Upcycling an Old Bucket in Your Garden

An old 5 gallon bucket, perhaps one that has been used as packaging, can have a huge range of uses in a garden. Upcycling an old bucket in your garden is not only a great way to prevent such items from ending up in landfill, it is also a great way to improve the space. Here are a few ideas that you could consider:

Make a Small, Self-Watering Container Garden

An old bucket could be ideal for making a small container garden,either for a patio space or for inside your polytunnel, a greenhouse or your home. You can turn your bucket into a small wicking bed or sub-irrigation planter. If you are feeling a little more ambitious, you could even turn your bucket into a small-scale hydroponic garden – growing plants in water rather than in soil/ compost. Interestingly, you could even use a bucket as a hanging planter (especially if it has a handle), and grow plants not only in the top, but also hanging down through a hole made in its base, and in holes cut into its sides.

Make a Small-Scale Compost Container

A 5 gallon bucket with a lid can be the perfect place to stow fruit and vegetable scraps from your kitchen. What is more, the handle makes it easy to carry your container of food scraps out to a compost heap, compost bin or other compost container in your garden. You could also use a bucket to make a small DIY compost tumbler to speed up the composting process, or even make a wormery or a bokashi bucket.

To Make a Wildlife Pond or Other Water Feature

You could also consider using an upcycled bucket buried in the soil to make a small wildlife pond. Place some rocks and stones around the edge, a branch to allow creatures that fall in to escape, and some aquatic plants and you can attract wildlife to your garden even in very small spaces. You could also use a bucket to make a small reticulating fountain or other water feature in your garden.

To Make a Storage Solution for Tools and a Garden Hose

Affixing a bucket to a wall or fence in your garden, in a shed or garage space, could also make it into a handy storage solution for small garden tools, which can be placed inside the open end of the bucket, and for a garden hose, which can be wound around the outside.

To Make Solar Powered and Portable Cooler for a Greenhouse or Other Garden Space

Another cool idea involves using a 5 gallon bucket to make a small-scale evaporative cooler. This is an affordable way to cool down a structure in your garden that gets too hot during the summer months. Since such a bucket cooler can be run on solar energy, it could be a truly sustainable and eco-friendly option.

These are just a handful of the many things that you could do to upcycle a 5 gallon bucket in your garden.