kelloggs organic Tomato & Veg. 4-6-3, 2 1/2 to 3 cups. Mixed the lime in the medium, made a ring with the fert.
Medium is coir+ 25% perlite. Took off a couple of bottom leaves and planted deep, slowly filling to top of pot. Reservoir holds about 1 1/2 Ga. of water (same as buckets did). Weather here has been exceptionally cool (70s), so I've only needed to top off every other day. I tried a dose of MG Tomato food in the reservoir last week. No results, so far.
I think I read also that water soluble fert is not recommended.
Also - maybe too cool? I have 2 plants other people gave to me. Both developed branches that were yellowish while waiting (and still waiting) for me to plant them. I wonder - does the coir wick the water well enough?
Best let Gymgirl handle this. I am quite admittedly a novice not only with tomatoes but eBuckets too!
Amanda, We are all novices with e-buckets! I did them last year with no problems . Mine show to the street, and the buckets are...what can I say, tacky looking? I'm not on a tight budget, so I decided to do the same thing with more decorative pots. Something went wrong though, and I'm looking for ideas. The coir wicks water very well...maybe too well? I just don't know. I thought it might be the typical May gray, June gloom here, but I have a volunteer from one of last years buckets that is looking really good, in spite of being in too much shade, and getting no water. I'm open to any and all suggestions! This whole e-bucket thread is about learning from feedback.
I'll be the first to tell you "tomatoes grow best in the ground", however if you don't have the ground available, or have seriously bad soil problems, this is a way to have "real" tomatoes, as opposed to those ones you buy at the store. Ha! And these don't come from Mexico! Buy American!
@Gymgirl - the baskets I used for the reservoir were somewhere about 7" or 8" high. The store where I bought them only had 3 (they were at Rite Aid near NCSU and were starting to sell dollar priced items to attract students and compete (?) with the dollar type stores?). They are the perfect size in the 5 gallon bucket. I found a brand new plastic colander on a neighbor's refuse pile after their yard sale. So that's 4 completed buckets.
I really was thrilled/stupefied when the water started coming out of the overflow/straw. Yes - absurd. I'm like "it works, it works!!!" Heh.
Today I planted 2 large maters that a friend gave me - don't know what they are but they took off like rockets together. She had them in peat pots and then again in an 11" hanging basket pot with only about 3" of mulch! And they both were about 2' tall by the time I planted them today. I tell ya there's something to planting in soil-less mix!
I used the scott's topsoil which I had mentioned before. I didn't dress it up at all. I'm adding pelletized fert tomorrow.
I also planted an eggplant a friend gave me called "fingers"? I think they are long-ish and skinny.
I planted 1 bucket with 2 of my butternut squash. One on either side. I think I will make 2 trellis/tee-pee contraptions, one on either side so each plant can grow away from the other. Everyone's comments about the support structures are as concern what happens when I have to move it. Why would I have to move it?!
I sorted my collection of dried bamboo today. I have some that are up to 15' tall. I have a concept for my pole beans so I think I will need the tall poles for them.
I have a good number of pretty thick stalks about 6' tall. They will probably be for my jelly bean tomatoes which are indeterminate. I think the tomatoes I planted today and one other that I have won't get tall tall.
I have zucchini and yellow squash someone gave me and slicing cucumbers which I'm really excited about. I hope by going vertical I can keep the critters from eating my stuff. They have eaten more than their share of bird seed to the point where I have stopped feeding altogether. It's an okay time to do that now - birds have other food sources. Mammals will have to figure it out.
Um, Peppers!!! I am THRILLED because I did find seeds finally for large cherry peppers. My seedlings are only about 3" high, but they look very healthy. Want to pickle some. Yum! Someone also gave me some Thai peppers which I understand are very hot - I eat a lot of Tai food, so I'm not sure how they will go. I wanted to grow some bell peppers and have seeds for some hungarian wax. What would Shoe say about me starting peppers now?!
Beans are sprouted. Bush beans and the purple italian trionfono pole beans.
I guess they will all go in buckets!
Many miles to go before I . . .stop planting buckets. Best get it done ASAP though. Will keep you posted. I might have to do what OCCAROL did and settle for Bonnie plants.
Hope you get that riddle solved.
Going back out there to push stuff around in the dark. :D
I've been reading the posts of recent and I'm wondering a few things, OCCAROL...
The containers that you are growing your sickly tomatoes in ... are they the same containers as was used for last year's tomatoes? Is the soil new soil or left over from last year? Mine have done well this year. I use compost mixed in with my potting mix. The tomatoes seem to love it. I also fertilize with MG liquid veggie fertilizer. We've had a lot of rain lately, but it hasn't seemed to bother my tomato plants, surprisingly. One of my plants produced a lot of tomatoes and then started rotting, so I ripped it out and planted a new tomato plant which is currently doing well.
I am wondering how long most tomato plants last? What temps do they grow best in? And how much sun is enough or too much during the summer heat?
Beckygardner, I did regular buckets last year. These pots are a little larger. I used the old mix for the wicking, and put fresh mix on top.. My tomatoes have bloomed and set plenty of fruit in the 70 degree range, just no leaves. They tend to stop producing when temps get in the 90s, then come back when it cools down in the fall. We're talking indeterminates. Back in the days when I had more sun, and garden space, I planted them in the ground and have harvested on New Years day, but trees have grown and ground has turned to Flowers. We are in the same zone, but I'm a couple of months behind you on summer.We're just coming out of JUNE GLOOM, so sun hasn't appeared before noon. Two days of 80s has fried all the flowers because they haven't had time to adjust to that much sun. This week we're supposed to be in the 80s, but we have been 10 degrees below normal all spring. All that blazing heat in the south stopped at the Ca. border. That is another possible issue with my plants this year, but as I said above, I've got a volunteer from last year, in the ground, that's doing very well.
Looking at your planting formula, I might be a little off, but in the last season I was cautioned about using more than 1 cup of fertilizer in the 5-gallon buckets. I had always used 2 cups like the EB instructions recommended, and I never associated overfertilizing with any of the "maladies" I experienced in my tomato plants.
This past season, I almost wiped out 208 perfectly healthy tomato seedlings because I got zealous with the fertilizer. I managed to save 2/3 of the crop.
I think I'd try cutting back on the fertilizer and see what happens.
Linda - Being in a self-contained bucket or pot, doesn't the fertilizer recycle within the container? It doesn't have the ability to leech out in the soil like it would if it was in the ground. I think that may be why it is best to go easy on the fertilizer and to adjust as your plants appear to need it. That's just my thoughts on the fertilizing part of growing plants this way. I, too, have done a lot of trial and error containers and plants. Still learning ...
OCCAROL - I don't cover most of my buckets with a lid. Only a few of them. I've found that the ones that weren't covered did better. Go figure! I use MiracleGro Organic liquid mixed with Fish Emulsion. I water the fertilizer mix directly into the soil with a watering can. I don't fertilize that often. I still have two tomato plants that look great and are producing tomatoes. As well as all the other veggies and herbs. Everything is doing quite well even in this heat. Everything is producing fruit/veggies continually. So I'm going to stick with my method. I also use the double buckets instead of one just using the colander method. I can't find cheap colanders here as I looked. So the double bucket method is my containers.
I also have a few plants I am just growing in a single bucket with holes drilled in the bottom. I think I might try drilling holes an inch or 2 up the sides if I make more. Water can collect in the inside bottom of the buckets. I keep thinking of a small kiddie pool idea, to sit nursery pots in and just have shallow water in the pool at all times to keep the plants hydrated. That would be good for starter plants like daylilies, canna, etc.
It was SOOOOOOO easy to set up and I am not mechanical at all. I am trying to upload a video of my garden, but youtube is being SLOW. I will see if I can find a photo close-up of the watering system in the meantime!
I started a new thread for the video. As soon as YouTube finishes, I will post a link to the video and pics of the trellis and watering system. My teenagers are begging for food, and YouTube claims says that my video has 176 minutes remaining (my boys claim it will be faster), so it will probably be a couple of hours before I get it all done. Sorry!
That's nice work Michelle - also thanks for posting all your links and videos. It's so helpful for us newbees to see others' projects too.
While browsing the link to the conduit trellis I did another search for working with bamboo, and I found mine too!
I appreciate the inspiration and motivation to look just one more time. I'm going vertical with buckets on th concrete drive that runs the length of the house and sits between the house (where it meets the concrete) and the neighbor's retaining wall. :D
Not a lot of space.
I'm psyched! Still dealing with injured hand and now kidney infection/dehydration "issue" so I'm a little farther behind. Keep you posted. One day soon (I hope) I will be posting my pictures too. :)
Amand, watch that dehydration. It can also cause low blood count. My DH was in hospital for 4 days because of kidney failure and dehydration. He had suffered from anemia for years. Soon as kidney were hydrated, the anemia went away along with the kidney failure. Sharon.
Thanks Sharon. I have to remind myself how serious it is/could be/have been.
I will certainly do a lot less tomorrow. Like someone else on a different thread said today-sometimes you get so behind you just HAVE to do something. She was able to get her handyman come and do them for her. I AM the maid, the gardener, the garden staff, the critter keeper . . .. You know what I mean. Been flat on my back since last Tuesday. BF said I did more today than I have in the last 6 days put together.
Anywho. I am sitting here with my 32 oz. Nalgene bottle of water which has been filled and drained at least 3 times since my last post. ;)
Amanda, I have always been the head of the house. My DH is a very smart, high IQ, but does not believe in manual labor. I finally came to terms with myself that we did not march to them same drummer. He could not even hear the drummer. But that was after 20 years of marriage.
And I made all the income. I guess GOD sent him to the right person. And I think he knows that. But if I could not feed myself, he would feed me every day and visa versa. Going on 38 years of marriage. But gardening and helping in the repairs was never his thing. I finally realized I could hire it done and that ended a lot of evil thoughts in my mind. Now we joke about it. I introduce him to the handy man, always the same one, and tell him the handyman is doing his honey do list so he should thank him when he is done. Keep strong young lady. And take care of yourself.
Well, it's July, and the garden is in full swing now in zone 7a! We're getting ripe cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, snap beans, hot peppers, and lots of lettuce and other leafy greens. Here are a few pictures of my eBucket garden from above. This is the left side of my rear deck. In the eBuckets, from the left, are (1) Red Malabar Spinach (with tripod trellis), (2) Swiss chard, (3) carrots, (4) more Swiss chard, (5) Orach Magenta Magic, (6) New Zealand Spinach, (7) Violet podded stringless pole beans (with maypole trellis), and (8) Teddy Bear Sunflowers.
Here's the right side of the garden deck. From the right, the eBuckets contain: (1) a Black Prince tomato (white 6-gallon bucket with yellow cage), (2) the cluster of 6 red buckets hold a few peppers and determinate tomatoes, (3) a Serrano hot pepper, (4) a cluster of three more peppers. The four indeterminate tomatoes in the two EarthTainers have grown way past the tops of their cages, and are at least eight feet tall, with lots of large green tomatoes (Big Beef, Black Crimson, Juliet, and Early Goliath). Most of my veggies are a bit slower to grow and ripen this year because I don't get as much sunlight on this deck as I used to. Still, I'm hoping for a good tomato and pepper harvest a little later than usual!
Here's one of my determinate tomatoes, a Patio Princess, and it's got at least 25 good sized fruits on it. This is a great size plant for eBuckets and is doing fine with a single bamboo stake. Next year, I'll start these on a staggered basis about 3 weeks apart for a more continuous harvest. However, I do like that the determinates give up after a big burst of ripe fruit because that will allow me to plant my fall crops earlier in the same buckets. With the indeterminate tomatoes, I just can't bear to cut them down if they still have tomatoes on them. I'll probably have to build a few more eBuckets for the fall garden!
Sharon - you're a strong lady, self-made. What's not to love? :)
When I quit my law practice I used to joke about my BF who doesn't like to be called a social worker, but works with the mentally ill. He works for a private corporation now and has made middle management. Still can't move up any higher without a master's degree. But I tell people that he thought he had himself a cash cow until I quit my job.
His daddy built custom kitchen cabinets and special order furniture for a living. He inherited his daddy's tools, but he's not very handy. He knows it. I know it. I joke about it. He doesn't appreciate the joking. It took me some years and some quiet disappointment in the results of some of our "projects" to figure that out. :)
I joke about the maid coming (when's the maid going to get here?!) which is usually an acknowledgement that I'm behind in my chores. So it is frustrating to be sidelined and watch tumbleweeds of critter hair pile up on the hardwoods. But I will mind my doctor's orders today and get lots of rest and lots of fluids.
Thanks for sharing. Your guy sounds like a good sport. :)
Hey everybody - bumping this thread. Finally got my stuff growing. I'm sort of ashamed that my spring crop has become my fall crop. Heh.
I wonder if it's the heat, not enough water, not enough food, too much of any of the above . . .
The fingerling eggplant is doing the best of anything. When do they turn purple?
Tomatoes just starting to bear ripe fruit.
Butternut - the first 2 plants planted in 1 bucket together. Each plant has one squash - one is about 5" long, the other only about 2". The flowers bust open very prettily, but I am having blossom rot, methinks. So many flowers - only 1 fruit on each plant. I read other threads - have not planted in buckets before, but I assume same holds true - not enough water and/or not enough nutrients? They did suffer a little when they were set out in the sun initially. I am watering from the top in this heat till water runs from the drain hole to make sure there's enough water. Have added additional granule food. Have "mulched" with dead grass/weed clippings (hey! on a poverty budget here!). Wonder if that will improve things? Have also seen the yellowish/orangey beetlebugs with black stripes. Have stink bugs also hanging out on these plants.
Watermelon had a tiny fruit which fell off. :/
Have kept it watered and added more granules to combat this. Having a bloom every other day-ish now. See tiny fruits, will see what happens.
Cucumbers - too soon to tell. :)
Trionfono purple pole beans - just getting 'em trained onto the teepee.
Pretty lame, eh?
Any help with these issues above which may or may not have Ebucket remedies will be appreciated!
p.s. I will not use insecticide. Please only natural remedies if you have any to suggest. Thanks!
The teepee and teepee trellis were fairly haphazard. No fancy knots there, but I am going to put up some more cross posts on each side of the "pyramid" to hold the weight of what I expect to be a giant harvest of butternut and sugar baby watermelon. ;)
Your plants are looking wonderful and may do better now as the season starts cooling down. Some of my veggies got fried by the heat this year! I look forward to seeing and hearing about your progress as they mature and produce edibles!
Girl, I need a knot tying tutorial I can follow!!!! You're a professional now. I went back and reviewed your pics, and you tied a LOT of knots, so I know you have mastered it!
How's your eBucket garden faring? Post some updated pics, please.
I FINALLY scheduled this weekend for my Hurricane IKE (2008) replacement fence to go up, and, my weatherman has predicted 60%%% chance of rain Friday. First day of more than 1" of rain in 218 days!!!! And, I was gonna have the fence guy build my first raised bed while he was here.
Who'd a thought I'd be praying for it NOT to rain in Houston???!!!
Oh, well, looks like I'll be doing that eBucket garden after all. Good thing I held on to the buckets!
P.S. eBucket news flash!!!!
I'm about to embark on a gardening project at two different schools. Each 4th grader will build and monitor their own eBucket, and grow one veggie! The selection will include: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, or Brussels Sprouts. I'm providing the seedlings! There will be 30 eBuckets going on the school garden site! And, my co-worker parent who's coordinating between me and the school, came up with the idea of letting each child decorate his/her eBucket! How cool is that???
They'll also start several community flats of spinach and lettuce (since these will produce a faster harvest for the kids). They can have a living salad garden and harvest microgreens, and learn to thin them out toharvest mature plants, too. Making them wait 60-90 days for a cabbage or broccoli to mature might prove a bit much to ask of them, so we'll give them some nice greens in the meanwhile.
Ha Ha Ha - yes it's a super cool project, but you will need the prayers for sure. :)
If you need to see any of the knot tying sources I looked at let me know. I ended up having to go nautical to get the basics in order to go back to the traditional Japanese knot tying. Once you get the hang of it it's fairly easy, depending on what you are building. Since I was building a trellis I wanted it to look a little more tidy than the teepee trellis which was very haphazard. :D
I let my squash plants go - they were for sure the only plants infected. I put the sugar snap peas in there last week and will wait for them to show themselves.
I was so thrilled this morning - literally - to see tiny beans on my damned bean pole. They are only an inch long, but you know - I have to take the joys of gardening where I can get them.
Thanks for asking. The stuff is sort of slow growing, but it's progress and I will post a pic or two this week since you asked. :)
Gymgirl - what a wonderful school project. I hope more schools across the country start these types of projects, it's so important that children learn how to grow their own food. I wish I could live long enough to see the day when growing vegetables in your own backyard was as common as it was when I was a child growing up in England.
BTW, My sister sends everyone in the family drugstore b'day cards that she's photographed on her cellphone. Some of them even play music! I was shocked and appalled, and told her I'd come visit her in jail, but I wouldn't be sending her a card!
Actually, the camera phone trick comes in handy, just when you least expect it. I was in the supermarket shopping for ingredients to make Rice Krispie treats and I couldn't remember something. I looked on the back of the box I was buying, and it WASN'T there!!!! But, the Rice Krispie treats recipe is ALWAYS on the box!!! Not!
It was the Christmas Holidays and, of course, they knew everyone would be making those desserts. So, they shifted the recipe to the LARGE box of Rice Krispies (which I didn't need). But, I needed the recipe. So, I whipped out my trusty cellphone camera, and, Snap! Crackle! and Popped! that recipe right off that large box...
I don't pirate videotaped movies, either. I detest that practice with all my heart...
Hiya! I was wanting to know, how many plants of cabbage or collards to you put in each bucket? I have two buckets but want to plant some cabbage and collards so i need to know how many seedlings to buy.
- Carrots. Have only grown them in a small raised bed. This time, I'm using a free draining (no reservoir), clear plastic Rubbermaid tub to grow my carrots in. You can also grow them in the green rubbermaid tubs, too. Just drill plenty drain holes in the bottom and some on the sides about 1/4" up. Here's a pic of the tubs.
- Parsnips probably grow the same as carrots, in tubs.
I can't find Al, and need to know how many cubic feet of potting mix a standard 5-gallon bucket holds. The 4th grader teacher is waiting to purchase the potting medium. They'll most likely be using Tapla's 5:1:1 container mix for the project.
Just found this thread and looks like I'll have another project with those e-buckets . Linda , now I know why Bubba was saving all those buckets for you .HA ! I hope he has some for me when we see him in early Nov . I'm gonna try that .
Good , good , good ! I can use a bunch . My places , my sons place and left overs to shovel oyster shell in for my walks and drive .I can't carry but 10 buckets at the time .
Do you find the e-bucket gives superior planting and harvest than the conventional ?And how about ease of care ?
I'm about to set up 40+ ebuckets. Still tweaking my mix, but last season was the 1st time I used Tapla's 5:1:1 container mix, and had the healthiest tomato plants and best harvest (modest) ever, since I've been veggie gardening!
I definitely came out ahead $$$ by using the pine bark as the base of the mix.
I'll go back and read up some more on it . Sounds like the best way to beat that drought , and my boy worked so hard on his first garden ever this last summer . I sure don't want him discouraged .He watered every evening , and kept things going , but want him to enjoy more and work less . So glad I found this thread .
Hiya! I was wanting to know, how many plants of cabbage or collards to you put in each bucket? I have two buckets but want to plant some cabbage and collards so i need to know how many seedlings to buy.
Sorry, I've been busy building my greenhouse, so I haven't had time to log on lately.
I would go with one cabbage plant per bucket (same for broccoli and cauliflower), and three collards per bucket.
OK , I bought the last five collanders at Dollar Tree yesterday that were strong . They had a bunch more that seemed a little flimsy and had narrow slits for drainage . Has anyone seen them , and are they strong enough ? Will be looking for more in other D T 's in the area . I want to get all my stuff together .
Total of twenty . I want to leave ten with my kid for next spring , maybe three for him to plant now for cold weather stuff .I'll keep them at the coast , spinach , something that grows fast , to get him hooked .(Mothers are so devious )
WAH!!! I want Gym Girl's cell phone number.
I happened upon a thread and ultimately his profile page on GardenWeb too. I'm still getting some jellybean tomatoes and the others are growing slowly. Nights here dipping into mid to upper 40s and 50s. Next week looks like we'll be dropping more steadily.
Linda - I have a Omar's Lebanese which a friend gave me and I planted VERY LATE. It has the most glorious foliage I've ever seen - beautiful green and the fuzzy tomato hairs are GOLD! It has had flowers but too late to expect any fruit. I saw someone post somewhere asking about taking cuttings of tomatoes. Whaddya think of me bringing some of this inside as a foliage plant so it can go gangbusters in the spring?
Tapla , DUH ! Sent dmail . I agree , typing takes too long .If you get there , (hopefully ) I'll see you Sun . pm on the 30Th .
Amanda I have several Beef master volunteers and plan to take suckers , re pot and transport to south Texas . They grow 15' , so plan on pruning back as they grow . If I have any success , I'll post it .They will be outside mostly , but have brought inside for short periods in the past . Heat , sun, is the key .
What is the AT? I'm not "moving " to Tex , but it seems like it every year . I sold a house in Arkansas and turned the money into a mobile home N. of Rockport , with two lots , bought previously , across from my sons weekend place .We used to take over his place in the winter , then got this good deal, so I see him often when he comes down to fish the coast .He lives in central Tex .
Just dawned on me what A T is .That would be one of my wanna do's . Hips and knees won't allow it. If I took a coupla days , I might do a five mile section . How far did y'all go ?
We did it in sections - not the whole thing - we stopped road tripping when we got this green iguana. Cats and dogs are sort of easy to find people to come in and watch, but with exotics it's like having kids. When I had my mom's parrot it was even more so. They are like little people and need constant interaction.
Anywho, we started at the southern terminous and have gone all the way up to the Shenandoah Nat'l park. That would have been the next 'leg' of our trip. It is quite another world - we would go for a week or ten days at a time. Really really loved it. Not sure about my joints now either. A little out of shape to be carrying a 50 lb pack.
A part time spot in sunny TX is probably just the thing when you need to get away. I wish the iguana could travel. :D
I'm taking supplies with me to put together the e buckets . Have five so far . Looking for more colanders .
How big is the iguana ?
I have a 50 lb pack wrapped around my body . Don't think I could manage a separate one . lol
I have been thinking about my own pack and wondering why I started to carry it...
The iguana is almost 4' long from nose to tip of tail. She doesn't weigh more than 10 lbs. She's probably 7 or 8 years old. Last year she laid her first clutch of eggs - over 50! That mess will start up again in January. Not looking forward to it. Good thing she's an herbivore. Going to start some greens in my buckets I guess.
Have fun out there. Signing off so I will get more stuff done today. ha ha ah
Yes , Linda , you snapped to it but not much conversation 'bout it round here , so it went right over my head .
Talk to you Sun , after you get home , or when it's convenient , let me know .
These pots have been used but they came out of an inspected nursury , so no boogers , I've had them several years . Too many to wash
Sorry, I've been busy building my greenhouse, so I haven't had time to log on lately.
I would go with one cabbage plant per bucket (same for broccoli and cauliflower), and three collards per bucket.
woops! Well I had planted two and they are doing great!! Really big! My question is they haven't formed heads yet but can i eat some of the leaves on the outside of the plant? Does anyone eat some of the bigger leaves or just the head of cabbage?
Can someone tell me where I saw the cheap DIY automatic watering setup for the e-buckets or earthboxes .If I remember correctly it was a timer at the facet and 1/4 inch tubing running to each e-bucket to the fill tube and you could put it together for under $75.00. for up to 10 buckets and just a few bucks more for additional buckets. It showed how to set it up and gave the name of the parts used and also the price of each part. I also think they got all the parts at either Lowes or Home depot. Any help would be great. Don
I'm thinking of the Orbit single dial faucet timer ($29.97) to start. I have so many different e-buckets with different water requirements that I think instead of buying a kit I'll do better by buying piece meal.
I'm creating a compact structure that will hold between 24 and 32 e-buckets. I'm trying to make it 8 feet long and about 4 feet wide and approx 6 to 7 feet tall. It will be able to be covered with a plastic tarp(without touching foliage ) when weather and temps are going to effect tomatoes and peppers. It will be able to be heated with a $25 cermamic heater.It will be able to be cover within minutes and when weather improves back to growing temps ,cover rolled back up in minutes. It will be watered on a timer system so once complete and the e-buckets planted up I'll just have to worry about tying the tomatoes and vineing veggies and watching for a overfill tube being plugged and pest and sick plants. My concern right now is being a tad top heavy and once the foligage is completely fill in it acting as a sail and blowing over. I believe with 16 e-buckets planted up that will give me enough weight at the base to make it pretty stable. I may have to leave the braces on that will keep the cover off the foliage during cold weather. I will take pictures while I construct it and probably post them here. Thanks again Don
PS I guess I'll call it an e-bucket cold frame.
If you scroll down the page below the drip kits, you will see individual drip components, as well as timers.
These are raindrip components from Lowes. You can Google raindrip and order online if you don't want to go to Lowes.
Those look great! Congratulations on taking that eBucket plunge!
I made a strawberry eBucket, and planted 25 bare root plants over the weekend. I'd totally forgotten they were sent in a sealed plastic bag, and when I opened it, some of the new shoots were getting mushy! Fortunately, most had at least two shoots growing, so I trimmed off the mushy ones. Today, the remaining shoots look like miniature butterflies, and I can see new shoot unfurling within the branches!
I just have one question...
Who invented such a thing as a strawberry pot/bucket? It is #$%(@ to lay those plants down sideways, plug up the holes so the dirt won't fall out, and not break off any sprawling shoots, ALL AT THE SAME TIME!!!!
we've got to invent a better strawberry bucket!!! Or, at least, a better planting method!
latest add 7 2 X 6 X 4 feet ends cut to your own design. Bamboo poles. 2 - 1X 3 with 3/4 inch holes drill every 6 inches to let ends of bamboo poles to slip into for support. Next will be the 1/2 inch pvc pipe to hold the plastic tarp from touching the foliage.. Right now it looks like the e-buckets may be to close to each other and may hamper the fruit from maturing due lack of light. I had orginally thought about making a shelf 2/3 the way up ,but now i realize that would really block the sun. I could go wider with another row of buckets on each side but would be hard to get to the inside fill tubes.
where we stand right now
7 landscape timber @ 1.99 = 14.00
4 PT 2X6X 8 ft. @ 3.00=12.00
2 PT 1X3X 8ft. @ 2.00=4.00
3inch screws 1 lb @ 4.00
3 tubes of liquid nail @2.99 = 9.00
Uh, Ms. Barrister,
Yeah, I do! But, not until mid-February when I put out the tomato seedlings. I'll need to know how to tie the knots for the trellises, so, don't procrastinate too much longer. I'd say you can stall until right up until the New Year, when I'll be sowing the tomato seeds...
I understand pro-cras-ti-na-tion!
P.S. Those strawberries are taking off in that eBerry Bucket! I hope I'm not damaging them by keeping them in the house until a few more sprouts pop out. Then, it's "out you go!" We had morning temps of 30 degrees, but that's the last of the freezing dips for awhile. Good thing is the sun is out and it warms up to the mid-50s during the day.
My bucket garden is staging their "Winter Olympics" right now! The broccoli are taking the gold with no competition, and the cabbages have the most silver medals! The Brussels Sprouts are working hard for the bronze, and the cauliflowers showed up to late to enter the games!
I have some birthday money from my dad. I want to get some paint to cover up the ugly orange (and also serve as camouflage against nosy neighbors/code enforcement since my back yard fence is chainlink and you can see straight through it), and I know I take sandpaper to roughen up the surface of the bucket, but what about the paint?
What type of paint would I use? Don't know if I have the patience to make a pretty design, but if I could, hubby may be more inclined to support my gardening efforts...
oh, okay - thought there was a paint-brush type paint. Was thinking of doing some freehand artsy stuff to it.
I'm kind of backwards - I'm growing many types of plants, but only four or five of each, so I'm only doing two or three e-buckets. I have to wait until it warms up a bit before putting any actual plants in, though - my last attempt at beginning of fall failed miserably.
btw - i see some of you stating that you have 200+ seedlings. WHERE do you put that many seedlings? or do most of you have some awesome plots of land? my back yard is about 60' x 30', but hubby won't let me use entire yard.
SFC - if my hubby wouldn't let me use enough space to grow vegetables, I'd tell him he could only eat 6 months out of the year! I think that would put it in perspective. Fortunately, my hubby enjoys homegrown veggies as much as I do.
Linda your yard looks lovely. I guess I'm enjoying the mild winter, but sort of glad for the respite from worrying about weeds and such. I'm getting ready to go gang-busters with my winter sowing. Yeah, getting ready to get ready. :D
Long time no hear from! Thanks for the compliment!
NEVER in my life would I ever imagine praying for rain and COLD at the same time in Houston! The heat is killing my garden. I've lost several huge broccoli heads to blossoming, but not all was lost - the bees swarmed over them, so I figured it was ok to give them over to support my beneficial wildlife. But, I've still got silver dollar sized cauliflowers that are heading, and cabbages in wee stages. I NEED A DEEP FREEZE in the deep South!
P.S. I hear yah about getting ready to get ready. Went to HD and bought MORE mat'ls to build another grow light shelf stand. I have seventy-five 3" seedlings that need potting up and moving on to the cool room. That's only half of my total. Once they're moved over, I'll sow seeds for the 2nd half of the crops, and then the bell peppers.
I started the New Year with a leak in the plumbing/pipe to the main and couldn't use the water in the house for a week and a half.
Last week I took in another stray (I am the dog lady in the neighborhood and everyone that finds a dog comes to me) and Court decided to keep it. He's a giant puppy, and will be an even bigger dog someday. In the meantime, Court comes home to "help" at lunchtime. ha ha. Some help.
I have some serious organizing to do - I received so many seeds in trade and in the round robin I have to get some kind of system going. I am going to do some winter sowing in milk jugs outside, but I will also start some seeds in my iguana's room where the temp is always above 70 degrees and the humidity is fairly high. She's got an east and a south facing window - it's pretty bright and a friend gave me a small shelving unit that goes almost to the ceiling. If I can keep the lizard (and cats!) off the shelves, it just might work! Until then, I keep getting ready to get ready.
Hope the weather begins to comply with your wishes. I have been wondering if you in TX have been getting any rain to make up the drought?
I can I D another plant G G . D H found a broccoli yesterday about the size of a golf ball . . Don't know how I missed it two days before . Have two plants of B . Will it only make one head or will there be more than one on each plant ?
been awhile since I checked in. Have had to abandon all gardening efforts for a year or so. What a thrill to see the eBucket idea seems to be moving ahead pretty successfully.
Got a chuckle out of the strawberry eBucket comments on planting. Got to admit those were exactly my sentiments when I came up with the design, but felt the results justified the frustration.
I wonder: why not buy either sheet of coco planter liner (or even a coco plant basket liner) cut it into about 3 inch squares to fit inside the eBucket over the holes as you filled the buckets to keep mix from spilling out?
I planted by filling mix to bottom of each row of holes, putting the plant in and filling over the roots as I tried to keep mix from coming out. Took a while; I was not using the liner.
Seems to me if you simply cut a slit in the piece of liner first so you could slip the roots through from the outside then put mix against the liner it would hold everything in place, as the plants become established the liner simply expands to let them grow. Maybe some one can try and see what happens.
Good to see all the activity and the improvements to the system that have been made.
HoneybeeNC - I get white food-grade 5 gallon buckets for the same price at Home Depot. Their orange, cheaper buckets (with logo) are not food grade. You can also ask around for food grade used buckets at local restaurants or factories.
I'm torn about whether to do it again this year. Linda! Help!!!
I was so discouraged by the wilt and whatever happened to my watermelon and my squash that I didn't much care after that. :(
I AM growing vegetables from seed and most are ready to plant out. A neighbor across the street moved in and there are 3 raised beds behind the house left by prior owners. I have helped her to plant one with some basic things using the Sq FT method. Most of the squares on the perimeter were raided by squirrels methinks, but some luck in the center with peas and beans.
There are 2 more beds. She knows nothing about gardening and her idea of weeding is tearing the greens off at soil level. When she went to "weed" the raised beds with me, I told her "no thanks." It took me 2 days to weed the first bed down to the ground to get most of those running weeds out. The beds are each 4' x 8' and not more than about 8" of soil above ground. Anyway.
The 2nd bed is weeded but I am going to put cardboard down and soil on top of that. The 3rd bed I have to cut down with shears first because weeds have gone to seed. UGH.
Anyway - still have the teepee trellis I made last year and have started the trionfono purple pole beans, but nothing else in buckets. Maybe because they were in front of the retaining wall (although at least 5-10 feet most of them) they didn't get enough airflow? I refuse to use chemicals to control pests/disease, so I'm pretty limited.
Thanks for any thoughts, pep talk, or kick in the pants.
Digger, Same as RoundUp, but stronger and cheaper? Give me a link! Probably not liscensed in Ca. , but worth looking. My new neighbors paved their yard, and now I've got their tree roots comming up in my yard. I'm getting to old for all that shovel work!
I don't have a clue how to give links , but if you Google Eliminator weed and grass killer , you should be able to bring up a bunch of sites . You could probably order it online if they don't sell it in Ca . If they let you buy Roundup , I don't know why you couldn't find it at WalMart. That's the only place I've found it . I buy the super concentrate , makes up to 42 Gallons and I mix it 2 1/2 oz to a gal of water in a hose end sprayer . My jug has lost the label so can't give you more info . I'll be going to town tomorrow and will report back . Oh , and it was around 25:00
Roundup's patent run out , so others got on the bandwagon .
G G , I use a hand sprayer to get a good clean edge around my beds and adjust the nozzle to a tiny straight spray . Hold it close to the ground and just control the spray . Gotcha bedroom ready fur ya at the coast this winter .
We have a LOT of honeysuckle here in Ga to control . It takes over everything , worse than kudzu .
You use this stuff just as you would Roundup . Only difference is strength ( So can mix leaner ) and price .I've used it ever since I first saw it right after Roundup's patent run out and only buy it now .
I compared several of R U 's products, and some say super concentrate , but when compared side by side with each other , very missleading
I've not done any gardening since I was a child helping my parents but I've been wanting to grow tomatoes for about 25 years now and decided to try the Ebuckets. I got two 5 gal buckets at home depot and all they had in the paint department were cloudy white translucent type with large black lettering. I should have looked around for a better color but at the moment I decided to get a can of textured spray paint. This paint did not cover well so I found some old tan, and gold left over spray cans to use as primer. It took 2 more cans of the textured to cover them well and I'd probably start with a better color base or just get a better color bucket - see attached picture. I used grey central vac pipe for the watering pipe since I had some and I think it looks a bit better with the thin wall and less obvious color. The colander that I used had to be cut down a lot and was not very strong in the end, so I put about a 4" leftover plastic pot in upside down with holes drilled in it to provide more support - it was just the right height. The colander I used had holes that I think are too big, but we'll see how it goes.
I purchased 2 Bonnie tomato plants in roughly 6" pots and should have looked at the variety, they are Black Prince variety. I wanted some Basil also and also got 2 Bonnie pots. They look crowded, and I'll probably do cherry tomatoes next year since I use more of them. It is very hot here in the North East but you never know when it will snap back much colder. I have no experience and am open to suggestions about growing them.
Thanks for the great ideas and all the info!
There were a few, what I think are Pillbugs (Isopoda?) in the tomato containers when I transplanted them and I'm wondering if I need to worry about them. I read that they like instant mashed potatoes that blow up inside them; should I just sprinkle some on top of the soil or push some down into it? One thing I'm wondering about, I believe that the overflow was intended to be say .5-1" below the top of the colander which should provide some air between the soil and the water; was this the intent to airate the soil? I included a hole in the watering pipe at the air level so that there is a path for more air than just from the overflow tube - a minor detail probably not important, not even sure if this is correct.
I used Fafard potting mix, and the following in each pot:
4 tbsp of garden lime
2 tbsp of Epsom Salt
2 tbsp of Osmocote
I'm not reliable about watering and I have a nice simple faucet timer so I just need a drip kit to set them up.
Thanks everyone. A squirrel took all of the tomatoes, only had 3. I saw him running away with one in his mouth, lol!
I'm also planting blueberry plants but in our front beds. Dug the hole and it happened to rain. I noticed that even with it being about 18" deep it was not draining, not even by the next morning, the level was about the same, give or take an inch, with 6" in the bottom. Then it rained again and now there is about 12" of water in there that has not lowered much in the past 6 hours. Odd that it seemed to me that there was 5" of top soil, then what I would describe as sandy soil; it does not look like clay to me but I'm new at this. Anyway, I was wondering, before I even dug this hole, if there might be a way to make an e-bucket in the natural ground, or if there would be an advantage. It seems that this soil holds water really well and I could just put a collander in the bottom, but I have no control over how much water it gets when it rains so I suppose this would not work very well.
I've been advised to dig much deeper, another 1-2 ft and loosen up the soil so that it drains. I'll post in a better spot concerning this soil. Just wondering about an in ground Ebucket.
The tomato plants are growing strong now, we had an intense heat wave right after I transplanted them and they were not looking very good. I watered them a lot, probably too much. It cooled down and they are really growing now, the stems are probably twice the diameter since just 20 days ago when I transplanted them. They were not flowering and I did a lot of reading about this, then yesterday one is showing several flowers starting the other is not showing any signs of flowers and is not growing as strongly. I've stopped watering and am letting the timer system work which is set up to water about twice a week (skips 2 days). The feed hose fell out of one and I decided to fill it manually, then did the other just to see if it was already full. The drain was plugged on that one; this is the one with flowers and about 20% more growth. Perhaps I put the drain tube too low in the bucket so that there is not enough water, or perhaps it is just the intense heat that we've been having that is making it more favorable for more water.
Try using the Aqua Oasis Garden. Its complete and trouble free..Grow tomatoes, peppers, herbs, flowers. It's proven and patented. Has flushout design. I have had over a hundred plants this last year and plann to get 10 plus years out of the buckets.