Have any of you ever heard about or tried this thing called the Earth Box?
Here is a link. If you go to the forum there is a thread where the guy has lots of great photos of what he's grown in his Earth Boxes. They look like the perfect garden for someone in an apartment!
Yep! Left them at the house when we moved.
Does that mean y0u did NOT like them?
This guy is using them in a dry area so I suspect that they help him maximise the use of his water since they are not inside. You would need a very big apartment to grow all that stuff he has - plus - even if you filled up the whole apartment - it wouldn't grow as fast as you would eat it. I am not interested - unless I was growing herbs for spicing food - but they take up too much space for basic food growing. I guess I didn't read enough of the site. Too me any plastic tub would serve the purpose if that is what you wish to do.
I've always wanted to get some of those but from what I recall they were $60 each? So I never got around to prioritizing them on my want list.
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I recall them being $30 each. Could be wrong.
Originally Posted by Sharon in Colorado
Well, if you like carrying LOTS of dirt to fill them and mixing the dirt with water, the first time wasn't so bad. Next planting, ya gots to dig all the stuff out refill the dirt and fertilizer, etc. I guess if one wants to take the time to work with them, it could work but to me, it wasn't worth it. Depends on what one is growing in them as well. I put some cukes in. They took over all three boxes and choked all the rest of the plants, poor lil things. Would seem the best part would be only having to water on occasion yet, tomatoes take a lot of water. Just too much work in my opinion especially since we have farmers' markets all around. Now, IF we didn't and could set up a hothouse, might consider using them. Enjoyed the hydroponics better though.
Originally Posted by RowanC
I own four of them and they are wonderful! I have a house but only a small yard and no real place for planting in the ground. Plus I am disabled and it's difficult for me to get down to weed and such. There was a strawberry patch in when we moved in and I do manage to do that, but it's quite a strain and takes me days.
Originally Posted by RowanC
So I began looking at raised beds and discovered the Earth Boxes. I've had mine for 2 years now. I actually used the covers for 2 years in a row. You're not really supposed to do that. I suppose they thin some with age and the holes enlarge. They worked okay this past year but I will use new covers next year. They come with extra covers.
You don't have to take all the dirt out each year. You just scrape off the top 2" or so and replace it with fresh.
Because they are covered, they are virtually weed free, although I have gotten a few slugs in mine. No insects that I've seen. They are watered from underneath via a tube in the side. I had presumed that because they are covered, this would help retain the moisture. And perhaps it does to a degree. But really they do seem to need water every day. I got lazy towards the end of summer and didn't water my tomatoes like I should. During really hot weather you may need to water twice a day. And really this makes sense since they are in a container and there is less dirt in there than there would be in the ground.
I also do not follow their suggested pattern for planting. Instead of the two rows they recommend, I do three rows per box. I make sure to plant vegetables that are compatible. For instance, tomatoes in the middle, with parsley, onions or leaf lettuce along the edges.
I have tried wax beans and peas in them. While they do work, the amount I get is so small (given the amount of space they take up), so I do not intend to plant those next year. What has worked quite well for me is lettuce (too well), onions, radishes, lemon cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. I tried carrots one year and while they did work, it takes a very long time to get a carrot and I find it's better to use the space for things that either grow more quickly or produce more of a crop, like tomatoes.
It's true you do need a LOT of dirt to fill them the first time. I bought my dirt on several subsequent days so I was not having to carry so many bags at a time. I set my boxes up one day, then filled them the next after having all the dirt nearby and ready to go. The filling and planting took me about 2 hours. I did all seeds that year with the exception of the tomatoes. They were plants. As I recall, it was raining that day as well so perhaps that hastened how I worked because I was getting very wet and muddy and my daughter was hollering for dinner.
Originally Posted by Revvell
But this year? Easy peasy! I just took a big plastic tote with me, scraped off the top dirt and added some fresh. A couple of bags was all it took. I intend to use them as long as I live here.
These are pretty big if all you are growing is herbs. Actually now I think they have different sizes and colors. When I bought mine there were no options. Although I do have some herbs in mine, mainly because I found a big sale on parsley seeds...most of my herbs are grown in simple narrow planter boxes that I bought at the drugstore. I bought the size that would fit in my kitchen window. I have a garden window. Good concept but not practical in winter. Just gets too cold in that location for herbs.
Originally Posted by luckitri
Now I have my four Earth Boxes out on my deck lined up in a row with the narrow planter boxes of herbs sitting in between.
I would not recommend the Earth Box for inside an apartment. But if you have a small deck or patio you could easily put one or two out there. Watering might be an issue unless you had access to some sort of hose. They take quite a bit of water when you fill them initally, and on hot days they can take quite a bit too. Main reason I would not recommend them for inside (aside from their size) is they have a drain hole on the side of the box that lets you know when to quit watering. Water will flow out the hole and you wouldn't want that in your house!
That's an interesting concept and I like it very much ;)
But I guess I won't get them in China so I started thinking: Can I not use just a plastic box, put plastic on top, secure it with elastic string, insert a tube for watering (not to mention the dirt that goes on of course) and have a cheapie earth box?
What do you guys think?
Every day is a new day - embrace it!
Wow, thanks! Great review!
I wasn't going to put it IN my apartment, but out on the driveway/deck. I was thinking of a salad garden; lettuce, onions, tomatoes, kale. I ran across one for $35 and thought I might pick it up.
There's one other thing to this design. There is a grate of sorts partway up from the bottom. Now some of the dirt most likely filters down through there but it's mostly where the water is stored. You would have to come up with something like that. Perhaps some gravel on the bottom, separated by some kind of plastic grating? You might not want wire because that could rust.
Originally Posted by madmel
And the top cover needs to be the right color. If you're not in an overly warm climate, you want black. If it's a hot climate, you want white. The plastic needs to be rather thick.
thank you for that input!
Gravel would be a good thing to put on the bottom and I could imagine putting some coated wire there too.
Getting thick plastic of whatever color shouldn't be a problem either I think.
Every day is a new day - embrace it!
I'm buying it
She called and has one that has been opened for only $25. I'm getting it! I can use it to move the energy in a better pattern in front of my new place. Although cute inside, the front is just 2 sliding glass doors in someone's garage. The driveway goes right up to the door. I'd like to make a more meandering entrance with plants and this big ole planter can be a part of that new design. And I can plant some salad stuff right outside my front door. I'm stoked!
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