Cylinder Gardening Project
Time frame: 60-75 days
Outdoor space needed: 10' X 10'
(100 square feet)
  1. To identify vegetable foods and how they grow.

  2. To successfully grow vegetables and flowers.

  3. To properly perform gardening practices.

  4. To develop gardening as a lifelong hobby.

Materials needed:
  • plastic 5 gallon pickle buckets (10)
  • potting soil (10 cubic feet)
  • seeds and transplants
  • water source and hose
  • fertilizer (water-soluble 20-20-20)
  1. Remove the handle from the bucket; cut the bottom out of the 5-gallon pickle buckets; and saw the buckets into 2 equal halves. This creates 2 cylinders in which the potting soil is placed. By using the cylinders and potting soils, the hard work of digging the soil is eliminated.

  2. Locate the cylinder garden in a flat area which receives a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day. Place the 10 cylinders in 2 rows 3 feet apart. Within the rows, place the cylinders 3 feet apart. This spacing allows room for the plants to reach full size and for the children to work around the plants.

  3. Plant seeds and transplants of vegetables and flowers, and water-in. A dilute fertilizer should be applied on a weekly basis beginning one week after the transplants are planted and after the second set of leaves form on the seedlings.

  4. Different vegetables and flowers can be grown depending on the season. Fall gardens should be planted in the first week of September to insure harvest before the first frost. Spring gardens should be planted after the last frost date, approximately March 21. Refer to the planting guide to choose which vegetables and flowers to grow in the cylinder garden.
Optional activities:
  • Cooking the harvested vegetables for the children to taste.
  • Discussion of the nutritive value of vegetables.