Does anybody own the new EB and their staking system? How did it work out for you this season? I am considering getting them for next summer, but the staking system sounds pretty short (4 feet from the top of EB).
Kingedking built his own staking system, didn't he? Unfortunately, I won't be any good at making things like that (I am pretty good at cooking, but I don't think that would help any with building a staking system!), so I will have to resort to buying the ready-made staking system from EarthBox Company...
I think he just added on to the existing system - but I could be wrong. I will go in a check out his thread again when I have a minute...I do it periodically anyway because those photos just plain make me grin!
I bought 5 earth boxes and made 13 more myself. digita-dave and I posted replys on "caging the beast". and this tells how both of us make cages. I did build wood frames for the base around mine but you do not have too. A very easy way to make cages is from 1/2" PVC pipe which is quite cheap.
I used the earth boxes for two years, but not this year. It takes a lot of time to water them unless you build a water system line with adjusting valves for each box which I will do if I use them again. The first year I planted 2 tomato plants per box and the second year one per box which was much better. The roots of the plants set in water 24 hours a day. seven days a week not too long after planting. I did have a lot of blossom end rot the first year and I added a fair amount of calcium to the plants the second year and I did not have a problem with the blossom end rot. I did grow some nice tomatoes. If I use earth boxes again, I will use a soilless medium with the roots in water all the time to see if there is a difference in the other tomatoes I plant. If someone asks me if they should buy earth boxes, I would suggest starting with one. Some people really like them, some don't. You might think I went hog wild. (I think I did)
Here are a couple of the PVC stands early on. Just "T" fittings and "Elbows" ane 3/4" schedule 80 PVC pipe. I thought the 1/2" stuff was too weak. I now have 3-way and 4-way connector that I will use in the spring. These fittings will simplify the stands even more, but they are a little pricy unless you buy large quantities. I got the from Peaceful Valley in 100 packs and the price per piece wasn't too bad. The original ones that you see here, used only the T's and elbows and the total cost was less than $20.00 including 2 fence posts (steel ones that are used for wire fencing---I drove two of them into the ground and tie wrapped the PVC supports to them). Had some pretty good wind storms and they stayed put with the fence posts. Here are a couple on the ground with some bricks under the front to level them out.
This one was Sungolds and Sweet Millions in the ground with the PVC pipes just pushed into the ground. I had them three different ways. These right into the ground, the earlier picture with the bases up on bricks to level them out, and others that were kind of built around the earlier EB stands they sold. I used the fence post drivin into the ground and tie wrapped to the PVC on all of them.
Here is another shot of the one just driven into the ground with the plants also in the ground, no EB. The pipes are all cut to standard sizes, 4', 3', 2', and 1' will work well. You don't need to build the pieces that show going up and over the EBs. They really were not needed.
You can do pretty much anything you can dream up with the PVC and the fittings available plus add to them at any time, making them higher, wider, narrower or whatever. Easy to do and fairly cheap. I did not glue anything together, they are just pushed together which made it real easy to break them down and store them in very little space. (That is a big benefit of using the PVC).
My favorite supports I saw were the ones someone posted where they had wooden 4x4 corner posts set in the ground with ledges on them over their whole planting area.. Then they built a frame for wire mesh (I think they used the wire with 4" holes) and set these frames on the ledges on the corner posts. Just added another level as need and the mater plants grew right up through the wire. That setup is sweet, but it is too permanent and would take up too much storage area for me. If I ever make a permanent garden, that is the setup I would use. I tried to find the post they were in but I didn't get lucky. If someone else can find it please add it or at least a link to it on this thread. Ed
Sequee - The one for the Santas was 10' tall. Knock off about 2' for the EB and the plants were only about 8' tall this year. Last year I had 20' vines from the Santas, but the fluctuating and high temps were a little rough on them this year. Ed
Hello fellow stakers!! I set up two Earthbox staking systems, and I strongly suggest that you avoid them!! I began to get worried when they bent at the plastic connectors. Just last week, the plastic connectors broke, and my precious pink heirlooms fell, stems snapped, and much weeping followed.
They are overpriced and poorly engineered. Thank you, kingedking, for your excellent suggestions.
Well Fip, it looks like you might have a neighbor. Wish all in Ft Laud-Miami area would speak up so we can have a get togeather. This time it could be at my place. I just bought my son a Lang's Pig Roast BBQ model 48P. It will arrive in three weeks in time for his birthday 2/14(Valentines Day) and I have a large tent for the gathering. We could have a lot of fun!