Easy Simple Garden

20 Apr

I love having fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the garden.  The only downside is I move around a lot, usually once a year, depending where I work.  I have lived mostly at apartments, studio apartments on the back of someones property, or renting a room at a house with other friends.

Because of these issues I haven’t been able to grow a good garden for some years now.  I decided this year to have no excuses.  Why not make my garden portable just in case you move, or your landlord doesn’t want you to plant a garden in their yard. I came up this idea/experiment.  I will update this post at Harvest Time.


  • Utility Knife
  • Pen, Drill
  • 1/2″ Drill Bit


  • Buckets
  • Contact Paper
  • Stencils
  • Spray Paint for Plastic
  • Soil
  • Newspaper
  • Plants/Seeds

Five Easy Steps to create your own:

1.  Find Buckets.

I came up with this idea as a Green Environmental way of gardening.  The buckets I used were left over from some house painting I did for work.  They are Sherwin Williams Paint buckets that I removed all the paint & labels and washed with a small amount of bleach, them soap and water.  The other buckets I had left over from some other projects, they are Home Depot buckets that cost like $2.50ea.  I could have used the growing pots that are sold at the gardening centers at a cost of $8ea and up, or I could just make my own, and Go Green by using the buckets over instead of throwing them away.

2.  Decorate Buckets.

I didn’t want the buckets to look plain, so I decided to decorate them a little bit to make them more fun to look at. I went and bought some 2″ stencils, some contact paper, and some spray paint made to go onto plastic. I then cut the contact paper to cover one full side of the bucket.

Stencil on Contact

Second, I traced the stencil outlines onto the bucket for the letters.  Then I freehand drew onto the contact paper pictures to go along with the fruit/veg.  I used my utility knife I already had, and cut out the letters and the pictures.

Paint on Contact

I then sprayed the colors of paint I wanted onto the buckets.  I used green and red paint colors.  I also used the bucket color underneath to add a third color such as in the cucumber, strawberry and tomato.

Contact Removed

Contact Removed

3.  Drill Drain Holes add Newspaper.

Once the paint had dried, I flipped the buckets over and drilled (3) 1/2″ holes with my cordless drill and drill bit.  This way the water is able to empty out the bottom if I overfill them or the rain water is too much.

Next I flipped the bucket back over and added a small piece of newspaper to the bottom of the bucket to keep the soil from dumping out the bottom when I fill the bucket with soil.  This will eventually decompose and by then the soil will be set enough to stay in the bucket.

4.  Soil.

There aren’t too many soils that you can purchase at the Home Depot that say it’s made for potting soil for vegetables.  So I made my own by mixing together 4 different bags of soil to come  up with my own concoction.  I mixed potting soil, miracle grow for vegetables, topsoil, and a potting soil with manure compost blend.  I poured them into equal amounts into my wheel barrow and fixed them up. I then filled the buckets up by hand to the desired height.

5.  Plant and seed.

Next, I planted the plants into the labeled corresponding bucket.  The corn & cantaloupe I am growing from seed so be careful to put the seeds into the correct bucket.  It’s an easy mistake to do by placing the wrong seeds in the wrong bucket. I made that mistake by placing the corn in the cantaloupe bucket, but I was able to find them and place them in the correct bucket.

Finally the plants and seeds were planted.  I added water and made sure they were placed in a location with enough sunlight.  In this warm heat, I have been watering them daily and check on them for bugs. I use an Insecticidal Soap that on the label it says for Organic Gardening, and can be used up to the day of harvest.

This may be a great way for you to Go Green & Grow Organic fruits and vegetables, but can also be used as a learning tool.  I learned to garden in my backyard with my mom growing up.  Since most of us may not have a home with a yard, you can use buckets.  What a great way to make gardening fun, than to share it with the next generation.

You still have time to complete this project for this growing season. Start this project this weekend!!

Other gardening bucket ideas may include;

  • Having the children design their own bucket with the vegetable they like the most.
  • Use permanent markers instead of spray paint.
  • Make it a fun family project that gets the kids involved and you all can enjoy the benefits come harvest time

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