How to Grow Organic Vegetables in Buckets


Living better can start with what and how you eat. Growing and eating organic has become more popular as people find that this lifestyle is not only more fulfilling, but healthier for people and the planet. It can also save money and allow you to grow vegetable varieties you can't find in the store. Those who don't have the luxury of land and ample space might ask how they can possibly grow anything organic of their own. It is possible however, with a little effort and a container as simple as a bucket.

Step 1

Pick and prepare the type of buckets you wish to use to grow your vegetables. Simple plastic buckets work fine, or you may find a more stylish metal bucket with an interesting handle for example. Whatever material it is made from, make sure that there is no longer any residue left inside from whatever the bucket originally contained.

Step 2

Make drainage holes in the bottom of the bucket if it doesn't already have one. This can be done with a drill or in some instances with a sharp knife, by creating three cuts to make a triangle, and then popping the shape out.

Step 3

Choose vegetables that are well-suited for confined spaces. Tomatoes, chili peppers, potatoes, herbs and even small apple trees and blueberry bushes can be grown in buckets or pots. Make sure that the seeds or young plants you procure are labeled as organic.

Step 4

Fill the bucket with topsoil, organic compost, and a soil conditioner such as leafmold. This is a generic mix, so depending on the type of vegetable you are growing it may need a slightly different composition. Refer to your local nursery for what your particular vegetables prefer.

Step 5

Plant the seeds at least 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost is due for plants such as tomatoes. Bring outside once the plants have grown several leaves and show their first cluster of flowers. For plants like tomatoes, you will need to add supports and tie the plants to them as they grow. You can also purchase young plants that have already been started from seed and have been growing for 6 to 8 weeks, if you wish to skip the seed-sowing step.

Step 6

Stand the bucket on the two bricks, ensuring the bricks don't cover the drainage hole. This helps to get the bucket off the ground so that it may drain better.

Step 7

Water regularly and do not let the plants dry out. Full sun requires about two full watering cans per day, so partial sun is best if your plants will tolerate that. Adding vermiculite or perlite to the compost will help to retain moisture. Do not allow the plants to become waterlogged, either.

Things You'll Need

  • Seeds or Plants
  • Potting soil
  • 2 bricks
  • Knife


  • "A Slice of Organic Life"; Sheherazade Goldsmith; 2007
  • "Grow Organic"; Doug Oster & Jessica Walliser; 2007
Keywords: grow organic vegetables, vegetables in buckets, organic container gardening, vegetables in containers

About this Author

Naomi Judd, CIG, has been a writer for six years and been published in Tidal Echoes, Centripetal, The Capital City Weekly and She has a self-designed Bachelor of Arts degree in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is currently earning an Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from University of Southern Maine.