Need advice for growing veggies in 5 gal. buckets.

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My plants were beautiful at first, then as the time went by they were not bright green and beautiful. Cucumbers tasted bitter and birds were eating my tomatoes, I even had an owl and pie pans around the plants.

  6 answers
  • Karla Karla on Mar 09, 2018
    Make friends with your local feed and garden store; ours name is Steve. I go to him with everything, if I cannot bring in clippings for some reason, I just explain it to him. He has never been wrong and I probably went to him a good 20 times last year (newly sodded yard, new vegetable and flower gardens). He has actually become our developments friend, after word got out why our gardens and yard looked so good. We even know his schedule so we only go when he is there. Good luck on this.
  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Mar 09, 2018
    Plants in pots outside need to be fertilized often. You did not mention how often you fertilized. Although I prefer natural ways, Good ol Miracle Grow is very good for this purpose. Leaves will fade color when they are lacking nutrients. Were they getting adequate sun as well?
    • Chris Chris on Mar 09, 2018
      I gave them Miracle Grow every 2 wks and they had full sun all day long.
      I put holes in the bottom of the buckets for drainage.
  • Ann Ann on Mar 09, 2018
    For tomatoes in the bucket you need good drainage, but consistent watering. Not soggy, but not too dry in between waterings. The soil should not be too heavy - I mix some of my compost in to it. I put a banana skin in the bottom of the hole for potassium. Carefully break off some of the bottom leaves and plant 1/3 of the plant. This will help to develop more and healthy roots. I crush clean egg shells over the top of the soil to discourage slugs and give the plant calcium. I raised cherry tomatoes and the plant got 8 feet high. I have seen suggestions to keep the plant top trimmed to get more tomatoes and less greenery - I plan to try that this year. And of course you do need at least 6 hrs of full sun. Personally I only had luck with pickling cucumbers in a pot. they were cute and tasty.
  • Chris Chris on Mar 09, 2018
    I put holes in the bottom of the buckets and watered them every other day.
    They had sun basically from 9 to 5, weather permitting.
  • Lisa S. Lisa S. on Mar 10, 2018
    Not sure then why they failed. Did you have drainage material in the bottom of the pot, in addition to several holes? I would put Styrofoam, broken up into little pieces (stone size) since it does not add additional weight to the buckets. The holes may have to be on the bottom, but on the side as well, since the weight of the pot, kid of prevents material form draining. I had this in a big wood barrel I used for a time. I had to drill through the sides, as it was not draining thru the bottom.