Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bucket Garden Update

I planted some radishes on the back half of the top of the bucket (I'm told they grow really fast). So far I have Lettuce, Swiss Chard, and one Radish that have sprouted. I added a plastic grocery sack over the bucket and the seed pods, I think this helped to maintain temperature over night (since the bucket is next to a window). As a result the seeds are doing better. I spray the pods and the top of the bucket each day with a water bottle to keep them moist but not soaked.

I recently purchased "All New Square Foot Gardening" by Mel Bartholomew and have started reading it. I found out I planted the seeds too close together on the top of the bucket, so I will have to transfer some of the plants to the side pockets of the bucket as they get larger.

I highly recommend this book. Mel was an engineer by trade and failed miserably with his first garden, so he decided to use his engineering skills to simplify gardening and make it more efficient. Chapter 1 goes over all the wasted materials and space that most "single row" gardens have and how he figured out how to cut them out of squarefoot gardening to make it simple and streamlined.

I will probably build two of these squarefoot garden boxes in my back yard this year after the snow melts. I am also considering a green house for growing lettuce and spinach next winter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bucket Garden

Here is an experiment I am trying. I found several videos on-line about these bucket/barrel gardens. The concept is to maximize your growing area by going vertical.  A 5 Gallon bucket is the equivalent of 25 "row feet" of garden space (or 25 plants). A 55 gallon drum is the equivalent of 100 "row feet" of garden space. Because it is vertical it takes up less space, but your yields are the same.

This one gallon bucket let me add one row of pockets around the side using a hairdryer and some wood shims. I planted carrots on the front half of the top, and I am estimating I can get three more plants on the top with another 7 in the pockets around the site. So roughly 10 "row feet" of space. I started some tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and Swiss chard in the pods. I will transfer them to the bucket after they sprout.