Global Buckets

So as the gardening season comes to a halt (I don’t do stuff over winter) I ramp up my efforts on learning and planning.  Many people take this time to plan for next year, flush out ideas, do research and start getting excited for the spring.  In my time online I have found a pretty neat idea, that isn’t new, but the guys that have put these together have flushed out the idea pretty well and I thought I’d share.

Basically this is two 5 gallon buckets, one inside the other, with a tray and a bottom reservoir.  I have seen this in practice at a local community garden: the Johnson & Wales University Community Garden.  When I first heard about this garden, it was described to me as a garden, on a cement slab….  I was pretty curious, how could they be gardening on a slab?  They use these buckets and it’s ingenious!  The best part is that if push comes to shove and they had to move, a few hours with a pickup and they could do it pretty easily.  See their garden below.

I really like this idea because it bring in the potential for using much more spaces, it is flexible and semi-mobile.  The kicker came when I saw a video on how you can use simple atmospheric pressure to auto water the entire group of buckets, weather 1 or 10,000, all without power or any special equipment!  The other thing they did that I hadn’t see was adding black plastic, this allowed them to reduce the water needed by 70% because it prevented evaporation.

How to make a Global Bucket

Automatic Watering System

  1. You might want to peruse Grant and Max’s newest foray at, 1) Grow bags, and 2) Ollas irrigation.

    I’m gonna try both this spring in Minneapolis and am looking around for artisans who can do some low temp fires of custom terracotta pots shaped specifically for a grow bag. I’m hoping it will solve my sudden-death-wilt probem with my watermelons (I think the roots hit the water resevoir and waterlog and die. Anyway, going to try it out, and see if I can get a harvest of Chia and Quinoa this year.


  2. Ryan,
    Brilliant idea! Hope to build a tiny home on wheels one day, and this compact, portable gardening system would be ideal. Will try it out with tomatoes this spring.

Leave a Reply