five gallon bucket question

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

Hello all

I have been searching a little on DG to find my answer and can't seem to. I have access to about 45 (free) five gallon buckets that stored pool chemicals original. I'm wondering if there would be a problem using them for container gardening of veggies? I understand the risk of chemical residue seepage or leaching into the soil but couldn't I line each bucket with a heavy plastic bag? Or spray sealant inside them? I'd drill holes in the bottom but that may not keep them safe. Any help for this newbie is most appreciated. Thanks!


Brooklyn, NY(Zone 7b)

well...first of all... you'll need big holes in anything you use..
as the chemicals go.. and I don't know just what ones you have..
they are likely very water soluable.. as they are diluted in the pools so if the buckets were empty and dry of these.. a washing and a few rinces should remove any risidual chemicals.. and these chemicals are made to be in the water your body.. and thoes of young children is in for prolonged periods of time.. so how bad could they be in a light quanity..
If a bucket like this is used on a hard surface.. with holes in the bottom.. it's likely not to drain out as the bottom rim will seal the water underneath it.. I've found to cut with a hacksaw or circular saw a wedge shape 1" x 1" out of the bottom/sides along the bottom edge... will give bottom and side drainage.. so you know if it's removed they are likely highly toxic and/or corrosive in such concentrations in the buckets... so be careful of it untill it's been rinced a few times before cutting handling and before use

Round Rock, TX(Zone 8b)

Thank you GordonHawk! I have used 55 gallon drums cut in half and drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom for drainage and they seem to work well so I'll try that with the five gallon bucket. I thought to put them on a bed of wood chip mulch so they can drain better. I've got my strawberries in agro towers on mulch and they have done great so far.


This message was edited Jul 24, 2010 8:51 PM

This message was edited Jul 24, 2010 8:56 PM

Brooklyn, NY(Zone 7b)

well...Cayte.. you should have no problem there then.. on the wood sure to take into account silting up of the holes with dirt.....But anyone who can post that reply in the same minute I posted the response to your question ... should have no problems anywhere

St. Louis County, MO(Zone 5a)

I use the buckets, and I drill holes on the sides, too, about and inch from the bottom edge. They drain better that way.

Pine Island, FL(Zone 10a)

If you've access to a pool, then I'd just toss the buckets into the pool to get most of the chemicals off, then give them a really good rinse. The longer the soak in the pool the better. That's what I did , anyway, and there has been no ill-effect to the plants I've grown in them. I go by the smell test, so if there is no remaining smell when you've cleaned the buckets, you should be good to go.

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