newb ebucket questions

Murphysboro, IL(Zone 6b)

Hi all:

I just started wading through the giant ebucket threads, which are very informative, but I haven't yet found discussion yet on details of the potting mixes.

I have on hand a bale of peat, a few bags of vermiculite, and a few bags of composted manure. Can I use some ratio of these ingredients to fill a couple of ebuckets?

Also, what dept. in walmart does one find the empty 5 gal buckets?

Murphysboro, IL(Zone 6b)

Okay I made myself 4 ebuckets today. I improvised on the potting mix: about 1.5x peat, 1x vermiculite, 1x composted manure -- this is close to "mel's mix" which I've used in raised beds, so hopefully it will work for this also.

I put tomatoes in two, and am trying to decide what to do with the other two.

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

Good Morning, ssipes!

How're your eBuckets doing today?

Which construction plan did you go with? Did you use an inverted colander for the water reservoir?

I think you did ok with your container mix. I had good success using a modified mix that Tapla came up with for my eBuckets. It's a very budget-friendly mix of pine bark fines (PBFs), peat and perlite. I played around with his original 5:1:1 mix, and settled on a 4:2:1 ratio for my eBuckets. The pine bark fines work very similarly to the Miracle Grow Potting Mix, but allow for much better drainage. The peat holds the water, and the perlite creates little air pockets in the mix, so the plant roots get great aeration.

At the high point of my container garden experience, I had 60 homemade eBuckets going at once. Couldn't afford that many large bags of straight MG potting mix to fill them all. So, I used a modified version of Tapla's container mix formula.

A half-yard of pine bark fines (double grind pine, without a lot of shreddy or chunky, woody pieces that don't snap easily in your fingers...) cost me $18. I used 4 parts of the PBFs, cut in 2 parts of MG potting mix, and one part of the perlite. The PBFs saved me a WHOLE lotta money filling all those eBuckets.

For my fall/winter veggies that are HUNGRY HIPPOS (requiring lots of organic medium, and lots of water, LOL), I further refined my mix to something like 4 parts PBFs, 1 part MG potting mix, 1 part perlite, and 1 part Composted Manure. This kept them happy!

Here're some pics to show what you can do with an eBucket.

Hope this helps.

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Westbrook, CT(Zone 6a)

Nice start!
Don't put off providing supports for the tomatoes. They grow fast!

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

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