The hassle-free way to grow tomatoes-with no more awkward cages or trellises. Grow tomatoes and other tall plants in the yard, on the deck, even indoors. Vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers grow bigger, tastier and faster in the EarthBox®.
Try Everything! Most plants will will grow in your EarthBox ® . Use the smaller 5-7" tall seedlings available in 2" pots, or start with seeds.
Almost any brand of potting mix for containers or hanging plants will work.You’ll need the big bag–2 1/2 cubic feet or about 75 quarts per box. The Esbenshade's Potting Soil is an excellent choice due to it's wicking action.
The EarthBox ® is designed to be used with a strip of common dry granular fertilizer or plant food for vegetables. Almost any brand of fertilizer will work as long as it is not designed to be mixed with water and all 3 numbers on the label are between 5 and 15. Dr. Earth ® brand organic plant foods are an excellent choice.
Select a sunny spot, as most vegetable plants need 6-8 hours of daily sunlight.The plants should always be planted through the plastic cover into the potting mix. Always leave the cover on. Gently loosen the plant’s root ball and set your plants into the soil. Select the number of plants from the Plant Selection Chart that is included with the EarthBox ®.
It’s impossible to over water with the EarthBox ®. So don’t try to regulate the water level. Add water every few days when the plants are young, and every day when your plants are mature.The plants will take only what they need–no more, no less.This could be up to 4 gallons a day! Use the fill tube to keep the water reservoir filled. You’ll know the reservoir is full when water flows from the overflow hole. Allowing the reservoir to go dry will shut down the system.
Tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, beans and other vines or tall plants need support.The EarthBox ® Staking Kit is the perfect solution for your plant staking problem. Install the staking system and run string between the vertical stakes to provide the support your plants need.
REPLANTING AND WINTERIZING
At the end of the growing season remove the old plants and dig out the fertilizer strip. Cover the box with a new cover until you are ready to plant again.To prepare for the next planting season top off the box with wet potting mix and add a new fertilizer strip as per the Fertilizer and Plant Placement Guide. Cover the EarthBox ® and replant.The potting mix can be used 5-6 seasons before replacing. FOR TOMATOES ONLY Tomatoes require a higher pH level than most potting mixes provide.To prevent blossom end rot, simply add 2 cups of dolomite or hydrated lime to the potting mix before planting. If Blossom End Rot develops during the season, mix 1/4 cup of hydrated lime to a gallon of water. Spray the mix directly on the plants or add it to the water reservoir the next time you water your EarthBox ® .
Optional EarthBox ® Caster Kit is available.The EarthBox ® is equipped to use any standard caster with a 3/8" diameter x 1" length stem.
The built-in overflow hole accepts 5/8" i.d. tubing for easy redirection of drainage.
THREE SIMPLE RULES
1. Always keep the cover over the soil and fertilizer.
2. Always keep the reservoir full.
3. Place the fertilizer on top of the soil and don’t use water-soluble fertilizers.
1. Getting Started
Inside the EarthBox ® you’ll find a plastic screen and a small bag of accessories. Remove the fill tube from the accessory bag and press it through the round cutout in the front corner of the screen. If your plants will need support, we recommend that you purchase the optional EarthBox ® Staking System.
2. Setting Up The Box
Put your EarthBox ® in a spot where it will get 6 to 8 hours of sun per day. Pack the two rear corner cutouts in the screen with moist potting mix. Pour water through the fill tube until it runs out the overflow hole. This is the way you will water your plants after planting. With the overflow hole you can never over water, so always keep the reservoir filled.
3. Starting The Potting Mix
Continue adding moist potting mix on top of the screen until the EarthBox ® is half full. It’s OK for some of the mix to fall through the screen. Sprinkle the potting mix with water and gently pat it down, especially above the two rear corner cutouts you filled first.
4. Finishing The Potting Mix
Fill the EarthBox ® COMPLETELY TO THE TOP with potting mix. Do not leave a space along the sides. Again sprinkle well with water and smooth the soil to the top edges. FOR TOMATOES, MIX TWO CUPS OF DOLOMITE OR HYDRATED LIME into the top 3-4 inches of potting mix and re-smooth.
5. Add Dry Fertilizer
Choose a FERTILIZER AND PLANT PLACEMENT PATTERN. Using potting mix, create a slight mound where you will place the fertilizer. Then pour 3 cups of dry fertilizer in a 2-inch wide strip directly on top of the new mound, and gently pat it down. DO NOT MIX THE FERTILIZER INTO THE POTTING MIX OR SPREAD IT AROUND. Do not use fertilizer that requires mixing with water.
6. Cover, Secure, & Cut
Included in the accessory bag are 2 fitted plastic covers, one as an extra. Both are equipped with a black side and a white side. Keep the BLACK SIDE UP, except in desert climates or Florida summers – where the white side should face up. Align one of the round cutout holes over the fill tube and carefully stretch the cover over the top of the EarthBox. When the cover is secure, cut a 3-inch “X” in the cover for each plant, AS FAR AWAY FROM THE FERTILIZER STRIP AS POSSIBLE.
7. Plant Your Garden
Through the cover dig 2 to 3-inch-deep holes into the potting mix, just as you would in the ground. Place one plant per hole and firm the mix around the roots. JUST THIS ONE TIME, pull back the “X” flaps in the cover to water the plants from the top to remove any air spaces from around the roots.Then carefully put the flaps back around the stems.
8. Growing & Replanting
Your EarthBox ® has all the fertilizer it needs for one complete growing season.Always keep the cover on and keep the reservoir full by adding water through the fill tube until it runs out the overflow hole. To replant, remove the old plants, the old cover and dig out the fertilizer strip.Top it off with potting mix, being sure it is completely wet throughout, and add a new fertilizer strip. Install a new cover and plant again (follow steps 5-7).