WHAT IS A SELF WATERING GROW BUCKET?
A self-watering grow bucket is a standard 5 gallon plastic bucket/pail that has been converted into a growing container for vegetables and/or flowers. Our system forms a one gallon water reservoir in the bottom three inches of the bucket. We took the old, labor intensive two bucket design and improved it. Our grow bucket converter plate is a one piece plastic inject molded part. The converter plate has no assembly or loose parts. It has four legs that hold the soil support plate three inches above the bottom of the bucket, which forms the water reservoir. The four, molded-in place, hollow support legs also form the water wicking part of the design. This design is indestructible in normal use and is guaranteed for life.
Some history might be in order here. Growing containers have been in use for many years. In modern times with all of the containers available, there have been countless types converted to grow containers. With the world wide use of the plastic 5 gallon buckets, it was inevitable that they would also be used as growing containers. The first bucket growing containers that we came into contact with was in 2002 on a Florida herb farm. They were using the two nesting bucket system, one bucket setting inside the other. The top bucket was the dirt bucket with 1/8” drain holes and a 1 ¼” hole in the center for the water wick. The wick was a rolled-up terry cloth wash cloth. The bottom bucket was the water bucket. It held about 3” of water with some holes drilled in the side at the bottom edge of the upper bucket.
We made our first 50 grow buckets using the two bucket design. We went through several design improvements over the years until we arrived to the present design. It is unique and flawlessly efficient enough that we are in the process of having it patented. The patent has been applied for and filed.
To say we have tested these grow buckets would be an understatement. We will have over two thousand buckets in production in the growing season of 2015. We have twelve grow lines, each one hundred and fifty feet long. Seven of the lines have buckets on both sides. Five of the lines are single bucket lines with 4” x 4” wire fencing that reach four feet tall above them for climbing vine plants such as cucumbers, peas, and beans. We pick both sides of the wire, which is very convenient. Five of the double grow lines are one hundred and fifty feet long that consist of only tomatoes. This totals to one thousand five hundred feet of 5 gallon buckets. We have two double grow lines dedicated to six hundred feet of squash. We sell this produce at the local farmers markets and to a local grocery store chain.
This could be your garden!
We are in the process of writing two small booklets on these 5 gallon grow buckets. We are collecting information and photos now. One will be 5 gallon gardening and the other will be 5 gallon commercial farming.
The bottom line: we have constructed an easy, convenient growing system that will allow anyone to be able to grow a conventional garden in a 5 gallon bucket. This can be measured by the plant or by the square foot of space used. Think about it for a few seconds. Where or how often in Mother Nature’s earth do you find growing soil with the perfect pH level and the perfect amount of nitrogen, phosphate and potash? When you mix your three and half gallons of soil for your grow bucket you can get the correct mix the first time every time. Think about trying to amend your entire garden, if you have one, to an optimum condition. If you could afford to do that then think about the perfect environment you will be making for weeds and grass between the plants and in the rows. Do you enjoy fighting weeds and grass? We have been there and done that and did not like it. And you never win the battle.