Gardening with Julia – Bucket Hunting!

[Introductory Post]
[The Plan]

How I acquired my buckets for container gardening

Hey guys! So it’s been quite an adventure, but I’ve found the buckets I need for this new adventure!

Originally I looked at the cost of buying buckets, but then I read online that some places will give them away, so I decided to see if I might have any luck at getting them for less than $3 each. Another bonus is that these would be food-grade buckets.

On the Saturday before the Super Bowl, I woke up early and visited the bakeries in the local grocery stores (they are all part of bigger chains). My first stop seemed like a real success! They took my name and number and said they’d save them for me. In theory, this sounded great. The reality is that I wound up needing to make several trips because saving them for me wasn’t happening. My second stop wasn’t successful at first, but I’ve made subsequent trips (it’s my usual shopping place) that have had me leaving with a couple of buckets. My third stop was the local Wal-Mart. I try not to go to Wal-Mart because I just don’t like it, but for my garden, I was willing to try. The Wal-Mart bakery sells their icing buckets for $1.00. I bought 3.

A fun side-trip on this day brought me into contact with a woman who lives near my sister. She sells alpaca poop as fertilizer, explaining that because of the way their stomachs are set up, it can be applied directly instead of needing to be composted. I got her information and will probably make a stop when I go to visit my family. I just wasn’t ready to buy a 5 gallon bag of poop yet, and being the internet bug I am, I wanted to read up on it first, too.

A family member who works in a school also collected buckets for me, coming up with several “pickle buckets” from the cafeteria, which are actually the exact size as what I was looking for, 5 gallons.

The icing buckets range from 2 to 4 gallons, and I have uses planned out for them.

Hint: The size of the bucket is usually on the bottom.

My bucket collection and four-legged helper
Chocolate icing waiting to be cleaned out.

Once I had the buckets, I knew that I needed to clean and sterilize them. My first attempt at this was with the icing buckets, which for the most part had already been rinsed out. I soaked them in bleach and hot water, then set them out in the warm February sun to dry. Upon inspection, however, I found they were still very greasy. Another round of cleaning is in store for them. As to the pickle buckets, I’m not concerned too much about the smell since I’m not using them for food storage, but I do plan on looking a little more to determine if I need to focus on getting it out.

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on my indoor herb garden!

Garden Graphic (3)

3 thoughts on “Gardening with Julia – Bucket Hunting!

  1. I was going to suggest trying the bakeries! I work in a cake supply shop and we order 5 gallon buckets of frosting all the time. A group of gold prospectors that my boss used to go gold digging with in the mountains come in all the time and take the buckets from us to use when they prospect. So if you happen to have a cake and candy supply shop near you, that may be another good source to try. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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