Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking about this for awhile now. I have the idea to fill 5 gallon buckets with salt and/or sugar (even water?) and using them to support a raised square foot garden bed in the backyard. I could hide 5 or more buckets under a 4'x4' garden in plain sight. Of course, boards could cover the sides, as well, for aesthetics.

Actually, they could hold anything not affected by changes in temperature such as TP, paper plates, etc. I could MASSIVELY increase my storage space by putting in multiple garden beds! Gardening is easier on my back when I do raised dirt. Right now I use giant pots so I can sit in a chair when I garden. The gardens won't be stealth but the support columns will be. :D:

Any thoughts?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,656 Posts
Well, most raised beds don't support the entire weight of the soil, they just have sides to make the top of the dirt higher.1) Wet dirt is heavy. You'd need quite a structure to support everything above ground. 2) What's it made out of? That bottom will get very wet, and if it is any kind of wood, will deteriorate quickly. 3) And I wouldn't want to run out of whatever is in a corner bucket in the middle of growing season. :D:

Just a few concerns.
 

·
NRA Life 1971
Joined
·
8,547 Posts
I raised the level in my garden utilizing used railroad ties. They have been in use here for over thirty years and are still viable.
As for the 5 gl. buckets, I plant in them also. Did all the peppers and eggplant in them this year.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,656 Posts
I raised the level in my garden utilizing used railroad ties. They have been in use here for over thirty years and are still viable.
As for the 5 gl. buckets, I plant in them also. Did all the peppers and eggplant in them this year.
We do, too. But ours are sitting on the ground, not on legs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
I'm thinking this is an excellent idea. A Homer bucket with lid goes <16"x16". The space you're talking about would easily hold 9. You could either build a frame to support the bed above and sheath in wood to look unremarkable or set the bed right on top of the buckets were you to raise something with shallow roots. You are talking about LT preps so it doesn't matter whether they are instantly accessible or not. Additionally, you could put a bucket on each corner and one in the middle filled to the brim with salt or sugar to bear the weight and the other buckets could be slightly sunken so the seal wouldn't be compromised. Outstanding idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The Square Foot Gardening books by Mel Bartholomew show the raised boxes on sawhorses so a wheelchair can fit underneath. If you don't use a wheelchair or can handle sitting next to the box instead of under it, the standard 5 gal buckets can replace the sawhorses. I thought of drawing the lids on the bottom plywood and drilling the drain holes in the areas between the circles instead of just randomly.

If your reach isn't far enough for a 4x4' box (or you want to make the bed for a child) just make a 3x3'. Or make them 2' x any length that makes sense for your space. I've done the square foot method previously in 4x4' open frames on the ground and had no problems reaching all areas even though one side was up against a fence.

My son is building me a wooden shed/greenhouse in high school shop class. I asked them NOT to build the interior plant benches shown on the plans. I want to use 5 gallon buckets to support those, as well.

Just call me queen of the bucket columns.:D:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Great idea but maybe use boxes of wood as the legs and hide the buckets underneath inside those boxed in legs. Make them so you could unscrew one side of each box to get to your buckets. I have a raised bed with storage underneath but the dirt dries out quite quickly. I used landscape fabric on the bottom and filled them with 10-12 inches of dirt, compost & peat moss. You won't need to drill drainage holes as the crack between the boards is plenty. Shallow root crops like beans, peas, lettuce, strawberries, onions do ok but they don't do nearly as well as the new ones I built that are 2 ft high and the dirt goes down to the ground.
 

·
MHAF
Joined
·
292 Posts
If it was me I think that I would build a separate support system and have a hidden access to get to the home depo buckets. This method would give you access to the materials you need and there would be no pressure on the buckets. Have you ever tried to stand on a **** bucket? I'm not sure how much weight they are going to hold. Some cheap 2x3's and cedar planks would be all you would need to build the support and access section of the raised bed. But that's just the way that I think :rolleyes:
 

·
KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
Joined
·
7,409 Posts
Good Thinking:thumb:..I hate Gamma Lids...FYI...Just me I guess...Id put enough buckets under there so the base is solid buckets, not just a few on corners and such...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dinx

·
Crazy Cat Lady
Plan to Alamo at home.
Joined
·
16,304 Posts
Make sure they are UV stabilized. I was thinking about this last night. The buckets I used in the garden didn't last more than a few years each. They get very brittle and crumbly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dinx

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,509 Posts
My idea is to use cinder block stacked 3 high on the ends to hold the weight. Maybe another row in the center for long runs. If this is for true long term storage I would use treated lumber for the bottoms with a thin layer of untreated wood on top. Sometimes you hear about treated wood leaching chemicals. That could easily support 2 feet of soil if it is on solid ground. Otherwise settling and sinking would be an issue. Then fill with things that mice and bugs won't eat (paper products unless protected would be a no-no) or water won't harm. Buckets with salt, sugar, water bottles or similar would be great. Then build a thin aesthetic wood piece along the bottom and you're done. It would be strong, rot resistant, have plenty of storage, and if you use nice wood like cedar be very pleasing to the eye. If you use salt or sugar in buckets and stagger them it may be fairly bullet resistant as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
MikeK, I guess difficulty accessing contents depends on whether the buckets hold the raised bed or if it's supported by wood, concrete, or brick as folks suggested above. Or maybe 6 gallon buckets to support and 5 gallon ones in between?

If times were bad enough to have to get into those buckets, an obvious garden bed would be useless (raided) and so is sacrificial anyway. Guerrilla gardens would be the real food source in hard times. Not to mention the quail I'm raising indoors now. :)
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top