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What Vegetables Can You Grow in a 5 Gallon Bucket?

What Vegetables Can You Plant in 5 Gallon Buckets?

If you have limited space to dedicate to a garden or are considering trying your hand at container gardening then growing vegetables in 5 gallon buckets may be the perfect way to start your gardening experience.

So today we are taking a look at the best vegetables you can grow in 5 gallon buckets.

Five gallon buckets have many benefits you may not have considered, including the ability to provide room for good soil depth and the fact that they are portable allowing you to move your growing plants to different locations

Thus making these buckets perfect for growing vegetables in colder climates where you can move the buckets from the outside to the inside.

They are also great for growing vegetables that need vastly different soil conditions because you can provide the best growing medium for each plant you want to grow.

What vegetables can you grow in a 5 gallon bucket

Where to Get 5 Gallon Buckets for Free

If you are looking to save money on your gardening project you can actually get 5 gallon buckets free.

Restaurants, bakeries and other establishments often get products in this size buckets and then dispose of them.

In most cases, if you ask, these places will allow you to pick up these buckets for free, allowing you to save money on the cost of growing containers.

13 Vegetables You Can Grow in 5 Gallon Buckets

#1. Sweet and/or Chili Peppers


Growing peppers in a 5-gallon bucket allows you to grow these vegetables indoors or out. These plants are shallow rooted so you won’t want to plant them too deep.

For the larger varieties of peppers, you only want to plant one plant per bucket. If you choose to grow one of the dwarf varieties you can plant up to 3 plants per bucket.

You can also add to the spiciness of your food by planting garlic, chives, or scallions around the edge of the bucket, allowing you to make the most of your space.

#2. Eggplant


Eggplants are healthy vegetables that can be used in a variety of different dishes. As long as they are watered and fed well during the summer months they are fairly easy to grow.

When planting full size eggplants you need to plant one per 5-gallon bucket. If you plant the dwarf varieties you can grow these plants upside down, allowing you to hang the buckets, which is great for those of you who have very limited space.

#3. Zucchini


Zucchini is a great summer vegetable that is extremely versatile. It can even be used to make zucchini noodles, a low calorie substitute for egg noodles.

You will need to use lots of water and fertilizer to get the best results when growing zucchini in 5 gallon buckets.

#4. Leafy Vegetables

Leafy Vegetables

Leafy vegetables like different varieties of lettuce and kale can be grown in 5 gallon buckets. Lettuce is the best choice for those who are new to container gardening.

You simply sprinkle the seeds ½ to 1 inch apart over the surface of your growing medium. You can thin out the lettuce as needed.

#5. Broccoli, #6. Cauliflower and #7. Kohlrabi

Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Kohlrabi are great fall or winter vegetables that are easily grown in a 5 gallon bucket.

When growing broccoli or cauliflower you can only grow 1 plant per bucket.

Since Kohlrabi is smaller you can grow several plants in one bucket.

The great thing about growing these plants in a bucket is that if you are growing them outdoors you can move them under the shade when temperatures rise.

#8. Cucumbers


Cucumbers are a vegetable that grows on a vine, so they will need some support while the vines are growing.

When growing cucumbers in buckets, it is best to choose the bush varieties where the vines only reach a height of 2 or 3 feet. You can plant 2 plants per 5-gallon bucket.

#9. Onions


Onions are a staple in almost every home and are used to add flavor and texture to a wide variety of dishes. If you are thinking of growing onions in 5 gallon buckets, bunching onions, green onions, or chives are the best onions to grow in a 5-gallon bucket.

#10. Carrots


Carrots are another staple in most homes and can be used in everything from salads, to soups and even desserts.

Growing carrots in 5 gallon buckets is relatively easy because carrots have low nutritional needs, but they do need a lot of sunlight.

The height of a 5-gallon bucket makes these containers perfect for the roots of this vegetable.

#11. Potatoes


You can grow both regular and sweet potatoes in a container and although you can only plant one plant per 5 gallon bucket, one plant can yield up to 10 potatoes so it won’t take many buckets to harvest a good crop.

You only need to fill your bucket a 3rd full of potting material, then place your seed potatoes with the eyes up and cover with another 3 inches of nutrient rich solid.

(You may also want to read this article on growing sweet potatoes in 5 gallon buckets).

#12. Peas


Peas are easy to grow in a bucket. Simply anchor a twiggy stick in the middle of the bucket and then plant your pea seeds 2 inches apart around the base of the stick.

#13. Tomatoes


Although technically a fruit, tomatoes are often considered a vegetable and they grow well in a bucket.

You can grow tomatoes in a bucket upside down hanging from a fence or hook on a pole to save room on your patio or lawn.

Along with tomatoes, you can also grow other fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries in 5 gallon buckets.

Related: How Many Tomato Plants Per 5 Gallon Container?

Growing Vegetables in 5 Gallon Buckets

Once you have the number of clean 5 gallon buckets you need to grow your plants you will need to make drainage holes in the bottom and along the bottom sides of the bucket.

A drill with a ½ inch bit works well. Put 4 or 5 holes in the bottom of the bucket and 4 holes evenly spaced along the bottom sides.

Once you have drilled the holes add gravel, bark nuggets or other drainage material to the bottom of the bucket. Bark nuggets are lighter weight, making it easy to move the buckets.

Once you have placed your drainage material in the bucket you then need to fill the bucket with the right growing soil for the vegetables you are planting.

Some plants will need more sandy soil, others will need more acid soil. So be sure to use the right soil.

And make sure you have the right support for those plants that will need support as they grow.

If you are new to container gardening, then you can get a book on container gardening to give you the information you will need.


Growing a few of your favorite vegetables in 5 gallon buckets is a rewarding and tasty experience that can save you money while providing you with a relaxing hobby.

Vegetables you can grow in 5 gallon buckets

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