Feb 22, 2011

Self Watering 5 Gallon Bucket Grow Tomatoes and Peppers

We plan to expand our Garden to double maybe even triple it's current size.  That requires a lot of planning!  You'll see lots of frequent posts this week on Gardening as I've set aside the entire week just to plan and dream of our garden this year.  So all you gardeners keep checking back!

Our main problem with expanding our garden is that our back yard is nearly all shaded.  That cuts our 1/10 acre to like half that.  So the plan is to test out plants in parts of our backyard that might still be able to grow shade vegetables, and to expand with planters into our paved parking area in the back that gets adequate sun.

I plan on using 5 gallon or larger plastic self watering containers on our black asphalt covered parking spot that does get sun and building a build as you grow potato bin (more on this in my next post), to make use of this precious sun real estate.  We also are thinking about putting rasied beds around our patio to create a mini wall, but want to see first if shade tolerant veggies will grow there first.  We plan to test this out using buckets this year, and then build them late in the season or next year if it works out well.

We have not tried using gallon containers to grow in so this is new to us.  Apparently, according to a post I read on a forum you can grow anything that won't grow past 3 times the container height.  Lots of people grow peppers, tomatoes, basil, and lettuce in them.  I've found some cool videos and links on creating self watering containers out of 5 gallon buckets.  Where should I get my buckets from?  Someone in a forum said they get there's from a local Burger King.  Should I ask around town or just get a 5 pack from Home Depot?  If anyone else has tried this I'd love to hear how it worked for you.

Here's a link to a posting on how to build a self watering container from Root Simple.
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2 comments:

  1. I like your video; to the point. Anyway, I live in Gainesville, FL and it gets real hot here also but we have lots of humidity and in AZ it is a dry heat.
    My question, should I water my veggies early in the morning before I go to work so the tomatoes won't split? I really need to know this and you do use Miracle Gro for all veggies in containers? I am very new to this, Thanks a bunch, Jean

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    1. Thanks for the complement Jean but it's actually not our video the first one was done by Root Simple http://www.rootsimple.com/ who actually authored a book I'd recommend reading "Urban Homestead". I would suggest watering your plants in the mourning as early as you can and make sure to water them very deeply. As for potting mix, as long as you are using potting mix that has rich nutrients you should be fine, just do not use garden soil as it will compact. I make my own with compost and peat moss. Also I would suggest using the largest container you can find since you'll have to water smaller containers more, and also place it somewhere you'll walk by often so you won't forget to water. Hope this helps! Let me know if you ever have any more questions Jean.

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