I started an indoor bucket garden 18 months ago, and I thought I would share my findings.
Overall I believe the bucket garden idea works, but it does take some patience and knowledge. I successfully grew several tomato plants in containers indoors, and have been harvesting the same green onions for over a year. Tomatoes and green onions can be grown in perpetuity. Here is a brief summary:
Indoor gardening is tough, especially in winter. I lost many of my plants on the shady side of the bucket, I think a narrow planter on a window sill would be more effective than trying to add pockets around the back side of the bucket. A taller bucket positioned with better sunlight would also probably have done better. I found overwatering to be a problem with containers six inches deep. My one foot deep container (left)was less prone to over watering and I was able to plant my green onions around the perimeter to help control water usage. So, long story short, taller bucket and don't add pockets to the shady side of the bucket unless you plan on rotating your bucket a quarter turn every few days.
You do have to pollenate your tomatoes if grown indoors. This can be done by gently shaking or flicking the flower buds. I only got 1 tomato from three separate plants by flicking. Shaking or paintbrush might be a better way to pollenate, it could also be the species of tomato that was at fault. After your tomato plant has born fruit, cut a large (12 inches seemed ideal) section off the top of the plant and remove the lower part from the soil. Stick the clipping back in the soil and water it well for several days, and the tomato will grow new roots and keep going resulting in a perpetual tomato!
By far the easiest plant we grew! Green onions will grow perpetually as long as you leave enough of the white bulb intact. In other words if you only harvest the green part of the onion it will continue to grow as long as you water it properly. We started with onions from the store and just stuck the white parts in the container after using the green part in a meal and within the day we saw growth starting on the onions. Over the 18 months we have been harvesting the same onions, we have lost two plants out of seven. The best pattern we developed for harvesting was to harvest one or two plants at a time, so that by the time we go to the last two onions the first were just about ready to harvest again. We could harvest each onion once every three to four weeks.
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