The Q&A Archives: Terracotta container size conversion from gallon to diameter

Question: I notice a 5 gallon bucket or container is recommended quite a bit for container gardening, which I just started doing.

My question is what is the diameter conversion or translation of a 5 gallon bucket as I notice that terracotta planters/containers are sold by diameter such as 12in., 14in., 16in., etc.?

Please advise.

Answer: Nursery containers seem to vary a bit, but as a general guideline, a 5-gal is 12 inches tall and wide. With container gardening in the Southwest, the largest size that works for your site, ability to handle and budget is usually the best bet. In summer, the soil within containers can heat up significantly, basically "cooking" the roots! Soil also dries out faster. You can fight this a little by putting a pot within another pot, so the sun strikes the exterior pot, providing a bit of a buffer. Good luck with your container gardening!

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