Cucumbers, Zucchini and Yellow Squash in 5 gallon buckets

richard_in_alabama(7)June 7, 2009

I'm getting kind of old to till, plant and weed my old 50'x75' garden and have at least 40 old 5 gallon buckets laying around. I've played around with tomatoes in containers using these buckets and the same 5' welded wire cages I used in the traditional garden with prety good luck. I'd like to grow cucumbers,zucchini and yellow squash in the buckets. I think the old 5' tomato cages will work well for the cucumbers but I don't know how the zucchini and squash will do or how to grow it vertically. Has anyone tried caging zucchini and yellow squash in 5 gallon buckets? If so, what varieties would you recommend for these?

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Hey Richard, Go for it...You can try this link:

Also check your "5 gallon" pails, sometimes they appear to be 5 when they're actually 7!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 8:05PM
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vegomatic(z5 BHSD)

I haven't grown these in buckets, but I have grown them vertically by tying them up with string, supported by the rafters in my greenhouse. As the plant grew, I trained it around the string. As side shoots took off, I had to support them separately as needed.

If you have the space, you could just let them dangle and hang down over the bucket sides.

Either way, the stems are fragile, the biggest problem I had was keeping them from being pinched or flattened by their own weight from hanging over a narrow edge such as a cage wire or not using enough strings to hold it up evenly. Strips of rags are wider and don't cut into the stem as much. Short pieces of foam water pipe insulation can make a hard, narrow bucket lip softer and more forgiving.

Stems sometimes split lengthwise, but as long as moisture was still able to get through the plant did ok.

I actually had a pumpkin plant circle the entire greenhouse along the ceiling. I supported the fruit in an old t-shirt.

I saw a good idea for supporting cukes and squash plants. They had a sloping screened frame for the plant to lay on. Not much need to tie the plant, gravity held it in place, plus it kept the plant elevated for easier maintaining and picking.

Maybe modify that idea a bit. Get an old window screen and put a bucket with plant under each corner of the screen. Don't cover the bucket with the screen, just use a corner of it to hold the screen up. You could probably wire everything together so it's sturdy enough. Train the plants to lay on top of the screen. You may need to beef up the screen with mesh or wood strips to help support large plants.

Or, place one or two buckets under one end of a screen, tilt the screen back and attach the upper edge of it to a shed wall, a sawhorse, or whatever is handy and strong enough to hold.


Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 7, 2009 at 8:35PM
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