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Home gardening tips: 17 Veggies you can grow in buckets

If you live in a small home or apartment, you don’t need to give up your dreams of having your own garden or growing our own vegetables. You can start your journey to self-sufficiency by growing nutritious vegetables in a bucket garden. Here I have some awesome tips to do just that! Growing your veggies using bucket or pots are an awesome way to get started. 🙂

Tips for starting a bucket garden

Once you get your food-grade buckets, prepare them for planting. Drill or punch a few holes in the bottom of the bucket. One hole about every three inches should do it.

Leave about two inches of loose gravel in the bottom of the bucket for better drainage. Then fill the buckets with a high-quality potting soil mix that includes peat moss and compost. Leave enough room for the plants themselves.

Plant either seeds or starter plants in five-gallon buckets. Water your crops well and check for the soil’s moisture level for further watering. Container plants usually need daily watering during summer because they can dry out rapidly.

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Here are 17 of the best vegetables to grow in five-gallon buckets:

Beans

Both pole beans and bush beans will grow well in buckets.

Pole beans, which are tall, vining beans, need trellis or pole supports for the vines inserted into the bucket before you sow the seeds to prevent damage.

Bush beans, which leaf out, not up, don’t require support. Try growing three plants per bucket.

Beetroot

Beetroots adapt well to buckets. Sow some seeds every couple of weeks from spring through early July for a continuous harvest.

Carrots

Standard carrots need a deeper container other than a bucket, but some short varieties will thrive in containers. Sow seeds at least two to three inches apart and keep the bucket in a sunny location.

Chilies

Chili plants thrive in warm and sunny areas, but they can adapt to a bucket kept in a sheltered spot that receives direct sunlight. Keep buckets indoors if there is any chance of frost.

Cucumbers

Bush-type cucumbers can be grown in five-gallon buckets full of a light, rich blend of compost, peat moss, or coconut coir and perlite. Water well.

Add a trellis or a tomato cage to help the cucumber plant grow up, not out. Water cucumbers thoroughly.

Green onions

Green onions, also called spring onions or salad onions, don’t need deep soil, making them perfect for bucket gardening. Sow onions half an inch deep into a bucket every few weeks from early spring through fall if you want a season-long supply.

Keep green onions watered in hot, dry weather.

Herbs

Kitchen herbs like mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme will thrive in a five-gallon bucket. You can let one plant spread and grow in one bucket.

Keep basil and coriander on your kitchen windowsill.

Lettuce

Most types of lettuce will grow very well in a five-gallon bucket. Plant as many as four heads per bucket.

Melons

Melons need space to grow so it’s best to plant only one melon plant per five-gallon bucket. Select dwarf bush varieties that will grow well in containers.

Okra

A single okra plant can grow well in a five-gallon bucket. Use well-drained soil and add holes in the buckets to make sure water is adequately draining as the plant grows.

Onions

Regular onions can be grown in buckets, but they need at least three inches of open soil around them to develop properly. Leave two to three onions per bucket.

Leave the bucket where it will receive plenty of light and fertilize regularly.

Peppers

Sweet peppers like Bell-Boy, Gypsy and Sweet Chocolate and hot pepper varieties such as Cubanelle, Jalapeno and Red Cherry grow best in buckets. Grow one plant per bucket.

Potatoes

Potatoes can grow in buckets because they need depth, not space.

Radishes

Plant at least 10 radish plants per five-gallon bucket. Sow the seeds about one inch deep and an inch apart. You can harvest the radishes after over a month. Re-sow for a continuous supply of radishes.

Swiss chard

Sow Swiss chard seeds an inch deep and thin out the seedlings as needed. Harvest regularly and cut away the outer leaves first.

Tomatoes

Cherry or bush tomatoes grow well in containers. Tomato plants require even watering.

Tomatoes are very susceptible to frost. Fertilize with high-potash fertilizer designed for tomatoes for better yield.

Support the plants with stakes or a cage as they grow. Water thoroughly but don’t leave puddles because the tomatoes will crack and split.

Zucchini

Zucchini plants need space to grow so choose compact zucchini varieties such as Eight Ball, Geode, Jackpot hybrid, or Raven.

Use food-grade buckets to grow vegetables in your own garden even if you don’t have a lot of space at home.

For more Home gardening tips Check out these awesome tips and tricks to start planning on how to grow your own garden with what you have.

How to grow lettuce in small spaces

Growing plants in a container is an awesome way for many people living in apartments or who have limited gradening spaces. It is also a good way to grow vegetation, as the containers can be brought indoors during the colder weather and left outdoors during spring.

Lettuce, a cool-season crop, develops best in cool but not chilling temperatures. Growing plants in containers also allows you to control weeds and pests more easily than in large gardening spaces. Not to mention, it affords you quick access to leaves for your salads.

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Choose the right container

Lettuce requires the right type of containers to plant them in. They need ample room for roots, but you can also grow several varieties in six to 12-inch pots. Lettuce can be grown in plastic or terra cotta planter pots, but you have plenty of other choices because they don’t require more than four inches of soil to anchor and thrive.

You can even grow lettuce in plastic gallon bottles that have openings on the sides. Buckets, large coffee cans without their lids, hanging baskets, boxes or even large plastic cups are all on the table. A four- to six-inch container can hold up to three lettuce plants.

Lettuce needs a consistent supply of moisture due to their water content, but it is important to note that they cannot tolerate wet roots, either.

Clay pots provide a permeable surface that allows excess water to evaporate. It also prevents soggy roots. Just make sure that there are adequate drainage holes in the type of container that you choose.

Use professional soil mix

Use professional soil mix for planting lettuce in containers. This mix is formulated to hold water and provide more nutrients for your vegetation. This mix is usually peat or compost soil, and has either vermiculite or perlite to help with water retention.

Depending on the size of your container, choose a lettuce mix labeled “cut and come again.” These offer repeat harvests. Other varieties that are good for small spaces include Black Seeded Simpson and the red or green oak leaf types. Moreover, loose-leaf lettuces are better suited for pots than head lettuce.

Growing lettuce in a container also needs attention and management. Planting lettuce in garden containers can be done by direct sowing or transplants. Once you have your soil ready, fill up your container almost to the top, leaving at least an inch of space for watering. Leave more at the top if you plan to mulch.

Transplanting lettuce heads

Before transplanting your lettuce heads, add half a tablespoon of time-release fertilizer per gallon of soil. Transplants should be buried a quarter of an inch deeper than they would be in garden soil and set six to 12 inches apart. Seeds can be sown when soils are not frozen at half an inch deep and four to 12 inches apart.

When growing lettuce in containers, always remember to water them. Lettuce has shallow roots and responds best to consistent shallow watering. Plants that are grown in the garden need at least an inch of water per week, but lettuce in pots needs a bit more.

Use a hydroponic system

You can also plant your lettuce using a hydroponic system. Start by using a storage bin that is at least 18 by 24 inches in size and holds up to 10 gallons of water or more. Mark eight evenly-spaced drill points on the lid and use a two-inch hole saw to drill holes in them. Add water until it is just one inch below the lid.

Mix the lettuce formula with two warm cups of water. Use a Masterblend Lettuce formula and Magnesium sulfate in the first cup and add calcium nitrate in the second cup. Follow the instructions on the packets for the best ratio. Stir until the chemicals fully dissolve. Add the mixes into the bin and stir.

Plant your seeds in a coco coir and place them over the holes of the container. Place outside or under grow lights. You should have lettuce in four to five weeks.

When harvesting, cut the outside leaves of loose lettuce when they are young. The leaves will then grow back and you can cut away the entire plant. Remember to cut them when they are tender as they are quick to “mature” and tend to become bitter.

Check out Gardening for more tips on planting in small spaces.

Nutritious and simple to make bread recipes

homemade bread is quite easy to make, even for beginners. But if you’re somewhat of a bread expert, you can always try recipes that require a bit of skill and technical know-how. So fire up the oven and try the following homemade bread recipes.

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No-Knead Bread

No-knead bread is not only convenient but also requires very few ingredients and equipment. It is also a perfect recipe for people with little to no experience baking. The preparation of the dough itself takes no more than five minutes.

Ingredients:

6 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups warm water
1 cup hot water
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, combine warm water, flour, yeast and salt until the mixture is sticky.
Let the dough rest in a warm area (near the stove or a preheated oven) until it doubles in size.
Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of four hours. You can also keep it refrigerated for several days.
Take out the dough and mold it on a floured surface according to the desired shape.
Let the dough rest. It should continue to expand. As it rises, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the dough is ready, make even horizontal or diagonal cuts across the surface. Transfer it onto a pizza stone or a cast-iron pan.
Place the stone or pan atop a broiler pan to create steam as the dough bakes. Steam keeps the bread crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
Bake the dough for 40–45 minutes or until golden brown.

Seeded flatbread

Flatbread is a type of unleavened bread that only requires flour, water and salt to make. It is extremely versatile, as it can be served alongside meat, chicken, salads or dips. Plus, you can also introduce flavor and crunch to the classic flatbread by adding various seeds.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, mustard, coriander)
2 scallions, sliced
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the seeds and scallions.
Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir the mixture until a dough forms and you can shape it into a ball.
Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Set the dough on a floured surface and divide it into four. Use a rolling pin to flatten out each piece until it is 1/8–1/4 of an inch thick.
In a cast-iron pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add a piece of dough. Cook for about three minutes. Flip and cook the other side for three minutes more.
Repeat the process for each piece of dough.
Transfer the flatbreads onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt to taste.

Potato peel focaccia

This recipe introduces a clever twist to the classic Italian focaccia by using potato peels.

Ingredients:

1 cup potato peels
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter

Preparation:

Boil the potato peels for 20–30 minutes or until tender.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast.
Blend the peels and the remaining cooking water into a puree.
Pour the puree into the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms. Cover the bowl using plastic wrap or a large enough lid. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours.
Use olive oil to grease two large pie pans. Separate the dough into two equal pieces and knead each piece into a ball. Let the dough balls rest until each piece has filled its pan.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and drizzle the dough balls with olive oil. Sprinkle salt to taste.
Bake the dough balls for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the pans and let it cool.

There is nothing quite like slicing into a piping hot loaf of bread to start the day. After all, bread is not only one of the most versatile sources of wholesome calories but also a powerhouse food. Fortunately, homemade bread is not only easy to make but also ridiculously delicious. It is also extremely versatile, as it can be paired with practically any dish, jam or spread.

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Benefits of red cabbage, a versatile veggie (recipes included)

Red cabbage is an eye-catching and nutritious vegetable. You might have already tried it if you’ve eaten coleslaw or borscht before.

If you want to boost your heart or gut health, try adding red cabbage to your regular diet.

The nutritional profile of red cabbage

Red cabbage, sometimes called purple cabbage, belongs to the Brassica oleracea plant species and is related to other superfoods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale.

Unlike other vegetables in the Brassica family, red cabbage is purple. Its unique color is responsible for its many unique benefits. Anthocyanins provide red cabbage with its unique color, and these compounds are powerful antioxidants that offer several benefits.

When eaten raw, red cabbage is crunchy with a slightly peppery taste. Cooked red cabbage is softer and has a sweeter flavor.

Red cabbage is a nutrient-dense superfood. A serving of red cabbage (89 grams) contains the following nutrients:

  • Carbohydrates – 2 percent of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Fiber – 7 percent of the DV
  • Vitamin C – 85 percent of the DV
  • Vitamin K – 42 percent of the DV
  • Vitamin A – 20 percent of the DV
  • Manganese – 11 percent of the DV
  • Vitamin B6 – 9 percent of the DV
  • Potassium – 6 percent of the DV

Red cabbage: A superfood for your heart and digestive health

Red cabbage contains anthocyanin antioxidants that may help reduce levels of systemic inflammation and protect against some chronic diseases.

Cruciferous vegetables are also rich in compounds called indoles which are linked to improved liver health and detoxification.

Here are six of the amazing benefits of eating red cabbage:

They are full of beneficial plant compounds: 

Data suggests that antioxidants and other phytochemicals offer several benefits and can help prevent disease. Red cabbage may also help prevent cell damage and promote overall health.

Compared to green cabbage, red cabbage contains more of the following antioxidants with different benefits:

  • Anthocyanins and flavonoids, which help lower blood pressure.
  • Carotenoids, which converts to vitamin A, helps boost your eye health.
  • Kaempferol, which helps reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol) accumulation in the arteries.
  • Vitamin C, which is essential for a stronger immune system.
  • Vitamin K, which is crucial for stronger bones.

Data has also found that sulforaphane, another plant compound found in red cabbage, is associated with heart-health benefits and an ability to prevent certain cancers.

Some studies have shown that red cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are some of the best dietary sources of indole, which can help improve gut health and detoxify the liver.

Red cabbage can help reduce inflammation

Low-grade chronic inflammation is linked to several health problems such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Type 2 diabetes.

Experts note that red cabbage can help fight inflammation because of its incredible nutritional profile. According to a test-tube study using an artificial human gut model, red cabbage helped lower markers of gut inflammation by as much as 40 percent.

Red cabbage can help boost heart health

Red cabbage can help improve heart health in several ways:

Red cabbage contains over 36 types of anthocyanins. These compounds can help reduce blood pressure and reduce heart disease risk factors. According to data from observational studies, diets high in anthocyanins may help lower the risk of heart attacks by at least 32 percent.

Kaempferol, another plant compound in red cabbage, can help oxidize bad LDL cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis.

Red cabbage can boost your gut health

Red cabbage can improve your gut health because it is a good source of dietary fiber that is needed for digestion. Fiber also feeds “good” gut bacteria and promotes regular bowel movements.

Studies also suggest that red cabbage can potentially help lower gut inflammation through its ability to promote the growth of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). Higher levels of SCFAs are linked to better liver health.

Red cabbage can boost your liver health

Red cabbage is a great source of dietary indole, and the superfood may have a role in improving your liver health. Studies show that having higher levels of indole is linked to a reduced risk of liver disease.

Findings also suggest that indole can help treat and repair liver damage by lowering the level of toxins in the liver and limiting their effects. Experts believe that this benefit is linked to indole and its role in promoting beneficial SCFAs)in the intestine.

Red cabbage can boost bone health and reduce osteoporosis risk

Nutrients like vitamin C and K, calcium and manganese are all essential for your bone health. They are important for bone growth and they help protect your bone cells from damage.

Nutritious and tasty red cabbage recipes

Red cabbage is a versatile veggie. You can eat it raw in refreshing salads, make dumplings with it or ferment it. Red cabbage can be used to make coleslaw or soups. You can also try these tasty recipes that use nutritious red cabbage.

Red cabbage with pears and mulled port

This recipe pairs red cabbage with a mulled port that gives your dish a beautiful red hue.

Prepare the cabbage ahead and have it chilled or frozen. When you’re ready to cook, reheat the red cabbage in the pan.

Ingredients for 8 servings:

  • 1 Large red cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 Large onion, sliced
  • 4 Pears, diced
  • 200 ml Port
  • 2 Tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 Star anise
  • 1 Large cinnamon stick
  • 1 Pinch ground cloves

Preparation:

  1. Set the pears aside and place the rest of the ingredients in a large pan and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook the ingredients on low heat for one hour.
  2. Stir in the pears, then cover and cook for another hour until the cabbage is tender. Add water if the cabbage seems dry.
  3. If there is still liquid left in the pan after one hour of cooking, turn the heat up until it evaporates.
  4. Season the cabbage with a little salt before serving.

Red cabbage winter veggie soup

Looking for a warming winter soup? Try making a batch of red cabbage veggie soup. This nutritious chunky soup is made with tasty winter vegetables and fresh herbs.

When preparing the red cabbage, remove the tough middle part. Chop the cabbage into 5 mm thick strips or thinner.

To make the soup vegan, replace regular butter with vegan butter or margarine. Add the spinach along with the herbs, crushed garlic and butter towards the end of cooking. Any leftover soup can be refrigerated for up to four days or frozen for three months.

Ingredients for 8 servings:

  • 1.5 l Vegetable stock
  • 300 g Red cabbage chopped into 5 mm thick strips, without the tough middle part
  • 250 g Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 50 g Spinach, finely chopped
  • 40 g Celeriac, peeled and diced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons each of chives, dill and parsley, all finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 Leek, cut lengthwise and finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic, finely grated
  • 2 Allspice berries
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. In a pot, heat up the olive oil then add the bay leaf, allspice, onion, leek and red cabbage. Stir and cook the mixture over medium heat for five minutes. Stir often.
  2. Add the carrot, celeriac, potato, vegetable stock and balsamic vinegar. Stir the mixture, cover the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the vegetables are fully cooked. Stir occasionally.
  4. Add the spinach, herbs, garlic and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add some water or stock to the pot if needed. Cook the soup for two more minutes. Remove the pot from the heat before serving.

Add red cabbage to your regular diet and try these recipes to boost your immunity and gut health.

Blessings to all. Maria🌿` The Naturally Blooming

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