How can I reuse or recycle a split or holey bucket?

bucketWe’ve had an email from Carolyn asking what she can do with some plastic buckets that have “split at the bottom”.

The first ideas that spring to mind take advantage of the fact it’s now not water tight – use it as a garden planter or an upside down planter next summer. You might even have to add more holes to it to allow adequate drainage or for more shoots to poke through.

You can also very easily use it as a caddy too – but patch the split/hole with something like duct tape so stop the split spreading any further and to stop little things falling out. You could use it for holding brushes/tools while you’re up a ladder, for fruit/veg collection or for dumping weeds in while working around the garden (saving multiple trips to the compost bin).

I’m sure there are lots of other uses around the garden too – what do you do with them?

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a split or holey bucket?”


  1. Bobbie says:

    You could use it for a flower pot, taking advantage of the split for drainage. You could use it to hold something dry, such as birdseed. You could use it to hold weeds as you are weeding your garden.

  2. Nicole says:

    Building block for sandcastles?

  3. AlyxL says:

    If you want to grow something that might spread too far or be invasive, like mint, an old bucket with the bottom removed can be used to contain the roots. Dig out a hole big enough to hold the bucket, then fill it with soil again and put the plant into the middle.

  4. 1. Line it with a bin bag and use as a lidless trash can or wastepaper basket, or for transporting compost from the kitchen to the garden.

    2. Line it with a bin bag and use it to hold non-commercial kitty litter (sawdust, crosscut shredded paper) in.

    3. Clean it up, repair the split with duct tape, and use it as a storage solution for things like cans and bottles for recycling, sports gear, tools, bike parts, plastic shopping bags for reuse, etc.

  5. We use ours for forcing rhubarb and also protecting/ overwintering perennials that aren’t frost tolerant (like crowns of gunnera), with some straw/ leaf mould stuffed inside the bucket.

  6. Laura says:

    We’ve been collecting rocks to build a rock garden. I thought you could use a bucket with holes to wash the rocks. The water could run through rather than dumping it out after I take the rocks out. As a plus the rocks can be dumped out rather than pulling them out of the bucket one by one with the water still in it.

  7. Fay says:

    Plant it up with an ornamental grass – great to look at all year round. I use all sorts of containers for plants in my garden it gives a creative character to the place.

  8. jeff says:

    If the split isn’t too bad it might be able to be repaired with a puncture kit or soldering iron.



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