The word ‘space bucket’ was coined around seven years ago, but supposedly this indoor grow style has been around longer.
Someone asked a basic question, ‘Could I grow marijuana in a bucket?’ That led to ‘how to grow weed in a space bucket?’ and ‘what’s the best way to grow marijuana seeds in a space bucket?’
Space Bucket Marijuana Grow Guide
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Space buckets are an “entry-level” grow experience. In fact, most growers who use space buckets don’t hope for large plant yields. We all start somewhere, right? But that doesn’t mean this indoor grow style can’t produce a lot if you try. If you’re interested to learn more, keep reading this space bucket grow guide.
Why Grow Weed in a Space Bucket?
In the same vein as grow tents and cabinets, space buckets give you complete control over the different growth factors such as lights and air circulation.
Growing in space buckets share the perks of growing in an enclosed space, like a closet. Benefits include:
- Protection from pesky cockroaches and house mice.
- A sterile environment for the healthiest possible yield.
- Easy hydroponics growing by installing a drip system
A Hydroponics space bucket is the best way to grow marijuana seeds in a space buck; however, you’ll need some experience building a hydroponics system.
It’s up to you how big you want your space buckets to be. Typically space buckets are small and don’t take up a lot of space, hence the name. You can toss these buckets into your closet or in your car’s trunk, safe from curious and wandering eyes. It’s easy to hide space buckets. Simply store them behind a curtain of clothes in a closet or stash them in a corner.
Because of the relatively small space they take up, growers can create multiple space buckets, allowing them to grow marijuana in different stages for back-to-back harvests. Experienced growers call this technique the perpetual harvests method – you typically see it in grow tents. By using space buckets, you save on the cost of setting up two different grow tents.
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Space buckets can come at a relatively low price when building a standard setup. You’ll need the following items:
- A bucket size of your choice
- CPU fans
How much would this cost? We’ll get to the finer details in the article’s next section, but a single space bucket wouldn’t cost you over $100.
However, if you want to get the best yield possible and a considerable amount of it, you can upgrade the lights from CFLs to LEDs and change the bucket to a waste bin or even a drum.
Overall, space buckets are cheap to make and cheaper to keep as they rarely take up much space.
They’re also great for first-time growers with some DIY experience since constructing a space bucket is a lot cheaper than setting up a grow cabinet.
How to Build Your Own Space Bucket Grow
Gather Your Materials
We suggest these items to start making your own space bucket:
- 2 five-gallon buckets
- 1 five-gallon bucket lid
- 4 CFLs or 1 Full-spectrum LED grow light
- 2 CPU fans
- 1 Power strip
- 1 Timer
- 4 6mm bolts with nuts and washers
- 1 1m thin rope
- 1 aerosol glue
- 1 tube silicone sealant
- 1 210x120cm mylar film
- 1 roll of duct tape
Safety first! Our space bucket grow guide includes the safety equipment you need before getting started. You need:
- Safety glasses and hardware gloves
- Rotary tool
- Razor blade or Exacto knife
- Measuring tape
- Permanent marker
Prepare for Drainage
After putting on the necessary safety equipment, you’ll:
- Grab one of the two 5 gallon buckets and measure 8cm from the bottom
- Draw a horizontal line using your permanent marker
- Cut the bottom part of the bucket off with your rotary tool.
You now have the top half of your space bucket for the lights and the bottom part as the drip tray.
- With your second 5 gallon bucket, drill 12 evenly spaced holes on the bottom. Remove the handle if there is one.
- Place the other bucket on top to cover. This bucket becomes the “lid” that connects the buckets.
Now, the fun part. First, drill a hole in each quarter on the bottom bucket just below its rim to connect your top and bottom bucket. Then, insert the bolts through the holes and fasten them with the nuts and washers.
Place the top bucket on your bottom bucket and mark where the bolts are resting.
Next, draw an upside-down “L” shape by measuring up 4cm and across by another 4cm. Once you have the upside-down L shape, cut a wide channel with your rotary tool. Now you have a simple twist lock for your space bucket.
Add Fans and Lightning
Install the CPU fans for ventilation by measuring the housing of the fan and drawing openings. Cut the exact shape on your bottom bucket so that it will fit properly.
You now have a cutout for your intake fan. You need to make the same cutout for the second CPU fan (the exhaust fan) on the top bucket.
After you install the ventilation system, install the lights. You’ll need either 4 CFL bulbs or LED grow light strips. Line these inside of your bottom bucket lid. If you’re using CFL bulbs, you need to cut four additional holes on the lid for the electrical components. You also need to cut out a fan hole on the lid for proper air circulation.
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To seal your space bucket, use duct tape and rope. Have it between the rim of the bottom bucket and the bolts. Be sure to check whether or not the seal fits. If it does, continue to add layers of duct tape until it closes the gap in the two buckets so that light from the outside won’t leak into your space bucket.
At this point, you also need to line the inside of your space bucket with Mylar film. Spray the inside with the aerosol glue and stick your Mylar film. Once everything is sealed, use your razor or Exacto knife to reopen the CPU fan cutouts.
Install and Test Fans
When installing the electricals in your space bucket, know that your intake and exhaust fan depends on the direction the grills are facing. For this reason, you need to make sure that your intake fan has its grills facing inside the bucket while the exhaust fan has its grills facing outside.
Don’t worry about any gaps., Use the tube sealant to close any gaps made by the cutouts where you fitted the housing of your CPU fan. Once everything is installed, check if it all works. Plug in the fans on the power strip and the lights on the timer.
Customizing Your Space Bucket
Your space bucket can be larger than a 5-gallon bucket. If you have more space to work with, you can use waste bins or even oil drums. A rectangular cooler can work just as well. Using strip LED grow lights is the best option if you want to provide your plants with UVB light that’ll help with getting you a better yield.
CFL bulbs are not ideal since you’re working in such a tight space, and there’s a real chance of burning your plant. And even with ample space, CFLs aren’t exactly cost-effective either, and they burn out pretty quickly.
For a more cost-effective alternative to the reflective walls of your space bucket, try Panda film. Although not as reflective as Mylar, it does the job for a far more affordable price. Additionally, it’s also not as brittle as Mylar’s diamond pattern, so lining the insides of your space bucket won’t feel like you’re doing surgery.
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FAQs About Growing Cannabis in a Space Bucket
Typically, growers who use space buckets either don’t have enough space in their house for a dedicated grow room, or they’re willing to try out something new for fun. They are easy to use, but they aren’t ideal in the long term. Use space buckets until you have enough space and budget for a dedicated grow room.
Growing in a space bucket is no different from growing a single plant in a closet. You still need to watch the amount of light they take in and ensure they’re getting enough nutrients from the soil. The only difference is that they’re inside a small controlled environment. Think of it as a tightly sealed terrarium.
Expect minimal yields of around 1-2 ounces when growing in a space bucket. Keep in mind, you can yield three times as much growing an autoflower on a balcony in a pot. For more guidance on growing marijuana in small places, read this article on micro growing.