The moisture-retaining kitty litter bucket planter

bencjedi(6 - Central Kentucky)July 9, 2008

The 40lb cat litter buckets make EXCELLENT pots. If you use a 1/8" to 1/4" drill bit and drill two holes on each side about 2" to 3" from the bottom of the bucket enough water can sit there to help retain moisture when the bucket is filled with potting soil. So far I have made 3 and planted some 'volunteer' tomatoes that randomly grew in my garden. I'm short on space, so I decided to experiment with what I had to plant them in and came-up with the water-retaining kitty litter bucket planter.

In this photo the 3 you see don't need watering nearly as much as the 5-gallon Miracle Grow bucket to the left. The Miracle Grow bucket has holes right on the bottom and water doesn't retain nearly as well. We'll see how water is retained when the younger tomato plants grow larger in these kitty litter buckets.

If you have several cats, as I do, then I recommend the kitty litter sold at Sams Club. Their less expensive brand clumps well and covers up cat stench well. They cost less than $9 for 40lbs and over time you will have quite a few buckets. Don't throw them out.. use them as moisture-retaining planters. You could probably paint nice graphics on the sides also for an attractive look. Just thought I would share my simple idea that is working well for me (and the price is right).

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rosebush(z7 NC)

Great re-use of containers! I also use the pourable plastic kitty litter containers (with handle) as watering cans. Drill 10 or so holes in the cap and one on top of the container and you have a large watering "can." :) They are great to haul water around as well.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 2:38PM
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bencjedi(6 - Central Kentucky)

I use them to haul water around too (from my rain barrels). I use them for staging any extra water I can collect and put the lids back on to keep them inaccessible to mosquitoes. I then put them under my patio deck and use them up first before tapping in my rain barrels. It was so arid and dry last summer in my area that I quickly learned to be a water-miser.

The ones I made into planters had broken handles, but I knew I had more life in them so the planters were born! :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:53PM
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Thanks for the idea, I'm looking at one of those containers right now. You're right about the Sam's Club litter, it works great and it's super cheap. Hooray for frugality!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 3:25AM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

I use them for EVERYTHING - water - planters - mixing "stuff" (grout, mortar, etc.)

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 12:55AM
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I'm another who uses the kitty litter buckets for all kinds of projects. I get them free at my local recycling center.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 7:28PM
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I have five cats, so I go through a lot of cat litter. I began getting the 28 pound buckets when I realized the uses they had. (There's no way I can lift a 40 pound bucket.) Two of them are now housing tomatoes, and one is home to a bell pepper.

What I'd love to do is turn them into self-watering containers, but the reservoir thingies I see for sale are for round pots, not for square ones. I have a massively huge tomato plant in a self-watering "square foot success kit" that I got from Gardener's Supply. Be nice to make a homemade one.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 9:58AM
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Turning plastic buckets into self-watering containers is pretty easy. I haven't done it yet but have collected supplies. Been sick with a cold so have limited energy. Also can't find all the parts of my drill.

If you google for it you will find lots of instructions.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 9:07PM
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They're also good for organizing your garage etc. I have one that holds all the random pairs of extra work gloves, one that holds all plumbing and electrical tidbits, and so on. Things you don't use often, but are always hanging around because well, you MIGHT need it... It's also how we moved and kept the garage stuff more organized than being dumped from the drawers into boxes. Just be sure to label the side of the buckets...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 1:53AM
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I too use kitty litter buckets. I haven't been able to purchase a rain barrel yet, so some kitty litter buckets are rain collectors. I keep fresh orchid potting mix in another. My boyfriend also uses them for his work.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 11:51AM
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