Buckets can be an inexpensive and versatile way to garden. Vegetables, flowers and herbs can all be grown in buckets. Space-saving and portable, you can move them when your plants need more sun or to shelter them from a frost. Buckets are also an excellent option for the home gardener who does not have outdoor growing space, like an apartment dweller with a balcony or someone who rents a room in a house.
Clean out the bucket. Do not use chemicals such as bleach to clean it, as this can harm any plants you grow in it.
Turn the bucket over and drill holes in the bottom, or use a hammer and nail to tap holes into the plastic. This allows water to drain properly from the bucket's soil and prevents problems like root rot from developing.
Line the bottom of the bucket with pebbles or rocks. This helps stabilize it if you live in a windy area. Skip this step if you want to leave the bucket light enough to carry easily.
Fill the bucket with potting soil. Choose soil that is nutrient-rich and has added peat moss, which helps it to drain.
Add your seeds or young plants, then water thoroughly. A layer of mulch on top helps retain moisture and stifle weed growth. If you are growing vegetables, place your bucket where it can receive full sunlight. Other plants will vary in their sunlight requirements.