Plant a Sensational Salad Bucket

Sheena Adams shows how to create a sensational salad garden in a plastic bucket.

1. Prepare the bucket

2. Start planting!

3. Now, hang it up!

Those large plastic buckets are always piling up and most of us recycle them as mop buckets, garbage cans, water catchers and whatnot. A new way is to turn your buckets into hanging baskets for edibles. Any bucket will do, round or square, as long as it has a sturdy handle and is at least 30 cm by 30 cm (12 in. by 12 in.). When newly planted, it may not be beautiful, but the container will be camouflaged as soon as the plants fill in and grow over the edges.


• 1 bucket with a handle, at least 30 x 30 cm (12 x 12 in.) • 11/2-in. drill bit or press, gloves and eye protection • 32-L bag of sterilized hanging-basket mix • 1 cup (250 mL) organic granular all-purpose fertilizer • 6 vegetable plants in 4-inch containers (use your favourites or my suggestions: 1 tumbler tomato, 1 lemon cucumber, 1 salad bush cucumber, 1 bunch chives, 1 hot pepper ‘Purple Jalapeno’,and 1 zucchini ‘Gold Rush’.) • 1 package nasturtium seeds • 6 bareroot ever-bearing strawberries Step 1. WASH the bucket and prepare to drill one hole in the centre of the bottom for drainage. Drill five more holes evenly spaced around the sides of the bucket. Step 2. FILL the bucket up to the drilled holes with soil mix. Sprinkle in organic fertilizer and hand blend. Gently, from the inside of the bucket, insert five of the vegetables (all except the tomato), head first through the hole, just so the stem is through and the rootball rests on the soil in the bucket. TOP UP the soil level to 5 cm (2 in.) below the top of the bucket. Plant the tomato in the centre. SPRINKLE the nasturtium seed over the soil and tuck the strawberries in around the tomato. Water well. Step 3. HANG in a sunny spot. Rotate the basket every two weeks to allow even sunlight. Apply an organic 4-2-3 fertilizer weekly, and remember to water as needed. Within a few weeks the plants will settle in and fill out, the nasturtium seeds will germinate and spill over, covering the container, and by late summer you will be enjoying a beautiful harvest of fresh vegetables, edible flowers and strawberries. VARIATIONS Herb Delight: trailing rosemary, chives, creeping thyme, golden oregano, parsley, with lavender on top. Tea Time: lemon balm, peppermint, chocolate mint, orange savory, lemon thyme, chamomile, with strawberries on top. Italian Pleasures: eggplant ‘Dusky’, green basil, parsley, trailing rosemary, purple basil, with a Roma tomato and chives on top. Photographs: Terry Guscott