Home & Design: Landscape

DIY Container Garden

By Jenn Neubauer - June 2, 2021

Reduce, Reuse and recycle is every gardener’s mantra. We look for ways to be more sustainable while being creative and crafty. This year I wanted to experiment with container gardening. Containers allow you to grow in smaller spaces or to easily expand the square footage of your garden to produce more vegetables. I came across an amazing company that developed an insert that converts any standard 5 gallon bucket into a portable self-watering container garden. You can grow almost any type of vegetable, fruit, small tree or decorative plant in a GroBucket. I was able to find some unused buckets we had around the house to create my new self-watering garden extension. I highly recommend these buckets to new gardeners and seasoned gardeners alike. They are efficient and so easy to assemble. We can’t wait to see how these buckets produce more veggies and can’t wait to re-use them year after year. 

Gather your Supplies

  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • The GroBucket Insert From Gro Tech Gardens www.grotechgarden.com/grobucket-2/
  • Drill With A Drill Bit That Will Create A Hole Approximately The Size Of A Pencil
  • Organic Potting Soil
  • A Seedling Of Your Choosing

Step 1
Find a used 5 Gallon Bucket. Using a tape measure, measure from the bottom up 3.5 inches and make a mark on your bucket. 

Drill your hole into your bucket. This will be your drainage or overflow hole where excess water will drain out.

Step 2
Connect all the pieces to your GroBucket insert and place it at the bottom of your bucket. Make sure you line the opening on the insert to face the drainage hole. This insert will essentially seal the bucket to create a water reservoir. Once inserted fill your bucket up half of the way with an Organic Potting Soil. Plant your favorite vegetables or flowers inside, for me it is tomatoes. Fill the bucket the remainder of the way with soil until it reaches the top.

Step 3
Your new GroBucket is complete! You will water your plants through the pipe allowing it to filter down into the water reservoir. The plant will dig its roots deep into the soil to wick up the water from the bottom. The remaining water will be contained in the bottom chamber to sustain a self-watering growing condition. You can monitor your water level with the float stick included that will indicate your water level. An incredible vessel to grow your plants just about anywhere!


Jennifer Neubauer can be found in her East End garden year round. She documents her journey on her urban homestead with tips and education through her Instagram feed. Jenn works privately as a Garden Coach mentoring her clients by guiding and supporting them to create and manage edible and pollinator friendly gardens. You can contact her and journey alongside of her through her Instagram feed @hookandgarden

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