Drainage holes in a bucket--size, location

marc5(6aOH)November 1, 2012

If you were going to use a plastic 5 gallon bucket as a container--and use Al's 5-1-1 mix--where would you drill the drainage holes, and how big would they be? How many?



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I use a 3/4 inch bit and drill 10 holes in the bottom, scattered out. Have not had any water-retention problems.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 4:23AM
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I've had problems with agressive tree roots filling my buckets/bins thru the bottom drainage holes....

Now I prefer to drill the drainage holes thru the SIDE of the container near the bottom so I can monitor any possible root activity......doug

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 8:00AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

There is no notable advantage in large holes vs small holes or in 100 holes vs 1 hole, unless you consider that 100 holes and large holes increase the soil's contact with air and speeds evaporation of water from the soil, which in some applications (would be a plus, but prolly nothing to be gained if using the 5:1:1.

The ideal location is through the bottom right AT the pots side wall .... or through the side wall AT the bottom. You want to avoid situations where the side traps any water in the bottom. So for instance, if you were drilling holes in the side of a 5 gallon bucket, the bottom of the hole should actually touch the bottom of the container. It shouldn't be even 1/8" above the bottom.


    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 11:24PM
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Yup Al is right. I used 5 gal and only drilled 3 or 4 little 1/2" holes and my plants thrived.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 11:37AM
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All my buckets sit on railings made of 2x4 lumber so the drain holes are well off the ground. A bucket sitting right ON the ground might not drain very good, plus roots can enter since they won't be exposed to drying air.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 6:31PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

A bucket resting directly on the ground drains much better than a bucket on top of a railing.


    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 8:47PM
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