Container Gardening with GOFT


“To help aid local food security by building relationships in our community and engaging with our neighbors to educate and encourage growing your own produce.”

In May and June of 2019, Hamilton County Master Gardeners distributed container vegetable gardens to some recipients at local food pantries.   Here, we hope to provide help to people who are growing their own produce.  Check back throughout the gardening season for more information.

For more assistance, please call the Hamilton County Purdue Extension Education Center at 317-776-0854, or email  

How much to water?

If the soil begins to feel dry and look lighter in color, you’ll want to give the plant a drink of water. 

Harvesting Lettuce:

Be sure to cut the lower leaves first, when harvesting.  When the lettuce gets bitter, you’ll want to harvest and cut down the lettuce plant.  Also, it will make space for the other plants to grow better.  Don’t pull it out, that could hurt the roots of the other vegetables.  Just use scissors or a knife to cut it down to the base.

Click here to learn more about harvesting lettuce from your bucket

Here is a picture of the lettuce base, once it has been cut down.  This one is part of the bucket that also contains peppers and onions.

For more information on lettuce care, including some recipes to try, click here.

Harvesting Basil:

Basil leaves can be used in many recipes.  To allow for regrowth, cuttings should never be more than 1/3 of the plant.  If any flowers are forming, pinch those off.   For more information, including some recipes to try, click here.

Harvesting Sweet Onions:

The green tops can be harvested as green onions as long as you leave at least 6″ still attached to the bulb.  The onion bulbs will probably be ready some time in July.  Larger bulbs can be pulled at anytime, if one is used the rest can be left to grow.  They will keep growing larger until the tops bend over. When the necks are thoroughly dry, or about 95 percent of the tops have bent over, dry onions are ready for harvest. Do not force the tops over. Pull the onions and place them in shade to dry, which should take 2 to 4 weeks. When the necks have dried and tightened, cut the tops off about an inch above the bulb.  For more information, including some recipes, click here.

Harvesting Peppers:

For some basic information, and recipes to try, click here.

Harvesting Tomatoes:

For some basic information, and recipes to try, click here.

Tomato Hornworm:

If you see a hornworm on your tomato, pick it off and destroy it asap.  Be sure to regularly check for this pest.