Joe Jenne


low effort bucket-gardening

(all credit belongs here)

The idea is to create a reservoir of water in the bottom half of a bucket which will be wicked up by potting mix. This is achieved using a smaller perforated container inside the bucket, and a PVC pipe adds water to the bottom level.

The finished result is captured in this detailed diagram:

A diagram showing the layers in the bucket


For each planter you'll need:

Additionally, you'll need:


  1. Cut an end of the PVC pipe at a 45 degree angle so it won't sit flush
  2. Place the perforated inner container upside down at the bottom of the larger bucket, and slot the PVC pipe in next to it (angle end down)
  3. Drill an overflow hole in the side of the large bucket two inches below where the top of the inner bucket will be
  4. Fill the bucket with perlite until the inner container is just covered
  5. Add potting mix to cover the inner reservoir by another two inches, and moisten it with water
  6. Layer half a cup of the 5-5-5 non water-soluable fertilizer
  7. Fill the rest of the bucket with potting mix, and water it thoroughly (the mix needs to be moist to start wicking)
  8. Plant plants
  9. Pour a mix of 1tsp of high N fertiliser per 4L of water into the PVC pipe until it flows out the drain hole