Innovative Gardening: Growing Onions and Garlic with a Bucket and PVC Pipe System

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Gardening can be a rewarding and sustainable way to produce your own fresh vegetables at home. Onions and garlic are kitchen staples known for their versatility and health benefits. With the right method, you can easily grow these flavorful bulbs in a small space, making them an ideal addition to your home garden. In this article, we will explore a unique method of growing onions and garlic in a bucket with a PVC pipe system. This method allows you to maximize your harvest in a compact space, making it perfect for urban and small-space gardening.

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. A large, sturdy bucket (at least 5 gallons)
  2. Approximately 100 small onion bulbs (sets)
  3. A PVC pipe (1-2 inches in diameter) and a PVC end cap
  4. A drill with a 1-inch hole saw attachment
  5. Compost or potting mix
  6. Garlic cloves
  7. Watering can or hose

The Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Prepare the Bucket: Start by choosing a large, food-grade bucket. Clean the bucket thoroughly before starting. If it doesn’t have drainage holes, drill a few in the bottom to prevent waterlogging.
  2. Drill Holes in the Bucket: Using the 1-inch hole saw attachment, drill holes around the sides of the bucket. Space the holes about 1 inch apart, ensuring that you have enough holes for all your onion sets. These holes will serve as the planting spots for the onion bulbs.
  3. Insert PVC Pipe: In the center of the bucket, drill a hole large enough to fit your PVC pipe. Push the PVC pipe through this hole, ensuring that it’s stable and secure. Attach an end cap to the top of the pipe.
  4. Plant the Onion Sets: Gently insert one onion set into each hole on the sides of the bucket, pushing them down until they are snug but not buried too deeply. The 1-inch spacing between the holes ensures that each onion has enough room to grow.
  5. Fill the Bucket with Compost: Add compost or potting mix into the bucket, filling it up until it covers the onion bulbs. Ensure that the onions are completely covered with soil, leaving just a tiny bit of the tops exposed.
  6. Plant Garlic on Top: In the center of the bucket, plant your garlic cloves on top of the compost. You can plant multiple cloves close together. The garlic will grow upwards, while the onions develop below.
  7. Watering System: The PVC pipe in the middle of the bucket serves as a watering system. To water your onions, pour water down the PVC pipe, and it will distribute moisture directly to the roots of the onions. Be sure to water regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  8. Maintenance: Place the bucket in a sunny spot, as onions and garlic thrive in full sun. Keep an eye on the moisture level and water when needed. Once the onions and garlic begin to grow, you can provide some light fertilizer to encourage healthy growth.
  9. Harvesting: Onions are typically ready to harvest when their green tops start to wither and turn yellow or brown. Garlic is usually ready to harvest when the tops have dried out and become brown. Carefully dig out the bulbs from the compost, being mindful not to damage them.


This innovative gardening method using a bucket with drilled holes and a PVC pipe system makes growing onions and garlic easy and space-efficient. It’s a great solution for those with limited garden space or for anyone looking to maximize their yield from a small area. With proper care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of fresh, homegrown onions and garlic, enhancing your culinary endeavors and connecting you with the joys of gardening.

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