A developer who goes by Ekrof, founder of SpaceBuckets.com , coined the term about seven years ago. After struggling to grow in an apartment with limited natural light, he developed a solution that allowed him to easily and sustainably grow plants indoors.
What are Space Buckets?
Measure and mark four points: each point should be half an inch away (diagonally) from one corner of the fan window you just cut out of the Base Bucket .
Step 6: Install Input Fan
There’s a reason the subreddit r/SpaceBuckets , where “bucketeers” discuss modifications and growing information, has amassed 91.9k members. Space buckets are great for growing weed for several reasons:
Step 2: Use a serrated knife to cut two holes for the fans in the wall of the same bucket. Drill another small hole near each fan opening, then run zip ties through them to fix the fans to the bucket, one as intake and one as exhaust. Use wire nuts to connect the fans to the 12-volt power supply.
Space buckets are compact enough to hide in a tight closet. (Photo by Alex Royan/High Times)
You can grow your own quality bud today, he says, with a similar setup and a low entry cost. John’s space bucket, which is large and unusually complicated, cost about $300 including everything down to the plant food; a simpler setup, with fluorescent lighting, might run closer to $100. (Check out the guide at the end of this story for more info on how to build your own space bucket.)
Step 1: Wrap the exterior of one 5-gallon bucket in black duct tape. Use glue to coat the interior with sheets of reflective Mylar. Drill drainage holes in the bottom. Drill four small holes on the side and run zip ties through them to attach the power strip.
Space Bucket Materials:
Step 3: Cut the bottoms off two more buckets to create spacers to add height when your plant outgrows the first bucket. The 5-gallon buckets should nest perfectly, so no light should escape when the buckets fit together. Save the bottom of one of the spacer buckets to catch drainage.
John opens the lid, and inside is a 6-week-old female 707 Headband plant growing in the soil of a small pot, its pale buds just starting to flower in the otherworldly glow. Its minute size is striking: Indicas in particular, John says, will adapt to the constrained space, and he’s helped keep this one to a bushy height of about six inches with a combination of topping and low-stress training. When he harvests it next month, he expects it to have grown to no more than eight inches—and to end up with about an ounce of dank flower.
“We are a community of learners, a movement of tinkerers,” Ekrof said. “Most importantly, we believe in the free flow of ideas and the unparalleled power of the Internet.”
Micro-Growing Space Bucket Style
John, who asked us not to use his last name because he’s a small-business owner, is a member of a spirited new subculture of home growers who have congregated online in recent years to share information about—and instructions for building—tiny grow chambers cobbled together from 5-gallon buckets, totes, plastic barrels and materials you can buy at Home Depot or Lowe’s. They call them “space buckets,” and draw inspiration both from traditional closet growers and the hacker-inflected maker community, where the open-source taste for sharing knowledge and designs is deeply ingrained.
Space buckets let avid gardeners control all of a plant’s inputs. (Photo by Morrigan_Disapproves)