Trashcan Gardening

7 Crops You Can Grow in Trashcans

"Not everyone has space available for a huge garden, and it can be hard to produce a meaningful amount of food in small containers. With some plants, the trick to a bigger harvest is just a bigger container.

"Trash cans may not a glamours way to garden, but they’ll get the job done in a pinch, and they can be essential for urban survival gardening. There are a number of crops that produce surprisingly well on a deck or patio, provided they have enough space for their roots."

David Trammel's picture

The containers of lettuce and greens are coming up well. I'll have to try a bit of this too.

David Trammel's picture

Here's a couple of photos

I don't think I'm going to plant any greens in the ground this Spring, given how well these are growing. I've already pulled off enough for a large salad this week, by just cutting the few leaves that hung over the sides.

Serinde's picture

I grow all sorts in containers, and it really helps. Almost anything will do as long as it will drain. The article you linked to was interesting, but I do wonder why the author cuts out the eye of the seed potato to plant? In these parts, we plant the entire seed potato -- they're only little anyway -- and it saves time and effort. Two or three to a trashcan, I'd guess, and they'll need significant watering while they're growing, too (which is why they grow so well in Ireland and Scotland, rain regularly falls all summer). One word of caution. If you (in the US) use black plastic trashcans, in the full sun... well, you might cook 'em before you can harvest 'em! ;-)

ClareBroommaker's picture

At first I thought maybe that was written by some one who had never actually planted potatoes. It seemed like she was saying to dispose of the eyes, get rid of them! Then I decided that she really only meant to say to cut up the potatoes, making sure that there is at least one eye in every section.

The commercially available seed potatoes I've seen here are also small and one would just plant the whole thing. If you'd grown a previous crop, you'd probably eat the bigger ones and plant your smaller ones-- so possibly the whole thing. However, if you have plenty of big ones to use for seed potatoes, then of course, you could cut them into chunks to be planted separately. My grandmother grew up on a mostly-potatoes farm and she told me that they cut up big potatoes for planting. I'm sure they would have planted little ones whole.

You are so right about the benefit of light colored containers. I have been known to paint the sides of even terra cotta color containers. Black is not a good idea here in the middle of the continent. Regardless of color, there are some summer days when I'd have to water containers three times. I consider container growing something best done by people who can arrange to be at home at least once in the middle of the day to check on the need for water.

Serinde's picture

Here, the little tatties are simply used for seed. Sometimes farmers are in the business of supplying seed potatoes.I picked and then dressed potatoes one season many years ago, and whenever the machinery broke down, everyone was set to find every potato that had not made it onto the conveyor belt. They were almost more precious than the main crop!

Serinde's picture

So, supper's at yours, then? Looks delicious.

Is that a crafty water pipe in one of the buckets on the right? Good idea! I do that with strawberry barrels (before the palette planters were made).

David Trammel's picture

Yes that's a watering pipe but not like you think. Those are self watering containers I made in this thread:

"Self Watering Containers"

They are a double bucket system with a lower watering chamber. I've got them in 2 gallon and 5 gallon varieties. They get around the problem of high heat and drying soil by having a wick up into the soil. They also save water and prevent over watering. Cheap too, lol.

I added a fill tube to the drawing, that lets me fill from the top. That's the pipe you see sticking up. Here is it from the inside (minus the wicking cup)

Serinde's picture

That is a really useful bit of kit. Thanks!