Archive for May, 2010

Frugal Gardening – Additional helpful Info for eBucket fans

Sadly, due to contract a dispute between owners of the forum on which this information was first posted and the new owners of his previous gardening forum, he has been ordered to cease and desist use of his  site effective May 28, 2010. This information should be shared so I am re-posting my information here.




Easy to follow instructions for CONSTRUCTING an eBucket. You need 4 items: a bucket, a colander, a length of pipe for a filler tube, and a drinking straw. That’s it!!…

A step by step pictorial instructions for planting a 24″ conversion planter (Sam’s Club/Costo brand, or any other large planter).


This discusses the construction of a large box type system but I think some of the ideas can be very well adopted to the our eBucket, especially good is the tomato support system.

From Sheila in Algonquin, IL
places to get Five Gallon BucketsColanders for very cheap or even FREE.
1) Garage Sales (colanders)
2) Good Will, Salvation Army or other thrift stores (mostly colanders or small containers)
3) Dairy Queen or other Ice Cream stores –
They use plain white 5-gallon buckets for things like their Strawberry Toppings. We’ve gotten them over the years for anywhere from Free to 50-cents each.


This article is a step by step set of instructions for PLANTING your eBucket.…


Gymgirl’s suggestions for FERTILIZING your eBucket.

If detailed discussion of this sort of thing rocks your boat, you will love these threads 



These articles discuss all aspects from container, soil content,fertilizer needs to plant population. I find eBuckets can out perform these study results, using less potting mix, and greater plant population.

Disclaimer:   Where reference is made to a business, I am not associated with  nor am I being compensated in any way by the companies.

Frugal Gardening – the story of the eBucket



Stroll Through My Piece of Paradise

It is such a pleasure to be able to rise, fix a cup of coffee and wonder through my own little garden of Eden, in my PJs if I want to!   I may not have material wealth; but what I do have is priceless.

Here is my typical day.

For years I had to get up  around 4:30 am to  start my day.  It’s already been  almost 5 years that the necessity no longer is there; yet the habit persist.  Now I go to the computer and work for awhile til daybreak.

Bully Boy, the rooster, announces  the day is about to begin.

I can gallivant all night and not worry about consequences

Tigger, my big  orange use to- be- tom cat, howls from the porch outside my room , that he wants in.  Why has he been gallivanting all night?  At least I can be sure no Mama cat with a yellow brood will show up on my steps demanding upkeep, legitimately.  No way! No how!

It is 6 AM.   I wait for it to start.  Linda and Ms  Vicki are about to begin their day.  Ms Vicki, our little orange 6 month old Pomeranian is  being (not too successfully) potty trained.   Here’s the routine:

(Just before Linda’s alarm goes off), a piercing “YIP! YIP! followed by two or

three mournful whining sounds, then YIP!, YIP!

That translated:  “MOMMY! MOMMY!  i gott’a pee, hurry pleaaase, open this cage, MOMMY! MOMMY!”

MOMMY! MOMMY! Pleeeaase hurry!

When the door is opened Ms Vicki races madly around the house, all sense of bathroom urgency gone.

Linda coaches:  “Pee pee on the paper for Mommy.  Good girl.”    MS  VICKI, BAD GIRL !!  YOU KNOW YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO USE THE PAPER TO POOPSY, BAD GIRL!

Ms Vicki looks up at her with that  cute little pom grin and watery brown eyes, bouncing around as if to ask, “Don’t you think I am cute, Mommy, I go to the same spot every morning.  (Bouncy, Bouncy)  Can I have a treat, huh? huh?


YIP! YIP! YIP!   (Translated:  Yeah! Yeah!  CEEZE!)

Both of  them go about their business, now that the ritual is completed.  I sit, listen and grin…………aw, the blessings of well run home!

A multitude of winged creatures chirp and sing as the dawn breaks.

Stepping onto the kitchen steps, I spray myself with mosquito repellent look at the fish, pick up my bottle of Sevin spray to use against landlubber grasshopper hatchlings; I wonder around the yard, inspecting plants, birdhouses,

What a peaceful sight to begin a new day!

chickens;  all the while sipping my coffee before I set the cup down, and promptly forget what I did with it.

Here’s what I see:

That is part of the beauty of being able to do what I want, when I want, and be responsible just to me ( and my patient, understanding, loving wife.   She has learned to tolerate the new me.)

Go Ahead Grandpa, You Can Chuckle

Grandpa was a one-mule dirt farmer

He grew an acre of corn and was allotted two acres to grow cotton. His garden was enormous, with rows that seemed to go on forever, when I was sentenced to hoe them.

Plants growing in pots were strictly a diversion for the women and their flowers.   No self-respecting man put plants in a pot (so named because  usually  discarded chamber pots were used (my theory).

Now, three generations later, a friend and I are actually admitting we use containers (can not find chamber pots anymore) to plant, of all things, vegetables in!!

(Huh! Huh! Huh!)

(Grandpa did not actually laugh, at such foolishness,  he just made low kind of “huh! huh! huh!”; you could see his belly bounce under his overalls).

“The young fools grow’d up on a farm and they didn’t learn a darn thing.”

(Huh! Huh! Huh!)

Container gardening has become the rage for “want’a be farmers,” willing to dole out cash for seeds, containers, dirt and cow or chicken poop.

Oh, we spend our money for bags of potting mix and organic compost; we feel less foolish than admitting we pay for dirt and poop!

And the containers, oh my! some people will dole out $20 for a couple of planters, then,  still have to buy the dirt and poop (I mean potting mix and compost)!


Well, back in April a couple of “foolish” ex-farm hands decided to  come into the 21st century.

Growing  vegetables  in containers

Shoot, THEY claim you can make tomatoes grow upside down!

Grandpa, stop laughing and look’a here!! Time has come to show you, all ain’t lost!

The other guy had the intestinal fortitude to admit he paid $19.95 for his two up-side down container bags  (now mind you, he did get two tomato slicers, and 2 cookbooks with them, I think).  Still had to buy dirt and poop ( I mean, soil mix and compost)!


(Between you and me, that sounds like the country boy trying to impress the city girl with his new suit!)

.I threw together two old pots with some duct tape, used a piece of chain to fashion my upside down container.     My friend  actually had the nerve to say the thought his was prettier.   I made the local newspaper for my efforts.

Well, worn out overalls never did look as good as a new polyester suit did it?   Me, I am too old and cheap to be trying to impress anybody.

 you can grow vegetable in containers

Poor guy has had to protect his  plants from storms, raccoon,  ( he claims  bears, too!)

I live in town,  storms are my main concern, haven’t even had to worry about bugs!!

Okay, I admit,  I bought  the soil mix  ( would call it dirt if it was free)

I got beat in the “I got my first tomato in the upside down container contest”;  I am looking forward to a later harvest.   My plant has big tomatoes and is full of bloom.

Tomatoes growing tall in a box!

Put together another container. Just a storage container with a false bottom  supporting soil mix over a reservoir of water.

Look at what these two plants did !

These two plants are 10 feet tall. Yes I am getting tomatoes.   So far, over three pounds!

Here’s the latest harvest, with a squash that also grew in a pot, Grandpa!

From plants in pots, Grandpa, would you believe?

Gardening has changed, Grandpa

Do not have to hoe long rows in the hot sun. Don’t even have to plow the ground anymore.

Why, I even have corn ready to tassel. You would belly laugh at this. It is in a container! Tall, healthy and green, looks like most of the stalks will have two ears.

Who would have dreamed the difference 50 years would make!

You may have laughed and called us fools who “never learned nothing”; but you see we did learn:  to love the land and our heritage.

We can not connect to the land as you did but we can try.

Using our “pots” we again work alongside you, dirt in our hands, a precious memory in our heart.


 first published 6/25/2009  using the title “Grandpa Would Have Laughed And Called Us Fools” (Original blog no longer available)