Any garden fanatic can testify to the hassle of re-potting big plants. Only getting some plants out of the planterpots can be a real struggle! Still, some plants need a time in controlled situations to develop strong root-systems so they can be planted in open ground having a good chance at survival.
Also handy for keeping a “portable garden”, if you’re planning to move soon, only have concrete as a “garden”, giving broken buckets a second life etc etc.
I’ll be showing you how to alter your 5 and 8 gallon buckets to planters. A very simple ‘hack’ to make gardening-life just a little easier!
Step 1: Tools and Materials;
· 8GL bucket
· 5GL bucket-lid
· 40cm long tubular object (not in picture)
· Permanent marker
· Sharp knife
Step 2: 8GL Bucket Alterations;
If you take your 5GL bucket-lid and throw it in the 8GL bucket, you’ll see it a perfect fit! It lays on the bottom flat and there is practically no space around the edge!
We’ll utilize this perfect fit for a “faux bottom”.
Take the 8GL bucket and mark a circle on the bottom. Leave only a rim on the outer edge for the lid to rest on (so leave an edge of about 5cm).
I plunge my knife through the bucket-bottom intentionally well inside the line, as I have cut out the primary circle, I’ll go around cleaning everything out cutting it nicely along the line.
My diameter ended up 22cm and I used a sharp Stanley-knife to cut the bottom out.
Please do this carefully, as soon as I started to put pressure on the blade, I slid through 1/3rd of the bucket-bottom! After a third done I started to get the hang and steady hand for a nice cut.
Step 3: 5GL Bucket-lid Alterations;
If we were to throw the lid in as-is, the water will pool up in the bottom and maybe even along the edges if there is enough weight weighting it down to cause a seal. As you look at normal plant-pots, there are always holes in the bottom (there’s always exceptions, I know).
The lid I’m using has no slots or holes in the side like the white one in the picture does. I’ll have to cut these out manually with my Stanley-knife.
I mark off 8 slots on both rims on the bottomside of the 5GL bucket-lid. I cut out these marked rim-parts to make a sort of canal for excess water to flow out.
The middle flat part of the bucket-lid creates a basin for water to pool up in, so along the inner-rim I plunge out holes, and the very center of the lid is also cut out.
Step 4: Push-out Helper;
I use the bottom cut-out from the bucket and a piece of PVC pipe to create a “push-out helper”, to push to plant out of its pot. I used a little hot-glue to keep it in place (which is totally unnecessary!)
Make sure the standing pipe is longer or higher as the bucket is to ensure you can get a good grip on the pushed out plant.
Lift the planter (with or without help) over the “push-out helper”, center it and slowly lower it over the tube, you might have to help the bucket a little to scoot it off.
Use things like stacked plant pots, block of wood, as long as it fits the hole you made and is longer as the bucket!