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5 gallon bucket with tomato plants

This five gallon bucket supply list is a part of the Alabama Extension Grow More, Give More project.

Makes four buckets

  • Four 5 gallon buckets*
  • Four 25-quart bags potting soil mix (avoid “garden soil” for container gardens)
  • Pine mulch or other mulch to conserve soil moisture
  • 1⁄2 cup gypsum per plant (summer garden)
  • 1 pound granular fertilizer for vegetable gardens (use according to label)
  • Insecticidal soap (for soft-bodied insects)
  • Bt dust or spray (organic sourced insecticide for controlling caterpillars, aka worms)
  • Fungicide (fungal plant diseases can seriously impact plant health)
  • Sturdy tomato cage, twine, or other way to support large or climbing plants

Seeds or transplants for early spring and late summer planting (cannot tolerate high heat): beets, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, collards, lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, spinach, and turnips

Seeds or transplants for late spring and summer planting (mature plants cannot tolerate frost): cucumber, eggplant, peppers, tomato, and zucchini

Check “The Alabama Vegetable Gardener” at www.aces.edu for a complete listing of crops and planting dates.

Helpful tools include:

  • hose, nozzle, or watering can to transport water to garden area
  • gardening gloves
  • hand trowel
  • hand cultivator

*When using a 5 gallon bucket as a garden container, ensure that the bucket is food-grade plastic and not previously used for storing toxic materials. Drill or punch holes every 3 inches into the bottom of the bucket to allow for drainage. A 2-to-3-inch layer of gravel or small rocks below potting mix may also promote good drainage by preventing the potting mix from clogging the holes. The volume of one 5 gallon bucket is equal to 0.76 square feet. Four 5 gallon buckets is equal to 3 square feet. Use this to understand how much fertilizer to apply.


Download a PDF of Five Gallon Bucket Supply List, ANR – 2663.

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