5 Gallon Bucket

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Growing Sunchokes in a Bucket

Sunchokes growing in a bucket

Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, do well in a bucket, as you can see above. The edible part is the tuber, found below the ground, where the plant stores its nutrients. When the season ends and the above ground part of the plant starts to die, it’s time to dig up your tubers. Sunchokes are a very cold-hardy plant!

Nutrients in Sunchokes

The tuber is about 2% protein and 17% carbohydrates. These tubers contain inulin, which some plants use as an alternative way to store calories rather than starch. Inulin causes a much milder increase in your blood sugar than starch does  As a result, these tubers are quite healthy, especially for diabetics.

Sunchokes vs Potatoes

The calorie content of the Jerusalem artichoke is comparable to that of potatoes, the yield per hectare seems to be comparable too. If all goes according to plan and conditions are good, you can expect a yield of up to 13 pounds of edible sunchoke tubers, from a five gallon bucket. Much of the information in our potato farm article applies to growing sunchokes too.

Important: Drainage holes!

Just as with potatoes, it’s important for you to ensure proper drainage in the bucket, to avoid crop failure. The best option is to drill drainage holes in the bottom of the bucket. Alternatively, you can fill the bottom few inches of your bucket with gravel and carefully avoid excess watering of the plant.

Origin of Jerusalem Artichokes

In contrast to the potato, which originates out of Southern Peru, the Jerusalem Artichoke was first cultivated by Native Americans in North America. As a result, this plant is naturally well adapted to colder climates.

Sunchokes as Weeds

You might find it hard to get rid of them when you sow them, they can become weeds. For this reason, we recommend growing them in a bucket, unless you’re a permaculturalist who wants to set up a low-management edible garden. If you do grow them in your soil, it’s worth noting that harvesting them generally disturbs the soil less than harvesting potatoes does.


Your Jerusalem artichokes can be stored almost indefinitely in a container, as long as you keep them in some cool soil. When you get them out and clean them, they will last about three weeks.

Using the waste

The potato plant is poisonous. The sunchoke plant on the other hand, can be used easily as animal fodder.

Sunchoke Pathogens

Potatoes are notoriously prone to all sorts of disease. The Jerusalem artichoke has far less of such problems. One reason for this is because it’s less commonly grown.

Preparing the sunchokes

You can use sunchokes in a lot of different ways, but unlike potatoes, you can eat them raw too. They taste like water chestnut. You can also bake them, they require less time to prepare than potatoes.

Sunchokes for sale market

Growing sunchokes for profit

You might have noticed in your local supermarket that whereas potatoes are dirt cheap, you pay rather high prices for sunchokes. That’s because potatoes are grown in bulk. People might be unfamiliar with sunchokes, but when you tell them about the advantages of this crop, they’ll probably be as excited about trying them as you are about growing them.

Where to buy sunchokes

sunchokes bulk

I got my seed sunchokes from Yumheart Gardens because they are reviewed so well. Now (February 2016) would actually be a good time to order them, as the season is just about to start. If you have any questions about growing sunchokes you can ask them here in the comment section, or to the supplier on Amazon.

Other root crops

Be sure to check out our other articles on root vegetables, with some more information you may find useful:


Sweet Potatoes


DIY Egg Sign

DIY how to flexible egg sign eggs available switch
If you have chickens in your backyard, you might like to sell eggs to passersby. So, you put up a sign that says “eggs for sale”, but might not always have eggs available. The solution is a flexible egg sign. The bright yellow on the open sign only shows up when there are eggs for sale.

The sign is actually composed of two separate signs, so the sign is visible to travelers coming from either direction. When the sign is flipped down, there is no bright yellow. This is a much more effective visual notification than the words and shape of the egg sign alone, especially when viewed from a fast car. We’ll teach you how to make one yourself!

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Growing an Avocado tree from seed in a bucket

If you’ve ever wondered if you could grow your own avocado tree with a seed you had left, rest assured you can! All you need are patience and sunlight. There are many different methods people use to grow avocados from seed, we’ll cover a few of them here.

Method one: The toothpick method.

This seems to be the most popular method. It works as following:

Avocado cut in half with seed visible

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Space Buckets: How to grow plants indoors in a bucket

Did you know you can grow plants in a bucket, without needing any sunlight? Such buckets are called “space buckets”. These buckets contain a design with LED-lights that allow a plant to grow without the need for sunlight. At slightly over 100 dollar per bucket, these buckets are not cheap to build, but they’re a great experiment, especially for people who have rooms without sufficient natural sunlight to grow plants in. We recommend building your own space bucket, following the step-by-step guide below.

How to build your own space bucket

space buckets black DIY how to guide

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