‘Bucket Oh Herb’- An inexpensive way to grow herbs in your home year-round.

‘Bucket Oh Herb’- An inexpensive way to grow herbs in your home year-round.

Herbs, herbs, herbs, and more herbs please! I want them inside, outside, on my porch, in my windowsill, in the garden, in the fields…all over! I can’t get enough of the herbs and one inexpensive yet attractive way to have an abundant source of herbs in your home all year long is what has been coined an Herb Bucket, or what I now call, “Bucket o Herb”. Here I will describe how to create ‘bucket o’ basil’.


Materials needed:

  • 1, 6” diameter bucket, or any size of bucket you want!
  • 1 packet of open-pollinated basil seed.
  • Hammer
  • Nail
  • Organic potting soil
  • LED Grow Light

Not everyone will need a grow light, this really depends on how many herbs you’d like to grow. For small gardens, you can usually get away with just using light from the window. But if you’re looking to grow enough food for your entire household, the growlight will have a major impact.

As for the rest, we all have buckets or bowls of some sort lying around, don’t we? You don’t, well you can easily get some from a garage sale, friend, or even for at a local thrift store. The one I’ve pictured here is from Walmart that I picked up for $1.00. Score! Imagine 3 or 4 of these lined up on your kitchen window sill with your favorite cooking herbs: basil, sage, cilantro, dill… 

Before you add soil to your bucket flip it over with the bottom side up and punch 5 or 6 holes in it with a nail (and a hammer!). This creates drainage which is essential to the health of a container plant. Once you have your holes made flip the bucket back over and fill it to the top with good organic soil that is already moist/wet (but not too wet). Leave about 1 ½ inches of space between the soil and the top of the bucket. Now grab your seed packet and pour a handful of basil seeds into the palm of your hand. Pinch up as many as you can and sprinkle them starting from the center of the bucket around in a circle until you get to the outside of the bucket. Create a disk like pattern when sprinkling your seeds. Estimate sowing about 20-30 seeds for a 6” diameter bucket. I got this idea from Johnny’s Seeds. You can buy herb disks from them for $3.95 or you can create your own disk-pattern yourself and have LOTS of seed left over to make more bucket oh herbs! When it matures you will have a BIG bush of basil that will provide an ample amount to cook with. Lightly tamp down the seed so you have good seed to soil contact. Cover with ½ inch to 1 inch of soil. Tamp down soil lightly for final seed to soil contact. Your soil is already moist(see previous comment about that!) so you don’t need to water the seeds and risk washing them away.  Place a piece of saran wrap over the top of the bucket to help retain moisture while the seeds germinate. It’s still chilly here in Colorado so I placed my ‘bucket oh basil’ on my stove top to allow the pilot light to help keep it warm as basil likes warm temps for germination. Once your basil germinates and it is touching the plastic saran wrap you can remove the wrap!

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