5 Gallon Bucket Stand Tomato Planter or Herb Planter
Building a bucket garden stand is a great way to have a garden when you have little space. They are also a fantastic way to organize and corral what could be a cluttering mess of pots in a small space.
As soon as Hubs retired he wanted to start a garden in our teeny tiny urban yard. I did not! I am more of farmers market lover than an gardener and wasn’t really wanting to have a plethora of assorted plastic uglies on the deck or toppled in the corner of the lawn. I do want him to have and do the things he wants though.
This 5 gallon bucket garden stand solved both problems. Hubs got his garden, although smaller. I got to keep the yard clean, the garden buckets are cohesive and match, he stained it to look as best he could. It lines up long and thin against the fence, and the all the pots stay upright neat and tidy.
This diy bucket garden stand worked so well that when we were ready to buy a larger yard for his garden, we moved the stand to use for tomatoes.
Why Use 5 Gallon Buckets
We chose them for the price, availability and size.
Five gallon buckets are a great for growing vegetables and herbs of many kinds. They are large enough to host the roots of 1 or 2 vegetable plants, in our case tomatoes. You can also grow squash, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, jalapenos, lettuce, or three to five small herb plants, such as parsley, basil, dill, cilantro, and mint.
Make sure to purchase clean buckets that haven’t been used to store anything chemical in them. As you can tell by the label painted on ours we bought new buckets at Rona for $3 each. At this price we could afford to get several, of all the same size, which made building the stand easier.
Garden Stand Supplies
This project uses all 2 by 4 inch lumber. The stain is optional, but I recommend it.
3- 2″ by 4″ lumber 10 feet long
1- 2″ by 4″ lumber 8 feet long
40-2 inch screws
4- inch screws
Dollar Store Plastic Mesh (2 by 3 feet roll)
8 – new 5 gallon buckets
7 to 8-40 lbs bags of potting soil (22 litre in Canada)
1 – litre external stain and sealer in one
DIY Garden Bucket Stand Instructions
Step 1 – Measure the Buckets
Measure the 5 gallon bucket. You need to begin by measuring the bottom of the five gallon bucket so that you can make the square openings the correct size. You want the opening to be large enough for the bottom to fit through, but small enough that the top edge won’t. Our bucket bottom was 10 3/8″ so the openings are set to be 1/8 inch larger at 10 1/2 inches.
Step 2 – Cut the Lumber to Length
All the cuts are simple square cuts, no angles needed.
Cut 2 lengths of 2″ by 4″ lumber to 98 inches for the sides
Cut 9 lengths of 2″ by 4″ lumber to 10 1/2 inches for the cross pieces
Cut 6 lengths of 2″ by 4″ lumber to 20″ long for the legs
Step 3 – Build the Box Frame
Build the box frame so that the two 98 inch long pieces are on the outside of the two 10 1/2 inch pieces. Make sure the top of your boards are blush with each other, then connect the corners with two screws at each side.
Step 4 – Add the Cross Pieces
Once the frame is made, measure for center and the long side, mark and then place your first cross piece. This will help make the box frame square. Do not attach the center piece, yet.
Measure 10 1/2 inches for each opening and place each cross piece.
Once all the cross pieces are in place, remeasure and adjust. Once the measurements are confirmed screw the cross pieces into place with two screws at each side.
Step 5 – Attach the Legs
Attach each leg so that the top is flush (even) with the top of the box. Place one leg in each corner, and two in the middle. Use the longer screws to fit through the leg and side piece and into the cross piece at the end.
Step 6 Staining
Staining the garden bucket stand is optional. Once built I used 120 grit sandpaper to remove any large splinters and then gave it two coats of Rustoleum external stain and sealer in one.
Filling the Buckets
The 5 gallon buckets need to have drainage. To accomplish this you can either drill several holes in the bottom of the bucket or use a large nail to punch several holes.
Once the holes are done add the fine mesh screen to prevent too much soil from leaking out the bottom of the buckets. The mesh allows for drainage, and doesn’t take up root space.
Finally, place the buckets in the stand and fill with soil.
The Final Tomato Stand
When moving our external drive got lost resulting in many lost images. Here is our 5 gallon garden bucket stand in our new yard with tomatoes. It works so well and the tomatoes have been fabulous. This picture shows the start of this years plants, you can tell they are healthy and growing well.
Another bonus to having plants in the stand is they are relatively easy to relocate. Our tomatoes didn’t like being in the back of the house, so we moved them to a sunnier location. I am not sure if Hubs will ever plant his tomatoes in the garden, he is totally sold on this stand, he’s a happy gardener.
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