Things You'll Need
1/2-inch drill bit
Well-draining potting soil
You can create a low-cost patio garden by growing cucumbers in a 5-gallon bucket. The process requires few supplies and works as well as using more expensive containers sold at garden supply stores. You can purchase a new bucket from a home supply store or recycle one used for food storage, although you want to avoid using buckets that previously contained chemicals to prevent passing toxic residue to the cucumbers you are consuming. This technique also works well for other vegetable plants, including peppers, squash and tomatoes.
Wash the 5-gallon bucket with soap and water to remove all dirt and residue. Rinse the bucket well and let it air-dry.
Drill six to eight half-inch-diameter drainage holes through the bottom of the bucket to prevent water pooling around the roots. Space the holes evenly for best results with drainage.
Fill the bucket two inches from the top with a well-draining vegetable potting soil available at garden supply stores.
Mix a slow-release vegetable fertilizer into the soil to provide nutrients throughout the growing season. A second option for fertilizer is to apply a 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer to the soil every other week from planting to harvest.
Dig a 4-inch-deep hole in the center of the bucket. Remove the cucumber seedling from the growing container and set the root ball into the hole so the first set of leaves is just above the soil level.
Place the bucket in an area that receives full sun. Set the bucket on two bricks or wood blocks to keep the bottom elevated for proper drainage.
Soak the soil with water until it flows out the bottom drainage holes. Apply water to the soil, instead of pouring it over the plant. Monitor the soil moisture and provide supplemental water three or four times a week to keep it evenly moist. Container growing environments dry out quickly during periods of no rain.
Harvest the cucumbers once they reach a mature length to stimulate new blossom and cucumber growth. Read the information listed on the seedling package or seed packet to determine the approximate mature length of the variety planted.
Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.