DIY Hempy Bucket System *Step By Step*

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself' started by Bushmills, May 9, 2011.

  1. I've learned so much from this site that I thought I'd make a DIY to give back to the community. I've been impressed with some of the hempy bucket grow journals that I'm pursuing this method for my next grow. But it wasn't easy to find a step-by-step for hempy buckets so I put together one for you guys.

    In this DIY we'll be doing 4 buckets. Why 4? Because that just sounds like a good number and its easier to mix this stuff when you do more than just 1.

    Here's the first set of supplies


    From left to right:
    1 - Particulate mask. You'll be working with vermiculite. In the past, this was made with asbestos. I don't think thats the case any more but why risk it? Plus you'll be kicking up a lot of dust. I enjoy smoke and even have a cigar every once in a while. But asbetos? Homey dont play that. Get the mask its only like $22

    2 - A drill with a 3/16" bit. You can use something smaller but definitely nothing bigger than 3/16"

    3 - Gloves. These are simple nitrile gloves to keep the dust off your hands

    4 - Knife to cut open the bags

    5 - Beer. Yes, you can finish this job quickly but you still need a beer :D

    You also need an empty plastic tote, in fact, it would be helpful if you had two of them. This is a 20-gallon tote.


    Some 5 gallon buckets from our favorite hardware store, Lowes. Yes, you can use Home Depot buckets, I just find that the Lowes buckets are better made.


    You'll also need some perlite and vermiculite. I don't know why but it always seems easier to find this stuff at Lowes than Home Depot; they just have a better gardening department


    Yes, that's a lot of bags. That's 10 bags of perlite and 2 of vermiculite. You can play with the ratios a bit but this is how many you'll need for 4 5-gallon buckets (you figure 2.5 bags of perlite for each 5-gallon bucket). The original "recipe" for hempy buckets is 4-1 on vermiculite. This is 5-1 but I don't think it makes a huge difference. Each bag of perlite and vermiculite will cost you about $4 each.

    Finally, you'll need a plastic tarp and some plastic overflow dishes like these


    Be aware that stores will have 2 kinds of plastic dishes. There are some that are slightly decorative with like chili peppers (something your mom would buy) and the plain ones. Get the plain ones, they only cost about $1.50, the other ones cost $4!!!

    You might not need the plastic tarp. I'm just including it in case you want to protect your floor. If it doesn't matter to you then you can do without the tarp.

    First, you mix the perlite and the vermiculite in the tote, just like this. Start with 5 bags of perlite and 1 of vermiculite.


    Then you mix the perlite and vermiculite so that it looks like this


    You should still have half your bags left, so repeat the last two steps. Use the second tote if you need to.

    NOTE - this process will kick up a lot of dust, the mask will come in handy at this point.

    Next, you need to drill a small hole in the bucket. You just need one hole. You want the hole to be 2-3" from the bottom of the bucket. If you're using the Lowes buckets, just drill right at the bottom line of the warning message just like this picture


    Next you fill your buckets with the perlite/vermiculite mix. You dont have to scoop it, just pour from with the tote. It will look like this


    You're basically done at this point. Now you just want to make sure that you wet down the mix so that the bottom reservoir is filled. Make sure that you set your bucket in one of your plastic overflow dishes. Pour in water through the mix like this:


    This will make a "hole' in the mix, but don't worry about it you'll tamp it down later.


    Keep on pouring in water, SLOWLY, until it starts to flow out the hole you drilled like this


    You're almost done!

    Here's the easy part of a hempy bucket setup - this timer is all you need from the wall. Just a simple timer for your lights. If you've dealt with pumps all that, this is a nice change! I've also laid down the plastic tarp in my grow area to protect the carpet.


    Here's the whole setup, with the plastic tarp and overflow dishes, completely ready to go.


    That's it, you're all set to go!
    • Like Like x 1
  2. I forgot to mention that I'll be using this system for a grow of 60 Day Wonder from DNA
  3. Good post very informative
  4. Thanks man! I didn't think anyone read this post :D
  5. This is awesome. I didn't think anyone would ever read my DIY. Thanks for looking!
  6. #7 dontunoimloco, Jun 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2011
    yep, quick question, does the perlite wick the water up? I made a really small scale hempy bucket, about a gallon, just to experiment, and put a male plant in it that was in a 2" by 2" rockwool cube.

    I used about 2 inches of hydroton at the bottom and then filled the rest of the bucket with perlite as i have seen many threads using only perlite.

    Do the roots just grow all the way down to the reservoir?

    I want to watch your grow.
    • Creative Creative x 1
  7. as long as most of whats in the bucket is perlite, I don't think it matters what you put in there :) I'm following the traditional recipe for this but I thought about using some hydroton too

    i dont think the water gets wicked up but it does absorb a little into the perlite. so you have to water fairly consistently until the roots get down into the res and then your plants will really take off
  8. Looks like you beat me to it ;).

    I feel like a trendsetter, because I have seen almost NO hempy grows on this forums until I posted mine. Now there's a boom of hempy grows.

    I use pure perlite in my grows though.

  9. Yes, I was definitely inspired by your grow - thanks! Its a pretty simple concept but I could not find a step-by-step DIY so thats why I decided to put this together. As for the perlite, I'm not really sure the mix matters - it's really all about having a reservoir at the bottom. I think anything would work, 100% perlite, 100% vermiculite, I could even see something like 50% perlite, 50% soil working!
  10. You absolutely right about the mixture not mattering. I just like pure perlite because its really clean and super easy to flush.
  11. Hempys are the way to go, and yea there has been an explosion of new bucket grows. Check out mine, very similar to yours just a good bit smaller..
  12. Ive done a few soil grows successfully and was looking to go hydro to save some time. I am leaning more towards hempy buckets and would appriciate your help in a few questions I have.

    First things first...

    - I have a 2.5 x 3.5 ft area i am working with. (RV bathroom). I am going to start with seed, and so I do not know which will be male or female. Because of space issues, I am thinking about starting in soil, switching light to 12/12 to determine sex, and then transfering into a hempy. What do you think?

  13. I'm glad to help but I may not be the best person. I live in a state that allows dispensaries and I'm completely legal, so I really don't start from seed, I start from verified female clones.

    But from what I do know, why mess around with random seems, just find a feminized strain you like. I know there's many arguments against this, but really, who cares. There's a TON of good fem strains, with good genetics, why mess with it?

    If you insist on going with the plan you want, then why not just put the potential mothers in soil (18/6), veg them, take clippings and then put the clippings in 12/12? From there, you can see which clippings are good, trash them and then know which mothers you can keep and trash the other ones. From there, you take new clippings and put those in hempy buckets and you're left with good mothers too.
  14. This is the problem I'm facing now, to or not to do a perpetual grow? Okay off track, why do you all use 5 gallon buckets if you're keeping your plants fairly small???? I get away with 2 or 3 for plants under 3'. Look at this way, a 3' plant is basically a 3 month grow, the roots will not get rootbound in that amount of time, at least that is my story and i'm sticking to it.
  15. Will hempy buckets work fine in a sog setup using smaller pots/buckets? I want to flower about 9 clones in a 24"x24" space under 400w hps, I want to use hempy buckets but 5 gallons is out of the question for me.
  16. Nice man, the hempy ftw. I came over here from another place to get a different perspective, am running hempy buckets for the first time, switched from organic soil and so far the rate of growth is just nasty

    One thing I did notice is you used miracle grow perilite, and while I'm not sure it matters that much, it is "enriched" with miracle grow plant food, I believe .5, .5, .5. I only know this because I bought about as much as you before I realized, mixed it all before I realized, and girlfriend pointed it out as I set the first clone...

    Damn fine diy, though, and the beer (where's the bowl??) is a must.
  17. Use smaller pots, 2-3 gallon should suffice in a SOG operation.
  18. #19 alaska, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2011
    Thanks for the easy to follow guide, after seein mysteries grow, I def wanna try a hempy bucket. thanks again :)
  19. So what happens when the roots get to the bottom and go under water, they dont drown out or rot?

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