The bucket garden is an independant self watering off-the-grid garden system. Its designed to be as self seficient and low impact to the environment as possible by accomidating multiple sources of electricity which can be supplied by varying inputs.

How does it work?

More or less this is a dutch bucket method, where the buckets retain a small amount of water in each and a larger reservoir feed the chain. Below is a common generic setup diagram.

There is one large bucket/reservoir that holds water and nutrients. A submersible pump is placed into this reservoir to pump the nutrients onto the drip/irrigation line and drop onto the plants via the drip emitters. The drip emitters are fixed to the irrigation line and are pointed to each bucket to feed the plants.

Choosing the Growing medium

Eliminating all objective factors, an ideal medium is the one that

Is organic-made, biodegradable and environmentally friendly
Keeps an even ratio of air to water.
Has a medium cation-exchange capacity to hold nutrients.
Helps protect plants from pH changes over time.
Is inexpensive and easy to find
Is lightweight enough and easy to carry around

Why I prefer Expanded Clay Pellets or Leca Now

Expanded clay pellets or hydroton (also referred as LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) are small round balls, about the size of marbles. They are created by heating and expanding clays to form thousands of small bubble-shaped balls. Overall, this is a great and effective growing medium for hydroponic use. As a form of rocks, but clay pellets are lightweight because of its porous nature. And yet they are still heavy enough to give strong support for the plants and are quite excellent in wicking up the nutrients to plants’ roots. The round and porous form makes clay pellets an incredibly balanced water to oxygen medium. This neutral pH medium is reusable. People can clean, sterilize and reuse it. This not to mention the downsides. Clay pellets are not a good water holding material because of the spaces between each pellet. They will drain and dry out fast. So be sure to get the material watered enough. Also, the pellets are heavier and more expensive than other media.

Reusable, sustainable.
Effective water drainage, and air retention.
Poor moisture retention capacity
More expensive than other growing media, but again reusable