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Earth Box or Garden Patch

Danville, IN(Zone 5b)

I realize most of you use EB for your self-contained gardening, but there appears to be an alternative, Garden Patch. Does anyone have any experience with them? Maybe explain what, if any, difference and why one would be better than the other. I've read someplace that the new EB's are not as good as older ones due to construction material? Anyone comment on this?

I've just about convinced myself to give one of these systems a try. I currently plant in-ground but looking at some of the pictures of veggies grown in the EB's does make me a little jealous.

Thanks.

Corte Madera, CA

Thank you for bringing up Garden Patch. I have seen it before I got into self-watering planters (SWP) but could not remember the name. This is my first season using SWP: one (1) EB and four (4) Gardeners Square Foot Success Kits.

http://www.agardenpatch.com/

I went to the site, and looked for the actual dimensions and the make of the box itself. I could not find it yet. I have to learn to navigate better. Will it stand the elements for years and years? I would like to know, too.

I hope someone will come forward!

Annapet

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

I have 12 EB's and bought 1 Garden Patch last year to compare. I had the same great results with both kinds. The Garden Patch is almost identical as the EB. They are also the same price

BocaBob

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

Yes they are almost identical except the EB comes with casters that would cost at least $5.95 if bought seperately as the original EB has the insets for the casters. Very convenient if growing on concrete as it makes it portable and also keeps the base off hot concrete in the summer plus it also has a stand and a net (extra) to support tall cherry tomato, pole beans , string beans ,corn stalks etc that are not available with the Garden Patch plus a customized cover so I would say that the patented EB is a far superior product as it is much more adaptable for our needs. THE NEWER EBs ARE MUCH MORE STURDY THAN THE ORIGINAL AS I HAVE BOTH. NO! I DO NOT WORK FOR OR AM AFFILIATED WITH THE EB PEOPLE IN ANYWAY BUT YOU WOULD THINK THAT THEY WOULD AT LEAST THANK ME FOR ALL THE BACKGROUND INFO THAT I HAVE PROVIDED THROUGHOUT THE PREVIOUS YEARS?

Danville, IN(Zone 5b)

Thanks for your replies. Looking at them online it appeared that they were very similar and as BocaBob pointed out, almost identical in price as well.

I've read many of your posts, Tplant, and I agree, they should at least give you a few free boxes since I'm sure you're responsible for many sales from EB. I'm glad to hear your input since you have both the older version as well as the new one and find the newer ones more sturdy.

Now if I could just push this upcoming winter along so planting weather would be here soon.

Thanks again for your input.

Mary K.

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

Mary -- I used to live in NY and I remember the feeling waiting for Spring.

Corte Madera, CA

He sure is, Mary!

Waaaay Down South, GA

Yeah, he's responsible for 12 that I know of. :)

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Well, I know T loves the original, and I too have them. I dont think, however, they have any 'special sauce'. What they have is a concept and a way to grow plants. I dont think the plants know the differance, its a box, a screen and a tube. If you call them, they will pretty much tell you the same thing. What they have going for them, and no one can take it away, they are the original, and imitation IS the sincerest form of flatery. . Im a creature of habit, and they are close, the shipping is cheap, so for now, its still the original for me, but not because I really feel they are better. I would not have my ten if not for T, I too think they should send him some for free.

Maybe a co-op???

Waaaay Down South, GA

I'd love to see a CoOp ... but I've heard they haven't been receptive?

Danville, IN(Zone 5b)

I would guess you're right on the co-op ... they don't even give a discount for ordering more than one at a time. No break on shipping charges either ... kind of a bummer.

Crestview, FL

p1mkw: I have 6 of the garden patch boxes myself, and I have bought 4 of the earth boxes, thanks to TPlant and Dave's Garden Club. LOL I haven't used the earth boxes yet; but, with TPlant's raving about them I'm buying 5 more. So; yes, we can blame her for my poverty now, right? LOL Just kidding Tplant, although you did give me the idea to look a little closer at them. The difference I see in both boxes is that the Garden Patch ones have a slot at the bottom that you stick water hose into and fill it up with water whereas the earth box you have a place at the top of the box to water which goes down into the reservoir, the covers on the EBs cover the boxes top completely, the Garden Patch ones do not, they are just flat pieces of plastic that you use plastic spikes, (they come with the boxes), to punch into the corners of the plastic cover to hold it into the dirt, weeds still get in by the way and so does water. The Garden Patch's fertilizer strip is in the center of the box not down one side like the EBs are. There are some differences, but, both I think will work almost equally well, I think I will probably like the EBs better though, will let you know for sure after this next Spring/Summer ok? Now as far as a watering system on a timer like the one Boca Bob has, it will probably work better in the EBs, don't know for sure.
joy112854

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

I know now because of this horrible osteoarthritis that I will eventually have to buy the self watering system but I guess it will be for the best for my EBs and of course my health and no gymgirl I can not build my own as the osteoarthritis also effects my fingers as they can not work with tiny fixtures also part of my carpul tunnel syndrome which numbs the tips of the fingers. I'd probably lose more parts than connect them but I'll find a way? I'm no quitter as I am a strong type A personality as are most polio survivors! However if ever you are in my neck of the woods? Love Ya!
Ted

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

I agree that the EB's ar much more condusive to auto water. Thank goodness, cuz thats what ive got and Im going to have to set up some sort of watering system. Its just a waste of money for me to set up any more without it.

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

gardenglory --- You can always set them up and then get the watering system? Don't forget the EBs have to be set first before the watering system as the water lines must be cut and fitted to the length of your next EB so don't hold back for that reason? Think of all the fun you will be missing meanwhile by not allowing them to do their thing? I feel incomplete when I'm not out there with my EBs although my time with them is getting shorter because of this darn osteoarthritis but my doctors have given me something new and with the periodic injections I'm hoping for relief and not shoulder replacement surgery for both shoulders?? No way If the Lord will help me?

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

I fell so sad when I hear of your shoulders. So many people are in such good health and just will do nothing. Here you have all the 'want to' and those shoulders. All prayers and good thoughts are with you.

Waaaay Down South, GA

Tplant ... go ahead and get the watering system. You can still go out there and talk to them babies. LOL I go out there and touch my plants and tell them how pretty they are. grin

Crestview, FL

TPlant: You live in Pembroke Pines, Boca Bob lives in Boca Raton, that isn't that far away ya know? I used to live up on Riverland Road, Fort Lauderdale, so know the area well; but, now I'm in Crestview, 65 miles out of Pensacola, a completely different area, about 800 miles from you. I hear you on the surgery though, I was in a bad accident and the first thing the drs wanted to do was slice me open. I refused and years later am glad I did, pain is something I don't think anyone ever gets used to though. Have you tried Bio Medical Life Systems?
joy112854

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

We know of it but it is not suited for my purpose as I am in pain only when I work and I do have a complete vibrator-massage pad on my recliner that is from head to toe that I use after taking darvocette to relax. My pain happens mainly when I work or lift my arms over my shoulders but I am getting better. Thank you for your unselfish and time consuming research to help me? Wait till you see the difference in the growth quality of my sickly tomatos that I planted less than a week ago? I could not believe today that they were the same plants. Will take pictures tomorrow!
Ted

Crestview, FL

TPlant: What we have to do is figure a way to get those EBs up off the ground for you and at about waist level, that way you won't have to strain so much. How much does each box when full of dirt, plant and water weigh by the way?
joy112854

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Joy, I would be interested in this question just out of curiosity, since I lifted, drained, and emptied (and washed out) 12 EBs yesterday! I'm still standing upright. . . but I wondered how much weight I was shifting!

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Gosh, I cant even lift by myslef, one of those giant bags of jungle growth I put in. If im alone, I have to get two of the big bags. Then you add the weight of three gallons of milk. Thats a heavy load.

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

They weigh sixty pounds when full with mix and water. To put them up on a table would make me reach even higher to tend them? The bench would be 3' high and a full grown plant another 6' would equal 9' tall? As far as Jungle Growth is concerned buy the 2 cu ft bag and not the hernia making 3 cu ft bag as their is no differnce in price.
I use a hand truck to move them when necessary. I work from a Gardeners Garden scooter so their is no problem working the ground. No way could I lift them at this time of my life. There is no need to lift an EB if you have a hand truck with the large wheels from Home Depot or Lowes.

Crestview, FL

oh, I have a table I bought for $20 and out of curiosity tonight decided to see how many boxes would sit on them and managed to sit 6 on the table, I do have a picnic table also; which will hold 4 and the seats 2 each, so that's 12 of the 15. That means I'll probably pick some of those cement blocks and boards before Spring. With the Garden Patch Boxes you do have to bend to water them and if they are on the ground you are bending; but with the EB's you water from the top, of course, my plants didn't get that tall except my okra and I might just put it back on the ground again this year because of that too. LOL With tomato plants I hear if you pinch them off at the top they will spread out instead of grow straight up? Never tried it though, so wouldn't know. Just a tip someone gave me. For the topsy turvys, I got a topsy turvy waterer, which is a stick type thing that you attatch a 1 liter bottle of water to and just water it that way, the 2 liters would be too heavy, of course. And who could lift a EB on their own? I couldn't, I have people put them where I want them and then they don't get moved. LOL Same with the Jungle Grow and I buy the 2 cu bags. I let someone know when I need them to come over and they take them out of the trunk, the guys at Lowes puts them in the trunk.
joy112854

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

Now I see where you will appreciate Bobs coco coir bags @12 lbs per bulk and fills one and a half EBs when re-hydrated and requires no lime and no lugging..

Crestview, FL

TPlant: yes, I know but what I've ordered from Bob will stay in south FL, sniffles, I will have to order more and pick it up again in March for up here. Mike will be growing my veggies, of course, if Boca Bob wants an artichoke plant or two and you do I have 12 startings that will be making the trip to south florida with me. I have 42 startings, 12 artichokes, about 9 eggplants, the rest cauliflower and cabbage. So, you two speak now or hold your peace. LOL They look pretty healthy to me, but of course, I'm babying them. The next trick is packing them up in my suitcase for the trip down there and taking the Greyhound in December to Mikes. At Mikes, I will then plant them in the coconut coir grow bags at his house and he will take care of them. He's not wild about artichoke hearts and wants some tomato seeds from me, so, will cart them also.
joy112854

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

Joy -- Do you think artichoke will grow down here? According to my zone growing charts they will not so it would probably be a waste for you to lug them down here, but I do appreciate the offer. Cauliflower and cabbage I would not grow as they are not one of my favored foods but thank you for you kind and unselfish offer.
Ted

Crestview, FL

Ted: Well, they aren't going to be but startings, and Mike has lots of growing experience, we are going to be putting them into Boca Bobs grow bags (smiles).
You are welcome.
joy112854

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

I'll try one to see how they do. Never grew a artichoke before.

BocaBob

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Just get the variety that only takes a year, some take 2 years.

Crestview, FL

Gardenglory: They are the Imperial Star ones.
Boca Bob: I will have to delay the trip down from the 4th of Dec to 8th of Dec now, as my neighbor was mugged and hit over the head with a baseball bat, don't want to leave with him in that condition, he goes back to the dr around Dec 4th and appears to be doing fine so far, looks like a racoon with his two eyes blacked and the sheriff's dept says they will have the culprit soon. So; I've just been over to my house long enough to water plants and then back over here.
joy112854

Boca Raton, FL(Zone 10a)

Mike got the goods today!!!!!!!! Hope your friend feels better every day.

BocaBob

Crestview, FL

Boca Bob: Mike told me, and my friend is more worried about his looks (both eyes are black and blue) than his head, I'm more concerned with the head as I know the black eyes will heal; but, it will take time, he is over anxious, as most men are right? LOL
joy112854

Canyon Lake, TX(Zone 8b)

I'd like to jump in here and ask a couple Qs about the EBs.

I'm 65 and have gardened for the most part of my life except for the last ten years. My, how things have changed with the container gardening and all.

I have ample real estate for an on ground garden if I haul in garden soil. My location in Central Texas affords basically rock for a growing medium which is not good.

I have been considering building raised beds (not all that inexpensive) and buying gardening soil at the tune of about $400-$750 per 12 yards delivered. However, after learning about the EBs on this website, this may be an option for for consideration.

Questions:

1. Is there info available that suggest how many of each veggie the Eb will accommodate?

2. With the Eb, operation in year one seems straight forward enough. In year two, what is required in terms of preparation to get the EB ready for planting?

Thanks

Danville, IN(Zone 5b)

texasrockgarden,

as to what you can grown in EB's and how many, here's a link to the EB site that has that info.

http://www.earthbox.com/consumer/grow.html

as for #2 question, just keep reading thru some of these posts. Look for posts by Tplant as he is our resident EB expert. In a nutshell, I believe he basically removes the old fertilizer strip, adds new lime and fertlizer, puts on a new cover and is ready to go for another season. It is my understanding the same grow mix can be used for 2 or 3 years.

Crestview, FL

Texasrockgarden: I believe that TPlant now says that the Jungle Growth Mix for containers, (it's in a blue bag) which is sold at Lowes for around $7.95), will last for up to 4 years unless of course you grow corn in it, as corn depletes all nutrients in the soil. All that is needed to be added to the Earth Boxes is 10-10-10 fertilizer and pelletized dolomite lime. It depends on what you are growing as to how many plants you can plant, for instance, for tomatoes, eggplant, or artichokes you can only plant two per box; but, for some of the other veggies, you can plant anywhere from 6 - 16 per box. Boca Bob has been using coconut coir instead of the suggested Jungle Growth and has some lay flat growbags and 5 gallon growbags. The bags are really inexpensive and come with the coconut coir to be inside the bag as the growing medium for the plants, just punch holes for drainage and for planting your plants in. You can find his supplies on the market place right here. I have gotten 10 of each of those; but, also have 5 earth boxes, and 6 Garden Patch boxes, 2 Square footers (Garden Supply) and 2 topsy turvys with 4 garden revolutionary planters (Garden Supply) - the latter I think being an improvement on the topsy turvy as it has it's own water reservoir and the topsy doesn't. All the rest I mentioned except the topsys and Boca Bobs' have their own reservoirs. You can compare the earth boxes with the garden patch ones (they are both $29.95 and shipping and handling- the garden patch ones are at www.aGardenPatch.com and the rest, except the topsy is of course at www.gardensupply.com. Boca Bob has shown us all how to make our own watering system on a timer also on other threads.
My boyfriend who lives in Fort Lauderdale, has nematoids so he is going to use the lay-flat bags and 5 gallon bags to grow his veggies in this year. I'm going to use coconut coir in my topsys and some EBs this Spring/summer
joy112854
joy112854

Crestview, FL

Texas Rock Garden: You mentioned raised beds costing a lot right? I just got my Gardener's Supply Holiday 2008 mag today. On page 42 They have a self contained garden that has taken my eyes right now, It's called a grow bed, is 3 X 3 and is $49.95, what do you make of it? Let me know as this idea has crossed my mind also.
joy112854

Pembroke Pines, FL(Zone 10a)

Joy --- It would be real pretty to grow a bed of tulips or hycinths or special Holiday plants in it but it would be unique for such beautiful bulbs in season like tulips in Easter, Amarallis for Thanksgiving,etc. My neighbor has one like this around a palm tree and it is beautiful. A little larger than 3' x 3' but that doesn't matter with bulbs as they are planted closer for effect. I'd love to have two! One on each side of my walkway for special effect and with Bobs coir being so fine and water retentive it would look beautiful and the bulbs would love it with the addition of bone meal or Bulb Booster or even his special fertilizer. I'm going to buy some of his fertilizer as it has everything a plant needs especially my roses. Down here, I have to buy pre-cooled tulips and they can not be saved for the next season because of the heat unless dug up and refrigerated for the winter so it is best for me to buy from Heirloom Bulbs as they pre-cool.

Crestview, FL

TPlant: I dont' dare plant tulips up here. LOL I'm sure they'd be a mess with my being their caretaker. I did of course, get around 80 daffodil bulbs, which I'm sure will be a challenge for me. I planted canna lilies in all my beds because they are easy to grow to start with. LOL You can overwater them, underwater them and they still keep on trucking onwards, just the plant for me. I notice too, that the few plants I brought into the house are starting to droop, like in that they are yelling "too much water, too much water", which is my habit of course. I bought aqua globes to solve that little problem and it seems to be working thus far. With that in mind, the self watering containers is what I should have, that is the decision I've made, now, what is intriguing me most about the coconut coir, is that you don't have to worry so much about overwatering, that is another plus for me. So; as you can tell, I'm trying to find what will work for me and possibly others who are beginners also. I'll probably wind up putting coconut coir in my flower beds themselves, I wonder if anyone has tried that and been successful?
joy112854

Crestview, FL

TPlant and Bob: Here is what is in the fertilizer I already have on hand: Schultz's Tomato and Vegetable Slow Release Plant Food:
it's 10-12-12, and here is what the label says it also has: On the Nitrogen (7.0 is from Ammoniacal Nitrogen, 3.0 is from Urea Nitrogen), Phosphate is 12%, Soluable Potash is 12%, Sulfur is 2.8%, Boron is .02%, total copper is .05%, total iron is 1.0 %, total maganese is .05%, molybenum is .0005%, total zinc is .05%. Is it missing anything? Do I still need epsom salts, cause I could add that myself couldn't I? I have a huge 4 lb bag of it, also what about gypsom?
joy112854

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