Is It Safe to Grow Vegetables in 5 Gallon Buckets?

Dec 16th 2021

5 gallon buckets made in the USA are awesome containers that have many uses—such as growing vegetables.

Yes, it is possible to grow vegetables in a 5 gallon bucket! 5 gallon buckets are terrific for growing vegetables and herbs of many kinds. Not only do the buckets hold the perfect amount of soil for roots to thrive, but they also take up minimal room, so they don’t crowd a patio or deck.

One 5 gallon bucket can be home to one vegetable plant or two, or three small herbs. Before you go off to start building your bucket garden, let’s go over some common questions about bucket gardening for beginners.

Is it Safe to Grow Vegetables in 5 Gallon Buckets?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to grow vegetables in a food-grade 5 gallon bucket! Just make sure that the bucket you choose is food-grade and hasn’t stored any questionable materials, such as paint, chemicals, tar, asphalt, or pesticides or herbicides. ePackageSupply’s buckets are all food-grade and perfect for growing vegetables in.

Is it safe to grow vegetables in 5 gallon buckets?

How Many Vegetables Can I Grow in a 5 gallon Bucket?

After choosing the buckets that are suitable for gardening, you’ll need to select the vegetable varieties you want to plant.

For 5 gallon bucket gardening, seek out smaller-saturated vegetable varieties. Growing tomatoes in buckets can be a great place to start—such as small patio tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. You can also grow a variety of herbs in a 5 gallon bucket, such as basil or dill.

Here are a few of the best vegetables to grow in buckets:

  • Eggplants
  • Tomatoes
  • Winter squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatillos
  • Ground cherries
  • Pole beans
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Chard
  • Lettuce or other greens

There are many herbs that also grow well in 5 gallon buckets, such as:

  • Basel
  • Parsely
  • Thyme
  • Dill
  • Sage

When it comes to planting vegetables in a bucket, you’ll want to refer to the spacing each seed needs to grow properly. This is usually written on the back of the seed package. For instance, some vegetables, like a tomato plant, need 12” to fully grow. This means that there should only be one tomato plant per five gallon bucket.

However, herbs can be planted closer together. For example, basil seeds are typically planted 4-8” apart from one another. This means that several basil plants can be planted within the same 5 gallon bucket.

How Big Will a Plant Grow in a 5 Gallon Bucket?

Although 5 gallon bucket dimensions can differ slightly, a standard 5 gallon bucket is 14” high and has a 12” diameter. These dimensions allow for plenty of room for deep, wide roots. Although it’s difficult to determine exactly how big your plant will grow, it’s safe to say that you can produce a strong plant that reaps lots of produce when growing them in a 5 gallon bucket.

How Many Bags of Potting Soil Do I Need for a 5 Gallon Bucket?

The number of bags of potting soil you’ll need to fill a 5 gallon bucket can vary depending on the type of soil you are using, how big the bag of soil is that you’re buying, and how much you are filling up the 5 gallon bucket.

However, here is a rule of thumb: For each two cubic foot bag of soil, you can roughly fill three 5 gallon buckets.

How Often Do You Water Plants in a 5 Gallon Bucket?

When gardening in containers rather than in a traditional garden bed, you’ll need to water your plants more often. Most vegetables planted in a 5 gallon bucket garden will benefit from water daily or every other day. It’s important to keep the soil saturated and moist so that as the roots grow deeper, they can continue to soak up water.

Start Your Garden with Food-Grade Buckets from

As a veteran-owned business located in Evansville, Indiana, values hard work, determination, and customer service excellence. We’re proud to be one of the most trusted and successful sources for quality, food-grade packages and storage products online.

Review an assortment of buckets and lids, including food grade 5 gallon buckets, to find the best fit for your gardening needs. Have questions? Reach out to us today