GRN Reports

There are dozens of elaborate and simple ways to grow food in small spaces. You can create a raised bed in a custom-built box; garden vertically on a trellis or fence, go with hydroponics in hanging containers, or simply set out veggies in clay pots.

Here’s one method that’s ambitious, but inexpensive and easy to set up. We like that it saves on water by setting up a closed irrigation system. (That sounds harder than it is.)

It starts with “Alaska grow buckets,” which are then connected to a self-regulating¬† water system, essentially a water barrel that uses gravity to keep water in the bottom of the buckets. The plants are planted in the top portion and wick up the water, not unlike how hugelkulur works, but on a smaller scale. Evaporation is kept to a minimum.

This makes it possible to grow many plants, in a greenhouse, on a rooftop or a patio or sunlight porch. And that can be immensely helpful in dry, hot Central Texas.

Oddly, this idea from Alaska is suited to Austin. And it holds appeal for serious home gardeners who want a maximum yield, but with controlled watering.

Those who are looking for frugal ideas — and who isn’t? — also will like the Alaska grow buckets, which are inexpensive to make. A bucket, a mesh shopping bag, a colander and some irrigation hose is all you need.

This idea comes to us from Wasilla, AK, a small town that we’ve all heard of, but it can be adapted to almost any place.

Find out more at the Alaska Grow Buckets website. There’s a free download (with a donation option) for full instructions.