5 gallon buckets on the homestead – so many uses! I have used them for everything from composting and self watering buckets to chicken nests and feeders. And usually if I’m done using it for one task I can re-purpose it somewhere else. I have found so many ideas for using 5 gallon buckets on the homestead and had to share some of my favorite ideas with you!
10 Awesome Ways to Use 5 Gallon Buckets on the Homestead
#1 – Make a Soil Sifter
Using nothing five gallon buckets and hardware cloth you can make a small, portable soil sifter for your compost/garden. This is perfect for small jobs and can be made rather quickly when needed.
Get the instructions for your Soil Sifter
#2 – Grow Mushrooms in Your 5 Gallon Buckets
You Will need:
- Some kind of bucket or container – Typically a 5 gallon plastic pail is used. In this tutorial I use a 2 gallon plastic pail.
- Lots of coffee grounds – about half a bucket full – whatever the size of your bucket
- Mushroom Spore
- Some plastic wrap (optional but good)
- Spray bottle to mist your mushrooms daily
See the rest of the directions
#3 – DIY Chicken Waterer Out of Your 5 Gallon Buckets
What you’ll need to make this DIY Waterer:
- A 5 Gallon bucket
- Plastic top that fits on the bucket
- A 1/2″ to 1″ drill bit
- Electric drill
- Ground feeder or oil pan
Get the directions for the DIY Chicken Waterer here
#4 – Make a 5 Gallon Bucket Root Cellar
I love this idea because not everyone has a root cellar or refrigerator space for root veggies. A 5-gallon bucket and bucket-size hole are all you need to make a simple root cellar for carrots.
See this tutorial from Mother Earth News
#5 – Easy to Make Mouse Traps from 5 Gallon Buckets
Rodent issues are serious on any homestead. You can take precautions to prevent them, but sometimes you need to take some BATTLE action. I like that this DIY mouse/rat trap can get multiple kills without you needing to reset anything.
Let’s look at how these cheap homemade mouse traps work to kill mice:
- Mice crawl up a wooden incline in search of food. The incline has a thin film of peanut butter to attract them.
- At the top, there is a level landing that enters a 5-gallon bucket filled with 2 to 3 gallons of water. The mice hop onto a can that has a thick layer of peanut butter all around it on the far end.
Get the full directions on Frugal Living Freedom
#6 – Store Charcoal in Your 5 Gallon Buckets
This tip comes from my friend Linda at Food Storage Moms. She has a lot of ways you can use 5 gallon buckets for homesteading and prepping; but I thought this was an awesome one to share. Linda even shares the difference between lump coal and briquettes, in case you aren’t aware of there is a difference.
See Food Storage Moms for tips on storing charcoal in your buckets.
#7 – Make Your Own 5 Gallon Bucket Aquaponics System
Now I have used DIY self-watering buckets to increase my garden space and you can do a lot in containers. But who knew you could make an entire aquaponics system with 5 gallon buckets and pvc pipe?!?
#8 – Make a Hose Holder
Storing hoses and cords on thin hooks or nails can cause them to crack or lose their shape. Five-gallon buckets fitted with a scrap of 3/4-in. plywood in the bottom and then screwed to the wall make great multipurpose holders. The plywood can be any shape, but to give it a more finished look, cut a circle slightly smaller than the diameter of the bucket.
See how to do it on Family Handy Man (scroll down)
#9 – Build Your Own Strawberry Tower
I love this simple idea for growing strawberries! When you run out of ground space sometimes you have to grow UP!
A strawberry tower is a great way to grow fresh fruit in a limited space, such as on a deck or patio. Here, Master Gardener Charlene Landreau shows how to build a tower out of cheap (or free!) 5-gallon plastic buckets.
#10 – Make 5 Gallon Buckets into Chicken Nests!
I’ve done this and it works like a charm. The girls seem to really like them and, because they are plastic, it is super easy to keep clean.
Well there you have it, 10 awesome ways to use 5 gallon buckets on the homestead. I am sure there are lots of other great ways to use them – tell me how you have, in the comments!