Using five-gallon bucket containers (also written as 5 gal bucket) for vertical gardening has grown in popularity over the past couple of decades. The concept is quite simple, a five-gallon bucket not only saves money and has the right amount of room to promote strong vertical vegetative growth, but also saves space in your garden. If you’re growing an urban garden, it's even more useful.
Vertical gardening with a five-gallon bucket will help to encourage your plants to grow up instead of into outward and into bushes. Many gardeners use vertical gardening techniques to create living walls of green. One of the most significant benefits to vertical gardening with a five-gallon bucket is that you can place it anywhere. From frames to walls, fences, porches, and more.
As mentioned above, vertical gardening techniques can apply to just about any pre-existing structure including trellises, fence posts, and certain types of plants, such as corn. Training traditional fruits, vegetables, herbs, and vines to grow upward is what vertical gardening is all about. Pots, mason jars, discarded bottles, and other various containers are all placed together to create semi-solid plant walls.
Common Plants Found In Vertical Gardens
Selecting the right sort of plants for your vertical garden is crucial. There are four main types of plants which benefit from vertical gardening techniques: foliage, flowers, succulents, and edibles. Boxwood, mondo grass, and common ivy are examples of foliage used in vertical gardens. Lavender, geranium, hydrangeas and various lilies are favorite flowers found in vertical gardens. Succulents and other edibles that do well in vertical gardens are lettuce, onion, agave, cacti, garlic, and practically any herb of which you can think.
How To Start Vertical Gardening With A 5-Gallon Bucket
First, gather up some new five-gallon bucket. Used buckets are okay as well, as long as you know their material. At the very least, you must make sure they are BPA-free and food safe. Then, prepare the bucket by putting a few holes into the bottom, spaced every two to three inches, as well as painting the bucket or covering it in fabric if you want. Fill the bucket with at least two or three inches of stones and gravel. These stones, along with the holes you made, will allow for proper drainage.
Next, acquire potting soil and add peat moss or another water-retaining element to it. Fill the bucket, place your plants, and add water. Adding fertilizer every few weeks or so will help promote even healthier yields. Make sure to water your bucket plants regularly as well.
Lastly, add stakes to the inside of your bucket or place cages around them. These additions will allow for the upward growth of your plants and turn your bucket into a functioning vertical garden container. Setting multiple buckets side by side will make the most of your available gardening space.
Tips And Tricks For Gardening With A 5-Gallon Bucket
Before we move onto our list of the top five-gallon buckets for vertical gardening, we’d like to share a few super helpful tips and tricks for successfully gardening with a five-gallon bucket. So, here they are!
LOCATION Privacy Settings
Determining where to set up your five-gallon bucket vertical garden container is critical. Several factors must be considered here, such as if there will be at least six hours of sunlight, and whether you will be able to tend, water easily, and harvest the garden as needed.
Spoil The Soil
Whether growing flowers, fruits, vegetables, or herbs, using superior soil makes a massive difference in the results of your gardening efforts. If you’re going to grow, you might as well use the best soil possible. Mixing premium potting soil with peat moss or perlite in your five-gallon bucket is a great starter.
Use Proper Containers
There are so many containers on the market today, selecting the right one can be difficult. That is one of the reasons that a five-gallon bucket is such an indispensable piece of garden equipment. They can accommodate just about any vegetable root system, from multiple smaller plants to a single large plant.
No matter what type or size container you end up choosing, it must have proper drainage holes. That means that if the container is lacking holes, you’re going to have to drill or punch enough for a suitable drain. Too much water trapped in a five-gallon bucket can cause everything growing in the container to die.
Use Vines As Much As Possible
A trick I picked up about ten years ago is to plant something stalky like corn along with vegetables like beans which grow on streamers or vines. While the corn grows upwards, it creates more vertical space for the beans to grow. Using this technique does away with the need for stakes altogether.
Evaluate And Improve
No matter if things are going well or not, regularly evaluating your five-gallon bucket garden container will help you to stay more in-tune with your garden and its needs. It will also help you learn how to make improvements on your future vessels.
How Much Does A 5-Gallon Bucket For Vertical Gardening Cost?
You can purchase a five-gallon bucket suitable for all of your gardening needs on Amazon, eBay, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. The average price range for a bucket of this size is $5 to $25. However, there are exceptions if you buy in bulk, or you are purchasing specialized buckets instead of typical five-gallon buckets.
How We Reviewed
To bring you a list of the best five-gallon bucket for vertical gardening in 2018, we scoured the internet. We looked at gardening forums, reviews, product descriptions from retailers and manufacturers, and customer product reviews and complaints. What we discovered was a trove of information about current five-gallon bucket and various alternatives for growing herbs, vegetables, and flowers currently available on the market.
The Top 5-Gallon Buckets For Vertical Gardening
Below, you’ll find product summaries for each bucket, including ratings, price ranges, warranty options, and more. We added a few of the most successful alternative five-gallon gardening containers to create the handiest list possible.
5 Gallon White All-Purpose Durable Commercial Food Grade Bucket With Lid
This American-made bucket is FDA-approved food safe. It consists of high-density polyethylene and is impact resistant. Aside from a gardening container, it works for painting, cleaning, concrete, asphalt, and more. The bucket is stackable and comes with a universal lid that fits most 3.5 to 5-gallon buckets.
You can pick up this five-gallon bucket on Amazon. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars based on Amazon customer reviews. The price range for this bucket and lid is $ to $$.
5 Gal. Homer Bucket HMD
The 5 Gal. Homer Bucket is one of the lowest priced commercial five-gallon buckets around. It is available individually or in packs of up to 100. The more you buy, the less the bucket costs. It is the perfect inexpensive five-gallon bucket for gardening.
This five-gallon bucket is available through Amazon and Home Depot. It has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating by Amazon customers and a 4.5 out of 5-star rating based on Home Depot customer reviews. The price range for these buckets is $ to $$.
Leaktite 5 Gal Camouflage Plastic
- Use for mixing paint, hauling soil, storing parts and recreational use
- Great for outdoor activity. Comfort foam grip
- Plastic construction for durability. Buckets are not food grade
Another standard bucket for vertical gardening is the Leaktite camouflage bucket. It consists of long-lasting, durable plastic and is for outdoor use, making it ideal for a garden container. It can be used for all manner of things outside of the realm of gardening as well.
The all-camo Leaktite 5 Gal bucket is on Amazon where it has a 3.9 out of 5-star rating. The price range for this container is $ to $$.
Hudson Exchange Premium 5 Gallon Bucket
The Hudson Exchange bucket is a premium quality container and an excellent choice for all your gardening needs. It is taller than regular 5 gal buckets, plus it comes with a polished paint job in a color of your choice. The inside is reinforced with rib construction and is stackable with additional buckets. This bucket is available individually as well as in packs of six and 12.
The Hudson Exchange, 5 Gallon bucket, is available on Amazon. It has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating based on Amazon customer reviews and a price range of $ to $$.
247Garden 5-Pack 5 Gal Aeration Fabric Pots With Handles
- Fabric allows roots to breathe and grow healthier, boosts plant growth and yields
- Decreased risk of transplant shock, creates improved overall root structure
- Keeps plant warmer in winter and cooler in the summer
Fabric aeration pots are a comparable container to a standard 5 gal bucket. This five pack of 5 gal fabric pots are available in sizes ranging from one gallon all the way up to 100 gallons. They help prevent root rot, root circling, overwatering, and reduce transplant shock.
This five pack of five-gallon fabric pots are on Amazon. They have a 4.6 out of 5-star rating due to Amazon customer reviews and a price range of $ to $.
Pro-Cal HGPK5PHD 5 Gal Premium Nursery Pot
- Impact modified plastic added for extra strength and durability
- Much thicker and more durable than traditional blow molded nursery pots and even other injection molded pots
- Wide rim with grip lip for easy movement
The Pro-Cal Nursery Pot is available from one-gallon to 10-gallons. In addition to the aeration fabric, the pots have plastic liners for added durability and superior strength. The materials are 100 percent BPA-free and made in the United States.
You can find these five-gallon nursery pots online via Amazon. They have a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from Amazon customer reviews and a price range of $ to $$.
WINNER OUTFITTERS 6-Pack 5 Gallon Bucket Grow Bags With Handles
- Material: Made with high quality nonwoven fabric, Built-in handles for easy movement
- Structure: Prevents roots circling and air-prunes plant's root structure, so it's better than Plastic Containers
- Warmer & Cooler: Keeps plant warmer in winter and cooler in the summer
This six pack of grow bags with handles are made from high-quality non-woven fabric. The built-in handles make transporting them a breeze. The bags keep plants warmer during cold months and cooler during hot months. Their aerating nature also prevents overwatering and promotes better root structures.
This six pack of 5-gallon fabric pots with handles is available on Amazon. They have a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Amazon. The price range for this pack of growing containers is $ to $. Also, these containers come with a 100 percent money back guarantee if you’re unhappy with the product.
VIVOSUN 5-Pack 5 Gallon Heavy Duty Nonwoven Plant Fabric Pots
- STURDY FABRIC MATERIAL: Made of 300g thickened nonwoven fabric, these pots are moderately permeable, environmentally...
- GREAT DRAINAGE: Nonwoven fabric means the pots do not retain excess water, allowing your roots to breathe, translating...
- DURABLE, REINFORCED HANDLES: While the competition uses flimsy handles that are a continuation of the same fabric the...
This five pack of VIVOSUN 5 gal heavy duty fabric pots consist of 300G nonwoven fabric. Each container has reinforced fabric handles. These bags help protect your plant's root structures against the elements as well as allowing for better drainage. This product is available in sizes ranging from one gallon to 30 gallons.
You can purchase the five-pack of VIVOSUN 5 gallon heavy duty grow pots on Amazon. They have a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars based on Amazon customer reviews. Their price range is $ to $$. Also, the pack of pots comes with a three-year warranty.
Formline Supply Premium 5 Gallon Grow Bags
- INCREASE GROW RATES - Formline 5 Gal Plant Pots ( with handles ) are the smart way to grow. Fabric grow pots allow...
- CONTROL TEMPERATURE AND IMPROVE PLANT HEALTH - Heat trapped in plastic pots can limit the potential of your plants....
- NO MORE OVER WATERING - Watering too much can lead to droopy leaves and mold buildup. Formline Grow Bags allow air...
The 5 gal bucket grow bags from Formline Supply offer an excellent alternative to buckets. Never worry about root rot due to overwatering or poor drainage again. These bags allow air through the fabric which in turn aids in drying the soil adequately. The bags also come with handles which make them easily transported.
This five pack of 5-gallon bucket-like grow bags are available on Amazon. They have a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from Amazon customer reviews and a price range of $$ to $$. This bucket also comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee; if you’re not satisfied with the grow bags, you’ll get all your money back.
Garden4Ever 5-Pack 5 Gallon Aeration Fabric Pots With Handles
- Made of growth friendly felt with sturdy handles straps, washable and reusable.
- Prevents circling roots and air-prunes the plant's root structure.
- Great air circulation and water drainage - Prevents circling roots build-up, air prunes the plant’s root and allows...
Another great alternative to 5 gal buckets is the Garden4Ever five pack of 5 gal aeration pots with handles. These pots come in sizes from one gallon all the way to 30 gallons. They are washable, reusable, create better air circulation and superior drainage.
You can pick up a five-pack of the Garden4Ever five-gallon fabric containers on Amazon. They have a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars and a price range of $ to $$.
A Final Word About Vertical Gardening With A 5-Gallon Bucket
Vertical gardening with a five-gallon bucket is a rewarding hobby. Not only do you reduce your overall grocery costs, but you also put healthier food on your table as well as giving back to the environment. Selecting the right five-gallon bucket for your specific needs goes a long way in assuring that your vertical gardens’ yield is fruitful.
If you’re in search of a small, high-quality five-gallon bucket, then the Gallon White All-Purpose is the perfect one four you. It’s food grade all-purpose plastic, which means it’s BPA-free and seriously heavy duty. Plus, it is manufactured in the United States. Each bucket also comes with a lid, which is another added benefit.
Also, it pays off to buy buckets in bulk. So, if you need more than a dozen, the best five-gallon bucket to purchase in bulk is by far the Home Depot 5 Gallon Bucket. If you buy enough of these buckets at one time, the price drops down to $ per bucket, from an already low MSRP of $ per bucket.
Have you recently purchased a five-gallon bucket from our list, or perhaps one that should you’d like to share with our audience? Feel free to drop us a line in the comments section below!
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