Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.
Okay Saint, Tplant, Gymgirl and all you others... you did it to me, and I've ordered two Earthboxes. Just waiting on the mailman, and just in time for my planned plant-out in a week.
Since I garden on a roofdeck, I just had to try it, especially after Carolyn's thread had me dreaming :-)
I'll be studiously reading all the posts on EB's now so I can make sure I get it right- I ordered just the EB's, so I'll need to get my own soil and fertilizer. Y'all are wonderful salesmen!!
They really work! Sounds like they will be perfect for you as you can put them anywhere that there is sun.
Make sure you follow the set-up instructions to the letter as it is very important. Buy top quality container mix w/o moisture control granules. Let us know when they arrive?
lol I think Tplant really works for the company on the sly and gets kick backs *wink* I sent my Dad home with an EB flyer when he was here last week with strict instructions on what to order for my B-day and X-mas. Easy for him and a much wanted (and needed) gift for me...It's killing me that I can't plant out melons or have any for my peppers right now...
Hey guys- got my EB's today!! I'll get them set up in the next couple of days. The directions look real simple. My gardening got sidetracked by my bird netting cage I built :-)
Was wondering about the cover- should I use the black or the white side? Philly gets up into the 90's fairly often, and my deck doesn't get any shade except for dawn and dusk. Take care-
I'm in the hot humid gulf coast Texas area and they said south Florida use white, so I used the black when planting out in late Feb/Mar. The black side must have fueled the early growth of tomatoes due to the extra warmth. Now we are REALLY getting hot. The tomatoes are so huge that the black plastic is completely hidden by the plants - so I will report what the black side does in this intense gulf coast heat/humidity. The setting fruit is huge, and so far I don't think the black side here has limited the set. Let's see about the actual production!
When I set my fall crop, I will defitely use the white side for my seedlings. It's my first year with EB's - so I accept any advice!
I got the EB's, and set one of them up tonight- following the directions to a T, and using the white side of the cover- I decided to go with the white because my deck is nothing but full sun, and on those 90+ degree days its like an oven out there, especially since the edges of my roof are covered by that silver roof sealant. The floor boards on the deck get so hot that you can hardly walk on them sometimes.
I used Miracle Gro mix- at Lowe's it was the only product I could find that didn't have moisture crystals in it. Two cups of dolimitic lime in the top several inches. And my fertilizer granules are 10.10.10. I planted the tomatoes down to their first leaves, and then worked them through the x cuts.
Did I do okay? I'm one of those worrier type gardeners LOL :-)
I'm going to set up the other EB over the weekend, and the rest of my tomatoes are going in my 5 gallon buckets or those big muck buckets with handles (I bought three of those). I think those are big enough for two plants each. And I also am going to try a couple of plants in these nifty seven gallon plastic trash cans I found today.
Can't wait to see the tomatoes!!!
Samantha --- You did good! If your deck gets that hot I suggest that you put your three spaced bricks or pieces of wood under the EBs to keep them off the deck. Sounds like you have a hothouse there! LOL
bolino -- use potting mix and not potting soil. The organic soil you bought will say on the back of the bag in very small print "Do Not Use In Containers." Ebs are containers. Use Miracle-Gro potting mix without moisture control granules(blue bag), Jungle Growth, Sta-Green, ProMix from Walmart or any other quality mix but not organic or potting soil or you will be disappointed...
TPlant, I bought 3 earth boxes and have them set up on my deck. I'm only using one for tomatoes, the others I'm going to plant beans and cukes and train them up to make a sunscreen. I'l probably put out some basil and peppers too. It gets hot as hades out on my south facing deck, so I have the white side up on the box with the tomato in it. I'm hoping for the best.
Gymgirl --- You did great girl! Soon you will be a pro! Congratulations on good clean plants. Keep em that way by spraying every two weeks although judging by your plants it looks like you have been doing that? Don't let the caterpillars get a foothold (pardon the pun )on your plants or they will chew them up overnite. They always strike when the tomatos are plump but still green and the new shoots are coming up on the top of plants. I have to keep a close eye on them down here as I am sure you will cause our climates are very similiar. Nice goin!! Oh! I notice an extra cinderblock under the center of the boards? LOL
Rose -- I hope you have better luck with cucumbers than I have although I do get beautiful cukes it isn't long after that I always get that durn "Cucumber mold" as I call it. Although you may not have such a problem because of your cooler and drier zone. I had the finest stringbeans this season. I'm sure you will also. Good Luck though I doubt you'll need any with EBs.
You've got a memory like a tack! Yeah, there's an extra ciderblock. And, yeah, the scaffolding actually isn't even close to buckling or breaking. Matter of fact, I've stood up there WITH the EBs to stake them up! Never felt like it would give. So, we were ALL right!
Thanks for the advice about the worm. So far, it's the only one I've seen in the whole shabang, but that doesn't mean they're aren't more on the way. I'll spray the BBG tomorrown evening. Part of my problem is being able to concentrate comfortably while I'm among the mater branches. Just can't focus like I want/need to, for looking over my shoulder at ever creak, every noise, and heaven help me if I hear the dry leaves crackle! I'm a basket case by the time I come inside. Consequently, I'm not spending enough quality time outside with my maters...I'll try to get DH to spend more time in the lawn chair while I tend to my maters. I'm sure I'll be better able to spot the predators if he or someone else is out there with me.
Gymgirl - Cowpea got it right. Those leaffooted buggers drink maxd(bug b gone), doesn't bother them at all. To get rid of mine, I suck them up in a 12v vac cleaner. Kind of fun catching them. They try and hide on you, run around to the back of the leaf or stem, but just stick your nozzle around the back side and suck them off. Works like a charm. Ed
Here are some photos of some earth boxes that I made for my parents. They have lots of garden space but are unable to do traditional "in the soil" gardening any more. So I made 11 eboxes for them and planted out on Easter weekend: tomatoes, squash, eggplant, cantaloupe and watermelon.
Gymgirl - good looking plants! - I think yours are just a bit smaller than mine - hope the critters stay off your boxes! I haven't seen any of those ugly ant things yet - hope they don't hop on the loop and head west! I tried my first fried green one that was bug challenged - wow good!
Tumble_weed - that's an awesome looking EB garden youv'e got growing up there. I also think 6 squash are too many. I'm getting ready to pick out the middle two yellow squash - well I keep saying I will... don't you hate to pick something that has blossoms on it? I'm pretty sure the blossoms would pollinate easier. Yours look great
Had a good evening among the mater branches yesterday! Since they're up on the scaffolding, I get to sit under the branches and can examine them up close and personal. So far, since I removed my one worm, havent's seen anymore. Also, didn't see anymore Leaffotted Stink Bug NYMPHS (My ORANGE ants...).
The maters are getting bigger, with less BER. I'm convinced (and have been told) all the rain and humidity is contributing to the BER. They're getting more sun these days, although if I can just convince the DH that even on a rainy day you have to fill the BOXES, 'cause those little raindrops don't find their way into the fill tubes! My babies were dying of thirst by the time I watered them yesterday evening...
The Stupice are coming out in clusters, as are the Eva Purple Balls. I'll take pics this evening and post progress tomorrow.
Gosh I wish we could send some buckets of the stuff your way IO1 and kingedking!! We had a huge drought for almost all of 2005-06 after the Katrina/Rita fiascoes. Then in October 06 it let loose and we've had deluges and floods off and on since then. You need these showers! I'll wish them to go straight east REALLY hard!!! (we just don't need 5-6" at a time!!!)
Gymgirl - I fill my EB's before I go to work in the am and again when I get home around 5:00 - they are so thirsty! I'm afraid to go out of town again - if it hadn't rained on Sunday here, don't know how dry they would have gotten. I need to hire the little neighbor girl and train her - I'll be gone a whole week in early summer. DH just won't remember...
i have to jump in here because the name of this thread makes me chuckle...after reading such good thing about the EB's i decided to try one. then a week after i got the first i decided i needed a few more, so i ordered 3 more and gave one to my mom. now, she has decided she loves them and wants more too!!
here is a pic of the ones i have set up. i made a few myself just to see if it would work as well as the real thing. I put them on the edge of my patio for easy watering before work and this way i will be able to build i cage sytem and drive it into the ground on one side. Have not gotten to that yet but I have a vision!!!! my husbands says oh no!! hahahaha!
the two on the left were only planted a week ago and the two on the right just a day or two ago. its amazing how fast they are growing.
Gymgirl - you are so right!!
Listen to her and other dg'rs AND trellis before they are monsters. I was imagining some dainty 3'X5' plants - which are the healthiest and largest I ever grew before DGers' help. So imagine my surprise when they grew so quickly to about 6 feet by 5 feet on my driveway edge. This is my first year, so am learning by my mistakes and "listening" to DGers so I'll do better next time. I've gotten some delicious cherries and now many larger early girls and beginning cherokee purple. I am now steering the car around the EB's. (a small price to pay!)
Sorry all- been out of circulation for a couple nights- I got transferred to another Riteaid, and have been getting used to my whole new store (I'm a front end manager). Its so funny- my crew is already asking for flowers LOL. Happens as soon as someone finds out you garden! Another chance to get rid of more of the WAY too many seedlings I started. I'll remember next year not to start so much, as somehow I was able to germinate everything I started.
Tplant- I will look into putting bricks or something under the EB's when it gets hot. It does get hot out there- although with the breeze (Philly always seems to have a breeze) it usually feels comfy as long as you're in the middle of the deck away from the silver parts surrounding it.
Bookworm- I will take some pictures as soon as the other half brings the camera home from the office LOL. Mine are really taking off so far!
Gymgirl- You are so right about listening to DGers :-) I have learned SO much on here, and really feel like a gardener now! That staking system is great- I just wish I had some yard to stick it into- those would blow right off my deck :-)
Just found this thread, and I can tell you, those photos of veggies and full EBs make me SOOO jealous of all you Southeners and Texans!!! I feel like I'm "zone challenged" here on Cape Cod (technically 7a, but actually more 6b.) I bought my EBs months ago, but was afraid to set anything out in them yet because the local gardeners say "don't plant anything tender before Memorial Day (our average day of last frost is May 25!) They're talking about in the ground.
My question is: can I plant my maters, cukes, squash seedlings out earlier than this date in EBs? Like now? Will the plastic mulch give more protection? And, I assume that I should be using the black side of the plastic, though I do have some red stuff I purchased. Should I use that instead?
Hey y'all ... I'm sooo thrilled! I've got baby maters finally! LOL Y'all know how my weather has challanged me this year, so this is a real thriller! The best thing is my bro was here and told me how much better the plants in my EB's looked over the ones in my 5 gal buckets. :-) Boy, that was nice to hear. He said they were much greener and healthier looking. :-) Ooooh, I want more ... I want more!! My yard is on a slope, though. Am having problems finding level places to put them. Think I'm having a flower pot sale, and covering my entire deck with them. The only problem is the weight of so many. Oh well ... I'll figure it out. I looove these things!! :-)
quick question...do you guys mix your maters in your EB's? If you have 2 per box is it best to keep them the same like two brandywine, two better boy? Does it matter if you mix them like one rutgers, one mr. stripey (which i did so hope its okay). I also have one Huskey Cherry and a sungold that I was gonig to put into one box..I am thinking it would be okay because they are both small types? Anyone have any thoughts on this?
so, this is what i have come up with...Please don't laugh!!! LOL!!
I already had all the wire and posts from my blackerry project last year so thought I would try to rig something up. Feels pretty darn sturdy so hopefully this will work. the tops of the posts are 5ft. I can add to them if I need to later on. See how close I am to the hose reel? Perfect for me before work as I am usually in a rush. I call it Wall-O-Maters. Actually I hope it gets big and tall to block out the neighbors!! :-)
I'm not going to laugh for sure! You should see what I rigged up as they grew... I've got a similar situation in that I have mine on the edge of the driveway, so I can only stake up the grass side. I've used about three different staking materials, and they are still sprawling over the driveway and the small side yard I share with the neighbor. Your metal posts look pretty sturdy - they might just hold back the monsters. I love your wall-o-maters! They'll block out the neighbors for sure in a month or so - LOL! Oh and your patio (like my driveway) will get much smaller.
bookworm, this is the only place i could come up with that my darling husband did not have a fit about because he won't have to mow around them. and not enough time to construct a whole new bed for them. next year i will start earlier and do it up right. i can't wait for them to grow-you can tell i live in a little subdivision and the people behind me have a trampoline that gets a lot of use. the maters will block it out for sure. i am so very excited! I will post pics as my wall progresses.
Hi, EB gurus: I'm settin' my Ebs out tomorrow on cool Cape Cod--my maters are going in, too. I have read about adding dolomitic (sp?) lime in the tomato boxes, but my EB instructions say nothing about it. The guy at the nursery where I purchased the EBs said just to add some tomato fert to the box--but I thought that adding extra fertilizer was a no-no.
So do I add dolomitic lime for tomatoes, and if so, how much?
Thanks in advance.
EarthBox® Gardening Tips
PLANT SELECTION Try Everything! Whatever is available at your local nursery will grow in your EarthBox®. Use
the smaller 5-7" tall seedlings available in 2" pots, or start with seeds.Your County Cooperative Extension Agency (in
the phone book) can recommend the best varieties for your area and season.
POTTING MIX 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. Some national brands are: Jungle Growth, Pro-Mix, Majestic, Sam’s
Choice and Peters Professional Mix.
FERTILIZER 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. Some national brands are Vigoro, K Gro, Scotts, Rite Green, Sam’s
Choice and Fertrell.You’ll need two cups of fertilizer for each planting. Organic fertilizers, like Fertrell and Nature
Safe, can also be used. Simply use 3 cups of organic fertilizer to replace the 2 cups of chemical fertilizer. Do not add
any additional fertilizer during the growing season.
PLANTING 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 as far away from the fertilizer strip as possible. Select the number of plants
from the Plant Selection Chart.
WATERING 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.
STAKES Tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, beans and other vines or tall plants need support.The EarthBox® Staking
Kit (not included) 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®.
CASTER SOCKET Optional EarthBox® Caster Kit (not included) is available.The EarthBox® is equipped to use
any standard caster with a 3/8" diameter x 1" length stem.
OVERFLOW HOLE 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.
FOR MORE TIPS GO TO: www.earthbox.com
continued on next page
Mystic - my dh doesn't love tomatoes like I do, and the landscaping/grass is more important than maters - thus the "driveway garden." That's a great use for EB's - you can put them where you want them. Now he's amused that my little experiment has taken off like it has, and even complimented one of my early Better Bush maters. He does love yellow squash, though, and hasn't uttered a peep about the grass I'm killing - uh putting into dormancy - for some great squash. (only four so far - but really good.)
Cape Cod - the dolomite addition has - I think kept away the dreaded blossom end rot. On one of the EB's I had to buy some kind of lime because I couldn't find dolomite. It's doing well, also. Black spots appeared where blossoms fell off, but no BER. I've lost at least one crop from BER and bad timing in the past. Follow araness's pasted info - it's right on. The nursery guys don't necessarily know what they are talking about.