The Gardening Bucket List
Boise--Master gardener Heather Glass of Boise, never met a bargain she didn't like.
When buckets were handed out free at a local greenhouse, she hauled them off and started a gardening method that emphasizes less to get more.
“I started the bucket system six years ago because when I was at Edwards I saw all of these 5-gallon pots in the ‘free’ pile so naturally, I had to make use of something free!”
Glass constantly adapts her lush hillside garden to the changing climate, soil conditions and bugs. One of her strictest rules is to use just enough water, never wasting drop.
“I thought, hey, I could cut out the bottom of the buckets, bury them, put my plants in them so the water would go only in the area of the bucket.”
Glass found this new bucket system had its advantages. It cut down on weeds, cut her water bill and best of all; saves time.
“First of all,” she says, “I can water 90 tomato plants in 20 minutes because I have a drip line going to each bucket. It takes far less water than my soaker hoses.”
Another advantage is that Glass can dump all of the household compost, bone meal and different types of fertilizer right in the buckets instead of spreading expensive fertilizer where there are no plants.
“It’s a nice way to contain different needed nutrients for different types of plants. Another feature with the buckets is that water only goes down into the bucket and the rest of the garden remains dry and I'm not fighting weeds all summer,” said Glass.
“They are easy to hand water because I just fill up the bucket with water and know all of that water is directly going to the plant instead of dribbling off somewhere else,” added Glass.
Sprinklers and row irrigation are things of the past for Glass as she can hand water 50 plants in under ten minutes.
“It helps with weeds because when I hula hoe, I can just bang into the buckets and don’t have to worry about hitting the plants protected by the bucket edge,” said Glass.
Aside from the bucket system, Glass’s gardening success comes from what she puts in the buckets to help her plants grow. I’ve found that Zamzows ‘Thrive’ and ‘Therm-a-grow’ to be excellent soil amendments and fertilizers and they’re both certified “organic.”