Bin Gardening

Bin Gardening

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spring Planting in Bins

The seeds are planted and the anticipation is high as we watch the daily changes from seed to sprout to stem with true leaves. I love this “new birth” part of the growing season!


Here are 6 of the 12 bins we plan to assemble this season. The PVC and other plastic pipes have been pre-cut, so it now takes 30 minutes to “build” each one. The nice thing is that we should be able to re-use these (soil included, but with amendments) for four more years.


I have planted cherry tomatoes, Beefsteak tomatoes, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, iceberg lettuce and Romaine lettuce. The most beneficial thing I have noticed using containers in this early part of the season is having no weeds or pests competing with the tender new growth.

Bin gardening for vegetables is our main experiment this year. We still plan to till the garden plot and plant some corn, melons, pumpkins, and whatever else my 12-year-old daughter would like to grow. We have provided her with her own growing space each spring since she was 3 years old. She became hooked when she saw her sunflowers grow taller than all of us, and when she ate her sweet, home-grown corn on the cob for lunch one summer afternoon, and when we used the pumpkins she grew for Halloween one year. What a sense of accomplishment for a child (and for an adult)!

Sunflower Kate aIMG_0339b

Our hope was to instill in our daughter a life-long love of gardening, and an appreciation for the beauty of nature. We are having a wonderful time planting this spring, and she is as excited as we are to try our 2012 “mostly” container gardening experiment.

For instructions on how to create our self-watering planter from an 18-gallon Sterilite bin, please click on the following video:

Wishing you successful planting!



  1. Karen,
    We have SO MANY bins from moving. Do you think that these could be put in the raised prayer garden to look as though they are "underground?"

  2. Ami, I think that would work well, especially if you camouflage the top parts with some taller flowers and foliage. We love using our bins as planters - it sure beats having them take up room in the basement! Best wishes on the prayer garden!