Recently, I drove to Ely, Minnesota, to visit with my friend Virginia and see what she and her husband have done to take container gardening to new heights. Literally! As their land is basically ledge rock with no topsoil, they developed a garden made up of five-gallon buckets resting on platforms off of their high deck. The bottom of each bucket has a hole cut in it to hold a tomato or squash plant and the top is planted with such crops as lettuce, cabbage, carrots, or peppers.



They get an amazing harvest from these buckets and I am impressed with their creativity. It sure made the visit outstanding for me, as well as having a chance to talk to such nice folks! — Jackie


  1. gen,

    Yes, the tomatoes are planted through holes cut in the bottom of the buckets and held in place with coffee filters stapled around the plant until the roots grow strong enough to hold them in place. Pretty creative and cheaper than manufactured upside down planters on the market. Sturdier too!

  2. After seeing these pictures, apartment dwellers on the upper floors should take notice, I think. My question is, does your friend plant their tomatoes upside down in the bucket, as a once tv info add sold their product, making room for other plants to be planted on the topside of the buckets? I couldn’t really tell from looking at the photos, and am I ever jealous of that beautiful head of cabbage. YUM!

  3. That is beautiful and Amazing Virginia! It adds beauty to your home with all the colors coming from those pots. This proves that anyone can grow their
    own veggies and fruit no matter where they live. Thanks for sharing your article and photos with us Jackie.

  4. Instead of growing flowers this year I used every planter in my yard to grow herbs and strawberries in. It was a big sucess, I got all the herbs I could handle and a lot of berries. I’m planning on doing it again next year, maybe even adding more planters!

  5. Their plants look so healthy. I, too, am impressed with their creativity. So often people tell me that they can’t have a garden because they don’t have enough yard. Your friends prove otherwise.

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