Stoner MacGyver: Space Buckets keep your grow on the down-low


The tiny confines of the Space Bucket.

Editor’s note: We realize the vast majority of marijuana users are living in places where growing cannabis is legal and people don’t have to hide. That in mind, we wanted to highlight a home-spun, stealth growing operation we thought was perfect for those of you who wanted to grow small amounts in places where cannabis cultivation is still frowned upon.
All you need to grow your own weed is a bucket and a dream. That’s the message behind “Space Buckets,” an innovative marijuana growing method designed with a tiny circular footprint. For about a hundred bucks, and a weeekend’s worth of work, you can build a microfarm that yields up to two ounces of herb at a time.

The build consists of little more than a couple of cheap buckets, a computer’s CPU fan, and some compact flourescent lights. It’s all thanks to a guy named Ekrof, an amateur weed engineer with a website and Reddit community who hopes to see his technique grow far and wide. We caught up with the mysterious bucket head to find out how he does it, why he did it, and how you can do it too.

A working Space Bucket.

Toke of the Town: How did you get started with space buckets?

Ekrof: I wanted to grow my own plants but I didn’t have enough room in my apartment. So I started tinkering with containers to grow in small spaces.
TotT: Did you invent this?
Ekrof: I invented the Space Buckets design, and also built the website ( and the Reddit community. I’m not sure if I’m the first one to grow inside buckets though.
TotT: Where did you first hear of it / How did you come up with it?
Ekrof: The initial question was: “what if I put some CFL bulbs on a bucket lid?” I started building up from this idea, refining the variables whenever possible.
TotT: What state do you reside in?
Ekrof: I’m not in the US. I live in a country in the southern hemisphere

The underside of the lid of a Space Bucket.

Page down for the rest of our interview with Ekrof.

TotT: Who are spacebuckets a good solution for?
Ekrof: Space Buckets are useful in many situations. First off, they’re great for people with little space, where using a growing tent is impossible. Also for begginers who don’t want to invest a lot in a setup.
TotT: How long have you used this method?
Ekrof: I’ve been growing in buckets for about 3 years now.
TotT: How many plants have you grown?
Ekrof: About a dozen! Not all reached their destination, bucket growing can be challenging, specially with tall strains.

Plants early on in flowering.

YTotT: our proudest yield?
Ekrof: My latest bucket cycle: 40 grams from a Boss Hogg, and a very potent 1oz from an experimental SCROG.
TotT: Why computer fans?
Ekrof: PC fans are very cheap and can be powered with standard 12v supplies. I also recommend line voltage fans, 110v or 220v, depeding on where you live. I use a mix.
TotT: What is sidelighting?
Ekrof: LED strip lights (5050SMD) can be used on the walls of the bucket to supplement the top with CFL bulbs. This promotes trichome production and helps with yield overall.

A small, but proud harvest from Ekrof.

TotT: What are CFL’s and why use them, what about LED’s?
Ekrof: Compact Fluorescent Lights are the cheapest option for a DIY grow. These are the kind of bulbs we use everyday in our houses. LEDs lights and panels can also be used with much success, though they are a bit more expensive.
TotT: What do you do with it once it’s all grown?
Ekrof: You cut all the branches and begin the drying and curing process. That can take about 3 weeks to a month. Once it is a bit dry you keep the buds in a jar and try to keep the humidity levels at about 65% for the cure to start.
TotT: When/why did you create the community?
Ekrof: The /r/SpaceBuckets subreddit was created in September of 2012, after I finished my first run with the buckets. My goal is to spread this design as much as possible, I can sense a DIY bucket revolution in the making. I want to show people that they don’t need a huge investment and complex setups to grow their own little plant.

TotT: How has Reddit influenced the SpaceBucket concept over time?
Ekrof: The community is a key part of Space Buckets, it is very useful for discussing the bucket system and keeping plant journals. We are proud to be a helpful bunch of bucket gardeners. Reddit is a great platform with a lot of traffic, the forum has allowed us to share improvements and upgrades.
TotT: Has Reddit taught you anything unexpected?
Ekrof: I never knew there were so many kinds of buckets around the world. There are many unexpected days in the subreddit!
TotT: How hard is it to build one yourself, and perform a successful grow if you have zero experience with either?
Ekrof: You can build a Space Bucket in a weekend without much hassle. It’s a pretty simple design, though you can choose to modify it to fit your needs. If you choose a short strain and read a lot before you start growing you can definitely pull a good bucket yield. You will need to train your plant, so that knowledge will be crucial in the success of your grow. You will learn a lot along the way, first hand experience is the best teacher.
To learn more about Space Buckets and get plans for your own, check out