Growing wholesome, healthy vegetables in a container are a way of life these days. Here are some easy and less expensive tips for creating that bucket garden.
- In a large container or on a plastic mat on the ground, mix garden soil and compost in a 2:1 ratio. Two scoops of soil and one of compost, add the recommended quantity of slow release fertilizer from product label
- Drill 6 to 8- ½ inch holes in the bottom of the 5-gallon buckets. Make sure that the buckets did not contain toxic materials!
- Line the bottom of the bucket with gravel. You may substitute broken pottery or sticks that are broken in short links
- Fill the bucket to within 3 inches of the top of the container
- Place container in sunny spot that will allow drainage
- Plant chosen vegetable with two seeds in center of the container
- Water well and keep moist but not wet
- Place plant support around seeds
- Nutrients. Basic needs in plants are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K). These are listed on all fertilizers as a ratio, example – 8-8-8 contains 8% Nitrogen, 8% Phosphorus, and 8% Potassium and the remaining 76% is a filler. Soils contain many more trace minerals and they are listed on the fertilizer label including directions for use and amounts
- Sunshine or artificial sources of light (grow lights).
- Water. Soil must be kept moist but not wet. Wet soils will create root-rot and encourage fungus. Measure moisture by pinching the soil to see that the soil is moist but never wet. Adding water as needed; plants in hot areas will need much more water than plants in cool spots. Wilted plants need more water!
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Plants absorb CO2 and give off Oxygen making them VERY important to human and all animal life.
- Proper Temperatures. Plants will die when it is either too hot or too cold. Make sure that if your plants are outside and the temperature goes below freezing, the plants must be protected or brought inside.
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