The Best Dutch Buckets in 2021

If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for the most efficient way to grow plants without having to mess with soil. If that’s the case, you need to make sure that you invest in the best Dutch buckets.

If you’ve been researching the best way to implement hydroponics, you know that there are numerous Dutch buckets to choose from. Read on to find out which ones might be best for you. 

A Quick Glance at Our Top Picks:

5 Best Dutch Buckets

1. The Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch Bucket Set

Dutch buckets are all the rage in the world of hydroponics because they’re straightforward, simple, and easy to use. That’s why our top pick comes from one of the industry leaders in all things farming. 

The Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch Bucket Set gives you just about everything you need to set up a hydroponics system. What’s more, you can use it with just about every type of plant species.

There are a few reasons why the Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch Buckets is a good option. First of all, each bucket has a handy 2-inch reservoir at the bottom. This is a must-have feature for anyone serious about keeping their plants healthy.

Why is it so important? Imagine if your power goes out for any reason. Instead of running out of essential nutrients, your plants will draw from this reservoir, which stores extra nutrients in the event of an outage. 

This in itself is a huge convenience because you won’t have to worry about losing your plants and being forced to replace them. 

It’s also worth mentioning the design of the Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch Buckets. They connect easily to one another while giving you a considerable amount of space to grow your plant life. Each bucket measures 12 × 10 × 9 inches (about 11 liters). What’s more, you get 10 Dutch buckets in this set. That’s a considerable amount of growing space. The buckets are made out of food-safe polypropylene plastic. They’re tough, durable, and long-lasting.

Each Dutch bucket also includes PVC lids, two elbows, a 3-inch net pot, and four 2-inch net pots. The only thing you’ll need is irrigation.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive set
  • Excellent value
  • High quality

Cons:

  • More elbows would have been nice

2. Artisun Technology Dutch Bucket

Like the Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch Bucket Set, Artisun Technology gives you 10 Dutch buckets as well. The dimensions are also the same—with each bucket measuring 12 × 10 × 9 inches. Design-wise, these Dutch buckets are virtually identical to the Bootstrap Farmer’s set.

At the bottom of each bucket, there’s a reservoir for storing additional nutrients. The only thing that stands out to me that differs from Bootstrap’s set is the lids. They look the same; and they even feel the same. However, they just don’t appear to be as sturdy.

Dutch Bucket, with Lid, 4" Net Pot and Siphon Elbows, Hydroponic, 11L, 12" x 10" x 9", Black - 10 Pack

Like the Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch Bucket Set, Artisun Technology gives you 10 Dutch buckets as well. The dimensions are also the same—with each bucket measuring 12 × 10 × 9 inches. Design-wise, these Dutch buckets are virtually identical to the Bootstrap Farmer’s set.

At the bottom of each bucket, there’s a reservoir for storing additional nutrients. The only thing that stands out to me that differs from Bootstrap’s set is the lids. They look the same; and they even feel the same. However, they just don’t appear to be as sturdy.

You’re also going to pay 50% more for this set compared to the Bootstrap Farmer’s. That said, you can’t discount the quality and convenience of Artisun Technology’s set. Aside from the lids, these are some excellent Dutch buckets.

They also connect to one another, ensuring that you can quickly and conveniently set up a long line of hydroponics. Artisun Technology even includes a 4-inch net pot and two elbows.

All buckets in this set are made from food-safe polypropylene plastic for greater durability and longevity. This set is a bit pricier than the Bootstrap Farmer, but the quality is nearly the same.

Pros:

  • Quality Dutch buckets
  • Easy to connect
  • Plenty of space

Cons:

  • Expensive

3. HTG Supply Bubble Brothers Dutch Bucket Hydroponic System

If you’re a newcomer to the world of hydroponics? If so, you might not want or need all of the features in our first two picks.

That’s where the Bubble Brother’s six-bucket system comes into play. The HTG Supply throws in clay medium for you to use in your plant growing. It’s not only made of quality clay pebbles, but it works well, too.

You get a generous 10-liter bag to get you started, as well as two premium air stones that measure 2 inches. HTG Supply doesn’t stop there, though.

HTG Supply Bubble Brothers DWC Hydroponic System - 6-Site Classic

You also get an electric air pump, which capable of delivering 715 gallons per hour. What’s more, it comes with its own six-way divider so that it can reach all six buckets (There’s even 50 feet of air tubing thrown in for good measure.)

Each bucket is designed to be low-profile, with a capacity of 3.5 gallons. The RhizoCore advanced 6-inch net pot lids are also a great feature, as they are ultra-tough and durable. All in all, this is an excellent buy. Beginners will especially appreciate this complete hydroponics system, as it has everything you need to get off the ground and growing.

These buckets are a worthy hydroponics system that does a fantastic job in plant growth. They’re sturdy, you get plenty of medium to get you started, and they are a good height. 

The only potential downside is that the air pump tends to be pretty noisy. If that kind of thing bothers you, consider investing in a better air pump and keeping this one as a backup unit. Other than that, everything else served its purpose well. Considering what you get, the price is more than reasonable.

Pros:

  • Complete hydroponics package
  • Super-tough buckets
  • Fantastic value

Cons:

  • The pump is somewhat loud

4. Viagrow VDIY Dutch Bucket Hydroponic 4-Plant System

Don’t let the long name deter you from having a look at this system. Viagrow gives you plenty to work with here to ensure that your hydroponics efforts aren’t in vain.

You get four buckets in this system for growing a wide variety of media. And as with HTG Supply’s Bubble Brothers set, there’s a growing medium to help you get started. Each bucket holds 5 gallons and includes four 6-inch net pot bucket lids. You’ll will also find a water level indicator in each bucket and the buckets are pre-drilled to accommodate air hose tubing.

Viagrow VDIY Bucket Deep Water Culture Hydroponic 4 Plant System, Black

As mentioned, you get a growing medium thrown in, which has 10 liters of Viastone grow rocks as well as four 2-inch round air stones.

You’re also going to need a good air pump to get you going. Fortunately, Viagrow includes one along with 40 feet of uncut clear air tubing. This allows for the versatile placement of your grow buckets. 

The mesh bucket lid, also included, snaps easily onto each bucket. Your plants can remain securely in place in the grow rocks while your plants’ roots are aerated by rich oxygenated air bubbles, optimizing growth. 

The Viagrow 4-bucket system helps your plants grow quickly, so you can effectively maximize yields while using a minimal amount of water.

You can choose to maintain or drain your water by using the water level indicator tube. Like similar systems, you will need to buy nutrients separately. 

Viagrow also gives you a handy pH kit that’s reliable and easy to use. If you’re new to hydroponics, different color indications equate to specific meanings. For example:

  • Yellow/yellow-green: Ideal pH level
  • Blue: pH too high (alkaline)
  • Red: pH too low (acidic)

To assist you in reading the pH levels, Viagrow gives you a color chart to review your readings. 

Pros:

  • Handy pH testing kit
  • Quality medium
  • Good value

Cons:

  • Air pump could be better

5. FarmTek HydroCycle Dutch Bucket

Unlike the previous entries listed here, these 11-liter Dutch buckets are sold individually. FarmTek’s offering has a similar design to the Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch buckets. However, the reservoir at the bottom of this bucket measures just 1 inch deep.

Still, it’s a nice feature to have and serves to keep your plants healthy and alive in the event of a power outage. Those extra nutrients come in handy when you need them, and this Dutch bucket makes sure they’re ready for consumption.

HydroCycle Dutch Bucket - 11 Liter

The first thing you’re likely to notice about FarmTek’s HydroCycle Dutch bucket is that it’s not the typical black color you see from other brands. Instead, FarmTek opted for a tan color. It did nothing to affect the function of these Dutch buckets though. The same quality is present in this bucket as it is in other models, although the elbows don’t come with the bucket.

The price is also pretty steep for a single Dutch bucket. For around the same price as the Bootstrap Farmer’s set, you only get 4 of FarmTek’s Dutch buckets. However, if you want high-quality Dutch buckets that you can count on for durability and reliability, FarmTek won’t let you down.

Pros:

  • Extra 1-inch reservoir
  • Tough and durable
  • Large capacity

Cons:

  • Elbows sold separately

6. API Kirk Containers Rectangular Buckets

If you’re looking for an affordable set of buckets to get you started with hydroponic growth, API Kirk Containers has you covered. They give you a lot of buckets to work with. There are 12, to be exact, with each bucket providing you with 5.3 gallons of growing space. 

Another nice plus is that you get a lid with each bucket, so you’re getting a good head start on getting your hydroponics system up and running.

Black Rectangular Bucket 5.3-Gallon Bucket with Black Snap-on Lid, 12 Pack

The rectangular shape of the buckets is perfect for hydroponics and plant growth, so it’s worth looking into this set. 

The quality of these buckets is also worth mentioning. They aren’t quite as durable as, say, the Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch Bucket Set, but I found that they do the trick for hydroponics.

If you’re not a fan of flimsier buckets, however, you might want to look elsewhere. Again, they aren’t so bad that you can’t grow media in them, but they are unfortunately more prone to accidental breakage, which can pose a threat to your growth. Still, given the price and the number of buckets that are included, you might choose to look the other way and give them a try. 

Pros:

  • Lots of buckets to get you started
  • High-quality buckets
  • Nice value

Cons:

  • No extras

How to Choose the Best Dutch Bucket for Your Needs

How Many Plants per Bucket?

For a standard, 11-liter Dutch buckets, you can grow between two and four plants. Smaller buckets will only accommodate one plant per bucket. 

If you’re growing plants that yield vines, such as tomatoes or other large fruit, you’re going to want to use a large Dutch bucket, as they are better suited for the extra space. 

Should I Buy Nutrients With My Dutch Buckets?

This special nutrient solution is an essential component of hydroponics. It is made to travel down through your growing medium. The nutrients get absorbed by your plants’ roots. There are many ways people go about fashioning their own bucket system. However, you always want to be sure that you keep your system off the floor. Failure to do so can result in the growth of potentially damaging algae, which can interfere with the health and growth of your plants and present a slipping hazard on the floor below. Don’t let this keep you from using it, however. Your plants, regardless of the type, require nutrients to thrive.

What Plants Can I Grow in a Dutch Bucket?

Large plants that yield fruit will grow nicely in a Dutch bucket. As mentioned, you’re going to want to stick to plants with thick vines if you want to get the best use from your Dutch bucket system.

For example, if you’re growing tomatoes, you should allow a distance of at least 4 square feet between plants. If your plants are of the larger variety, reduce each Dutch bucket to only two plants per unit.

Plants like squash and cucumber require a distance of 6 square feet, sometimes 8 square feet. As such, you’ll need to make sure that you keep your growth to a minimum. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When buying your Dutch buckets for hydroponics, you want to make sure that you understand the importance of irrigation and fertilizer. 

Your Dutch bucket reservoir, the medium you have chosen, and the type of plant you’re growing all play a role in helping ensure that you maintain the best irrigation and fertilizer system.

You also want to make sure that you always sanitize and clean your buckets between crops. Failure to do so can result in your next crop dying. This is because bacteria and fungus remain in the buckets after harvest.

When you attempt to grow another crop using the same medium, it is often not effective enough to provide proper growth. As such, you always what take the time to remove all traces that was in that medium. Then, clean the inside and outside of your buckets using a safe cleaning agent before attempting to grow another crop. Be sure to use fresh medium.

Now, there are some mediums that are designed to be used throughout several growing seasons, but you want to ensure that your medium is made for such use before reusing it.

FAQ

What irrigation system is most common with dutch buckets?

With Dutch buckets, you can use either an automated or manual feeding system. Dutch buckets require a special nutrient solution to be delivered to them multiple times throughout the day. As a result, the automated drip irrigation system is most commonly used.

Do tomatoes grow faster in Dutch buckets?

As long as you keep growing conditions favorable, you can look forward to your tomatoes growing as much as 30 to 50% faster when using hydroponics and Dutch buckets.

Final Thoughts

Hydroponics is quickly growing into one of the most popular ways to raise crops. Thanks to the incredible quality of the Bootstrap Farmer’s Dutch Bucket Set, you’ll have a head start on efficient growth.

The included 10 buckets and additional extras give you plenty of growing room to set up a successful hydroponics system. And given the affordable price, the Bootstrap Farmer’s set is the most cost-effective route to get there.