> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Choate VersaPot



Choate VersaPot

With growing season 'round the corner, thought I'd pass along something that might be a solution to some of your gardening woes.

Choate Machine & Tool, one of our long time sponsors, has a pretty cool, affordable take on the well proven bucket gardening concept--their VersaPot.

Bucket gardening has a bunch of benefits - the buckets are obviously moveable, usually weed-free, and, done well, you can ensure an optimal amount of water to the plant.

The fact that you can move 'em around is a big deal - you can grow stuff where you otherwise wouldn't be able to, scale up or scale down your garden as space allows. You can also control their exposure to weather - moving them into the sunlight, bringing them inside if a bad storm is brewing, etc.

The no-brainer ability to get the right amount of water to the plant is another big deal. Over/under watering is a pretty common mistake, and will kill plants or at least hamper production.

Yes, you can DIY up your own bucket planters by cutting down a bucket and drilling a bunch of holes in it, but that takes up time and gets you a DIY level end product. The VersaPot costs a little bit more than buying second bucket to cut apart ($8 a pop versus $4-$5 for a bucket), but it's ready to rock, much nicer and much less hassle. It also comes with the PVC pipe used for watering, and the plastic mesh cup used for watering. Add your own bucket and you're ready to plant.

Choate was kind enough to send me a package of these kits, which I'll be using in my gardening this year. I am a novice/lousy gardener at best, so don't expect magazine-quality results. But on the other hand, if I can have success with this setup, than you can too.

Stay tuned for more, or if you want to give 'em a try this season, hit up Choate and tell 'em T-Blog sent you.


  1. The folks at Choate were nice enough to send me a few of these back when they were in development. They're awesome and really do a great job.

  2. I've been meaning to do some more gardening. Very interested to see how these work out.

  3. Day TripperMarch 18, 2015

    I built some of these containers in the past, and I'd be surprised if I was able to build them for much cheaper than $8 each. Even if you could build them for cheaper, you are going to spend an entire day buying all the stuff and assembling it to save maybe $1 a bucket...and now your garden is full of Home Depot buckets. Basically, you would have to be stupid not to go this route.

    I've been container/bucket, and regular gardening for years. I've had success growing tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, carrots, radishes, and herbs/spices/salad stuff in containers. This method of gardening makes it really easy to over water, IMO, especially for overly excited noobs, like me when I started. This can lead to mold, and a bunch of plant diseases. If you aren't too concerned with moving them, I'd pony up some cash on top of these and put the filter basket in the middle, surrounded by some gravel and an overflow drain (couldn't tell if there was one on these or not by the pictures), and good soil.

    I seemed to have a bunch more pests, especially with aphids, when I used containers, but it could have totally been my location. You can win most battles though by keeping an eye on the leaves. Water when they don't seem as vibrant and strong as usual, and incorporate a consistent pest control spraying process...mine was a homemade mix of ground up hot peppers and soapy water. Spray it on after rains when it is going to be sunny for a few days, and collect that rain water too, and reuse it. I don't know if it is divine intervention or what, but I always see a noticeable difference in my garden when it rains compared to when I water it.

  4. You can certainly make these for less than $8... I get discarded 5 gal buckets from the local super markets, drill holes in the bottom of one, throw in a piece of garden cloth ($5/roll). Put the holey one in the other and drill a hole in the side of the outer bucket even with the bottom of the inner bucket, add a piece of bad garden hose... soil... seeds...
    Now if you just want to support Choate- drive on!