trudii Charleston, SC (Zone 8a) (2 reviews) April 20, 2013
I ordered two earthboxes and got them planted earlier this week. I would not be leaving feedback so soon if it was not for the customer service interaction. I called to let them know a third earthbox had arrived a couple days after the first two, but I had not ordered it nor been billed for it. I thought I was doing the right thing by letting them know but the customer service rep was rude, sounding exasperated that I would bother her. After being put on hold several times she finally said they would send out FedEx to pick it up. No 'thanks' just leave it on the porch.
If the earthbox works well this summer, I will buy from them again, but avoid customer service if at all possible.
After an excellent experience with Spray-n-Grow (all companies should be run like this!), I have attempted to contact Earthbox twice. I own 7 Earth Boxes and love the product. Shipping should have cost me $3-$4 at the most (it's like sending air as they don't weigh much) and they wanted to charge me over $12.00! That's what the rep on the phone told me. I declined the order and this rep didn't seem to care.
It took 10 days for my containers to make it out to me on the west coast via Fedex Ground. Ordering form them directly was the cheapest option I found. Twice the price of the ones you can make yourself, but they are prettier and more compact than the "earth-tainer" designs.
Wish they made bigger ones as I won't be growing beefsteaks in these.
I've acquired quite a few Earthboxes over the years and absolutely love them.
Our summers in OK tend to get very hot and both raised beds and normal containers dry out quickly.
Growing tomatoes in earthboxes allows them to draw as much water as they need and not be stressed. If we have a rainy spell, the excess water will run out the bottom and not waterlog the plants.
Once it gets hot, I generally fill the reservoir (sp) daily, just to make sure the plants aren't stressed.
I no longer use their covers or fertilizer. I do add lime prior to planting and mix a granular fertilizer into the soil. Diluted liquid fertilizer can be added to the reservoir to be gradually drawn up by the plants.
I pull tiny weeds as they develop until the plants are large enough to prevent weed growth.
I've had problems of rabbits hopping into them and eating the plants, especially young bean, chard or lettuce, but inexpensive plastic fencing can be cut and inserted around the edge to deter the rascals.
I have a few raised beds that I need to reclaim. The bermuda and weeds have taken them over and rendered them useless. Earthboxes make it possible for almost anyone to grow a few veggies with limited time and effort. I love them!
On a side note, I did make my own one year. They cost far less than the real ones and worked fine for all of 2 years. Most tote type containers cannot withstand the sun and weather like the earthboxes can. Some of my earthboxes are at least 15 years old and still doing great, even though they are outside year round.
araness Auburn, AL (Zone 8a) (3 reviews) April 10, 2012
I've been a customer since 2005, owning several of their products including Earthboxes, staking systems, AWS etc and am very pleased with the results.
We've grown large beefsteaks, cherry's as well as climate suited vegetables all with great success. The only secret to an EB is you must follow directions. Both regular and organic methods are listed and available.
I'm picky about what products I like and continue using so the fact I am currently up to 24 Earthboxs and a watering system for 18 should be review enough.
I originally bought a couple Earthboxes to experiment with a few years back and liked them enough to bring my EB count up to six, where it is now. I've tried growing different veggies in them to see how each performed, and this is what I found.
In general the tomatoes have done pretty well, although like some others have mentioned, the size of the fruit leaves something to be desired. I've found that small salad toms and cherry-types do well, but leave the main season tomatoes for the in-ground garden.
The same is true of bell peppers. Last year's crop of California Wonder peppers was pretty poor. Their size was kind of comical. My theory is that there's just not enough room for the roots to develop and the size of the fruit suffers as a result.
The veggies that have really performed well for me have been cukes, zukes, crookneck & straightneck squash, and chili peppers. Herbs have performed well for me, also. But considering how much one of these boxes costs it seems unreasonable to grow herbs in them anyway as the same room could be used for more zukes!
Overall I think it's a pretty good system but they're a bit pricey. I haven't had any dealings with customer support so can't comment on that.
Recently, I had a very positive experience with Earthbox. I could write this note about how a rookie gardener like me can prodigiously grow all sorts of vegetable with the Earthbox (itís been nothing short of amazing- Iíve successfully grown beans, parsley, thyme, and more things than I can now count. Iíve got nine earthboxes and plan to get three more. They are ridiculously easy to use, and yield an exceptional amount of plants for the amount of space used. This invention has changed my lifestyle because my diet is far healthier with the amount of vegetables now in my diet. But I digressÖ)
What I would like to express is the unusual and exceptional customer service experience I had with Earthbox. Originally, I had ordered an automatic watering system and the staking system with rush delivery, because I was leaving my garden for two months. Something went awry at Earthbox, a mistake was made, and it became clear that the materials wouldnít arrive in time even I had paid extra for the rush delivery. I called up Earthbox to complain and the apologetic woman at the end of the line told me it was completely her fault (seriously- how often do you hear this in customer service these days?). She graciously owned up to the mistake, which I thought was very honorable. I had to cancel the order, but she offered expedited shipping at no cost the next time I ordered from Earthbox. They credited back to my card immediately. Even this experience made me think Iíd order from them again.
As it turns out, I left for two months, and they shipped the $300 worth of gardening supplies anyway (they arrived after I left, unbeknownst to me). When I returned, I found the supplies which I hadnít paid for. I called Earthbox to tell them about my situation. The customer service manager told me that I could keep them for the minor troubles that I went through. Needless to say, I was floored. What a company!
In sum, not only is it a terrific product, but the customer service was some of the best Iíd ever experienced. I will be a loyal customer of theirs for years to come because of how I was treated and their amazing product. Thank you Earthbox!
Posted on August 14, 2010, updated August 14, 2010
Earthbox works reasonably well, but make your own!!! It's much cheaper and works every bit as well. I found 42-quart square plastic planters on sale for $7.50. I used cheap plastic needlepoint canvas for the soil to rest on. Plenty of aeration. Find them at a craft or fabric store, if not at a discount store. I used cheap plastic drinking glasses with holes drilled or melted into the sides for support for the plastic canvas. I used 6 or 7 because the canvas is very flexible and needed lots of support. I filled one of the glasses with soil for wicking and cut a 1 1/2" hole in the canvas strategically over that column of soil. I used cheap 1 1/4" pvc pipe for the water pipe and cut a proper sized circle out of the corner of the canvas for the pipe to sit through. Cut a big notch or some holes in the bottom end of the pipe for water flow. Put it together, fill it with potting mix (mounded up), pour your slow-release fertilizer all around the edge, and plant your seedlings. Use white plastic trash bags for a cover. Add water through the pipe. My beefmaster has done the best at nine feet tall and at least 20 tomatoes between 1/2 lb. and 2 lb. at one time. But the beefsteak and early girl and cherries are also doing great. If you want loads more great ideas, go to http://www.globalbucket.org. These two teenagers are amazing - very scientific in their testing and experimenting, and share all their information on this site. I'm going to try the grow bags and ollas next year. One thing I'm having a problem with this year is FAILURE TO RIPEN. My early girl has had about 20 tomatoes on her for about two months now. They are getting some size, although not hugh, but just WON'T RIPEN. Beefsteak the same way, as well as big boy and better boy. Beefmaster's are finally ripening. I'm going to be frying a lot of green tomatoes if this keeps up. Several of my friends are having the same problem with ripening. We live in the midwest (Kansas City area) and don't know if location/climate has anything to do with it. Anybody else having this problem?On August 14th, 2010, kctexan added the following:
showgarden Haymarket, VA (3 reviews) August 1, 2010
I bought six earth boxes. Used the recommended potting soil and earthbox's dolomite and fertilizer as prescribed.
I planted 7 chili variants, 6 tomato variants, Zuchini, Egg-plant, Beans, Watermellon and melons.
Here is my breakdown as compared with the same plants planted in a traditional vegetable garden I have.
Eggplant: works reasonably but the yield is pretty low to make it worthwhile.
Tomatoes: Not worth it. All my tomatoes in earthbox comes out 1/3 the side compared to my tomatoes planted in my vegetable garden in relatively poor soil. Beafsteaks are about 1 1/2" accross which is a joke.
Beans: Not worth it, too low yield per plant.
Zuchini: Definitely worth it and is what I will use the boxes for in future as I can keep a better eye on the diseases and borers when in EB.
Watermellon and Mellons: Not Worth it:
They are way too water hungry for an earth box and really need to be planted in traditional beds. I had to spend filling the reservoir twice per day for an EB with 2 watermellon plants in it which makes it impractical.
So, in general it is a great solution for people living in the city with very limited space and where you cannot compare with a traditional bed, but otherwise it just doesnt scale well when compared with a traditional vegetable garden. The results are huge comparing the fruit from traditional gardens and the EB which gives way smaller results in general.
I've ordered at two different times from EarthBox. Both times I received all my orders and they were delivered in just a few days. I had a question about something, so I called EarthBox. The representative answered my question thoroughly and never once seemed in a hurry to get me off the line. My experiences with EarthBox have been great.
I plan on ordering 10 more EarthBoxes for next year.
I had an interesting experience with Earthbox. I own several EBs that I have bought from my local nursery. I am happy with the results. Last month before going on vacation I decided to add the automatic watering system to a dozen of the EBs that were already planted.
So I ordered the product on-line with plenty of time for it to arrive. For a long set of reason that I wonít bore you with, my order fell through the cracks and after several e-mails and two weeks of waiting a partial order arrived.
I was very unhappy with the company. However having run a big organization in my past life, I know mistakes happen. What matters is how the company responds to a customer. So I wrote an e-mail complaining. Now, how often is it that you hear back from a company based on a complaint?
To my surprised a friendly gentleman called. He had gone back and read everyone of my e-mails, He was well versed on the problem. He took full responsibility for the problem, and apologized for the poor customer service I received.
He then overnighted the missing parts and when I opened the package, to my surprise he had included two additional units so that, no matter what, I could complete the installation before going on vacation.
We all know to make a mistake is human, what you do with that mistake is what people remember. In this case, EB performed far beyond my most optimistic expectations and my hat is off to their new customer service manager.
AnthonyR Ocean Springs, MS (4 reviews) May 4, 2009
I hate to take a chance on something new, especially in this time of people trying to steal your money with trash products. But my tomato garden has a disease in the soil so I needed a container system if I wanted tomatoes.
Brochure and internet site was very informative, gave me confidence I was buying a good product. Order arrived fairly quickly but I did order early (Feb). Fairly easy to set up if you take your time and your in shape.
Buying all the potting soil for your EBs can be very expensive. I mixed good potting soil with cheap potting soil 50-50 to save some money. Can't find the dolomite anywhere else but I did find it in the replanting kit on EB internet site which isn't too expensive. If your not in shape setting up your EB might be a big chore but just take your time and do it in small steps.
Results: I was suspect of growing 2 big tomatos or 6 pepper in one EB but so far my plants are thriving. I followed the EB instructions to the letter. They are all putting blossoms on right now (I'm in the deep south so planted April 1). So far it looks like EB does what it claims, you can grow great vegetables that will self-fertilize, no weeds to pull, and all you have to do is fill the resevior daily and harvest the vegetables when ready.
I was given an Earth Box for Mother's day last year. I did buy the planting kit from Earth Box it was expensive.
My first complaint is that planting an Earth Box is a back breaking job.
I can not see how anyone with physical limitations or back pain can do this. My mother in law purchased these last year to make gardening easier for my father in law who has heart and lung problems. He loves planting and growing.
I am a healthy person who is well aware of proper body mechanics not to injure oneself, yet after planting my inlaw's four boxes I was in pain for a day or two.
I did not even want to bother with my Earth Box after that experience.
I felt obligated since it was a gift from them. I planted two cherry tomatoes and some herbs. That turned out well.
Even though it states that only the fertilizer strip and dolomite have to be removed and the dirt can be reused, I decided to dump everything. Good thing I did since I found several slugs in the bottom.
I wanted to replant with fresh potting mix and purchase just the dolomite and the fertilizer strip from Earth Box this year.
Earth Box does not sell those without the dirt. Shipping costs on the entire package is too much since I can buy potting mix locally.
I read all the forums on the Earth Box website to see what compatible products where out there. I had difficulty finding dolomite. Grinding garden lime in a blender to get the right consistancy isn't something I really wanted to do to get the small amount I need.
After much aggravation I put in a search engine "where to buy dolomite/Earth Box."
Luckily for me there is a nursery in my area that sells the Earth Box, the staking kit (which is pathetic) and a replanting kit.
The replanting kit has just the dolomite and the fertilizer. So why doesn't Earth Box sell it directly on their website?
I still had to buy an expensive heavy plastic bale package of Promix BX potting medium. That is the best they say on the forums.
The forums are filled with folks with a wealth of information regarding everything and anything pertaining to Earth Boxes.
Truthfully, if I had not found the replanting kit for the Earth Box, I was going to go back to my old ways of planting tomatoes in any container with Miracle Grow soil and fertilizer with a stake.
Its easier, costs less and isn't so much work overall..and no slugs!
I am still dreading doing the replanting. At least this year I am only doing one for me and two for my inlaws.
Company representative comment on November 23, 2009: On Nov 22, 2009 8:45 PM, EarthBox responded with:
Hi, everyone. I just wanted to let you know that EarthBox Replant Kits and Organic Replant Kits are available at http://www.earthbox.com. This item includes a pre-measured bag of fertilizer and dolomite and 2 Patented EarthBox Covers. Just what you need to get your EarthBox Garden ready to go.
EarthBox works great. Will be trying the red covers this summer. Of course, just looked to order them and the website wasn't calculating the discounted bulk rate. May need to polish a few things. This review is product only, it's solid.
redunn777 West Palm Beach, FL (1 review) May 12, 2008
I received the EarthBox as a gift. I "nearly" followed the directions. I did not add the strip of dry fertilizer since the bag of potting mix advertised that it already had "some"
fertilizer added in. The "Patio" tomatoes did fairly well. I would fill a jug with tap water and let it sit for a day to blow off the chorline. I was fairly faithful with re-filling the water reservoir of the EarthBox. Later I added the strip of dry fertilizer from a discarded bag of Scott's Turf Builder (perhaps one cup). Then the tomatoes really took off!!
This is the worst customer service I have EVER had. I ordered a plant kit on-line and they first charged my credit card for two instead of one. I have been waiting over two weeks for delivery, but the website indicates it is awaiting credit approval. The item was charged and debited to my credit card the day I paid for it - almost three weeks ago. I have written FOUR emails and I have left two voice messages with regard to shipment - none of which have been returned.
The company obviously has no leadership, much less customer service. LOUSY SERVICE.
I have used seven earthboxes (two plantings each year for the past 6-1/2 years. I have grown many varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. All with great success. I provide tomatoes and cucumbers to several friends almost year round. It is early January, and my four beefmaster and better boy plants have over a hundred tomatoes right now. I'll replant the boxes in late February or early March. There just seems no way for a person not to be able to grow fantastic tomatoes, etc. in an earth box. Common sense dictates that you not try to stuff several types of vegetables into one box. Place them in full sun. keep them watered. Stake as necessary. Harvest away!!!! I deal directly with the Earth Box Store in Ellenton, Fl. They are wonderful people. I live nearby in Bradenton. Fl.
Ordered two twelve box watering systems. Upon receipt of the watering system was shorted parts to complete both systems. Since Aug 2007 have called 4 x's emailed a total of 6 x's. I have spent thousands of dollars with earthbox. This is the first time I have needed assistance and am a very unhappy with the customer service. Each time I have called they say items will be shipped, as of date shorted items have not arrive.
Thank you for any help you can provide.... SKC
dancinglemons Richmond, VA (Zone 7b) (3 reviews) October 23, 2007
I have 15. The first group was purchased from HSN which gave me a 50% discount on the shipping fees after the first box. The rest were purchased from EarthBox company at a steep discount because the caster holes are irregular and I do not need casters so it worked GREAT for me. I got 5 for $125 and paid $25 for shipping (August 2007). The people who answer their telephones during the 9-5 business hours are not very cordial or friendly but the product is GREAT!!! The people at the research center in Florida are reported to be WONDERFUL -- perhaps they should man the phones also!!!!
If you have problems bending or kneeling due to arthritis or other physical ailments then this EarthBox is great to get you back to gardening. If necessary you can put it on a stand and garden from a wheelchair. I had a hip replaced and will have the other hip replaced soon. With a bit of help with the initial set-up I can now enjoy gardening again.
The EarthBox is not easy but it is EASIER than in-ground gardening. Their website has a forum which is FAN-TAS-TIC for anyone to ask questions and get guidance on how to grow in the EarthBox.
Many folks complain about the shipping fees. Order the box with NO potting mix and your shipping fees will be around $6-7 per box -if- you are on the east coast. Remember that ALL shipping has increased due to the increase in fuel cost. Complain all you want but if you take a box that size to UPS, USPS or FedEx and try to ship ---- IT WILL NOT BE LESS THAN $10 ----- EarthBox gets a discount from FedEx for ground shipping because of the volume they ship that is why they can ship for less. Just try to ship that box back to them and you will find out that the shipping fee you have to pay to return the EarthBox is more than the shipping fee you paid to receive the EarthBox.
I ordered the Earthbox last month,came w/no problems,I planted 2 Celebrity tomato plants,from 6" pots...I followed the planting directions to the "T" and have been very pleased so far...the plants have grown a foot in just under a month,w/watering every day...I have counted at least 2 dozen blossoms so far w/ a few baby tomatoes the size of your pinky nail....just make sure you support them...I am using 42" cages that are staked for extra support....
I received an EB as a birthday present. I currently am using it to grow tomatoes. I'm not aware of any biling or shipping problems with this order. Believe me, if there were, my father wouldn't hesitate to let me know about it! My only complaint was that the directions to put it together were missing. That problem was remedied by downloading and printing them from their website. It was pretty easy to put together.
I really like my EB and will continue to use it next season for some other vegetables. I'm sorry to hear about the problems others are having with customer service and delivery.
I never had a problem with EB's ordering or customer service. If you want to SKIP dealing with Earthbox...just head on over to http://www.hsn.com (the home shopping network's webpage) as they have the boxes for a lot less and you can bypass dealing with EB. I have ordered 8 boxes from HSN with no delay or issues. Also they have flexpay so you can split up your payments as the boxes aren't cheap.
I have had my boxes for two seasons and they are well worth the money! Good luck and sorry to hear you are having problems with delivery!
lafko06 Brimfield, MA (Zone 5a) (27 reviews) April 23, 2007
I am extremely unhappy with the customer service at this company. The reason why is because I received a special "coupon" from my Dixondale order that said if I buy 10 Earthboxes without the soil or fertilizer it would cost me 375.00 if I use the Dixondale code. I thought it would be wonderful to get a discount, so I went on line to earthbox.com and discovered if I buy THE SAME 10 similar earthboxes, it will only cost me 325.00!!!!!!!!! Who is getting this 50.00 difference? When I called earthbox.com on sunday after 5:00 pm, to inquire about the pricing, I was told he didn't know why there was a price discrepancy and to order it on line if it was cheaper!!!!!! He basically refused to investigate why there was a price difference!!! THEN, I decided to place my order on line to see what happens. I WAS HORRIFIED THAT to place my ten order shipment cost an ADDITIONAL 150.00 for FEDERAL EXPRESS!!!!!!!!! They don't use USPS with tracking, they don't use UPS with tracking, they USE THE MOST EXPENSIVE method of shipment yet, they only guarantee you will recieve the item up to 3 weeks after placing your order. STILL, that is not a big deAL, BUT 150.00 SHIPPING?????????? once i try these, they better be the second coming, because i will make sure EVERYONE knows the truth between EB's and container gardening!!!!!!!!! On April 27th, 2007, lafko06 added the following:
Well my order came today. I guess that is why shipping was so expensive. Still, I would have rather paid for ground shipping instead of 150.00!!! Too much for shipping in my opinion.On July 14th, 2007, lafko06 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
Okay, well Earthbox has surpassed my highest expectations. All the vegetable plants are 4 times bigger than the ones in my vegetable garden beds. These are amazing and I think I will order 10 more!!!!
granite near Tiverton United Kingdom (1 review) July 5, 2006
Facts. I emailed EB for quantity prices. After not receiving a reply I phoned. A man gave me prices for delivery of 5 boxes. I checked that the price included shipping which he said it did - £28 each for 5 boxes delivered.
Later that day an email arrived; in that the price for 5 worked out at £31.90 each delivered, a difference of £14.50 on 5 ! My husband rang to see how long delivery would be and asked for a price as I had been given two different ones. He was told 4 EBs would be £26 delivered. So the next day I rang to order 8 EBs expecting to pay £208. I was told the price was £208 for 8 and the order would come to £208 + 8x£4.95 = £247.60. The assistant hotly denied having said to my husband that delivery was included.
I was then told to hold on (10 minutes had passed by this time) and she came back to say there had been a mistake and I wouldn't like it but I would have to pay even more. I explained that I had now had 4 quotes and asked to speak to the supervisor. The supervisor kept saying the email price was the correct one and I had been misquoted on the other occasions. I pointed out that two people had misquoted, one even confirming her quote the next day. I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt about not saying delivery was included and would pay £26 plus £4.95 each for 8 but she was adamant the price would be £159.50. She accepted I had been misinformed several times. I will never deal with such an inefficient inflexible firm again. They seem to not want business so I will make my own EBs. Some-one needs to go into competition to shake them up. In fact I have just found Bora (phone 01730 301340) who have something similar, larger, in green or white and works out cheaper per sq ft of growing area.
ms_merae Austin, TX (Zone 8b) (2 reviews) June 30, 2006
Earthbox Customer Service charged me twice for one Earthbox. I contacted Earthbox, according to their records, they charged me only once. After explaining that their name was on my bank statement once on 6/20 and once on 6/7 for 44.90 each, they still denied it and requested a fax of my bank statement. I replied that for my privacy protection I would not be sending them my bank statement and customer service replied with "that is the only way you will get your money back ma'am." I took the issue up with my bank.
The EB product is great. Their customer service isn't.
mwareha San Diego, CA (Zone 9b) (2 reviews) May 19, 2006
The earth boxes really work, and it is a great product. That being said it is very difficult to get a hold of one. I have been waiting almost a month, and still there is no tracking number, and whenever I call in I get the same story that they are unable to give me a tracking number because they can not find my order because it was placed online. I am able to pull up my order history via the Web site. My only advice would be to order about three months before you want to plant - this way you are not behind the 8 ball in getting your crops in the ground.
Purchased EB after a recommendation from a gardening professional as something which might meet my needs as I am both elderly and disabled. Placed my first order for 10 EBs via phone and had some problems with the attitude of the person taking the order. Never received confirmation of order despite having both home address and e-mail. Decided to order stakes and casters but this time by mail. Again failed to acknowledge order. I had to call them. Credit card was charged 19 days after they received order; it is now over 30 days since card was charged and no accessories despite statement by phone that should have been received this past week. So far am off to a bad start because outside dogs have destroyed the box covers to get to organic fertilizer strip. Also have found trying to put other than the smallest of transplants into hole through the cover has resulted in jamming in the roots and wishing the plants well!
Earthbox is ok for folk who lack gardening ability or perhaps have dissability issues or limitations as to where they can garden.............i.e. the apartment/condo dweller. My issue with Earthbox is that I felt my box was overpriced. I went to http://www.josho.com/Earthbox.htm and found a way to make a homemade Earthbox for much less. Also, I do a considerable amount of container gardening and I just didn't find my Earthbox to be any more productive then my other containers. I place my larger containers inside even larger containers to create a pot-within-a-pot and this greatly reduces dehydration in the hot sun and also I put the entire set up in a tray (plastic oil change pans from the local big box hardware store). I fill this with water and my containers wick this up. Also, the Earthbox folks claim that healthy plants require consistent fertilizer and they don't recommend fertilizers mixed with water. I disagree. I use an organic fertilizer that I mix with water and fill my waters pans with. My mix ratio is "consistent" and my watering schedule is "consistent".
I can't disparage Earthbox. I think it is a great product for some people.............it comes in a complete kit......."Just add water and plants", but I don't think it is a revolutionary breakthrough either.
Instead of 3 they sent me 6 boxes and charged me for that- when I called them customer service people were the rudest on earth as if it was my mistake... they improperly scheduled the fedex pick- luck fedex had my no and they were able to come down and pick up-
product may be good but customer service too too bad- their call center should be outsourced ---
bike30nj Philadelphia, PA (1 review) April 27, 2006
I recently ordered 3 complete Earthbox Ready to grow kits. They arrived after a lengthy wait and 2 of the 3 kits were not complete kits. Earthbox left out the dolomite and fertilizer. I tried to get them to send the missing pieces, but they have not. At the same time I ordered the earthboxes, I ordered the castors to go with the earthboxes. They were on back order, so, after months of waiting, I cancelled my order for the castors. They sent the castors to me 4 days after I cancelled the order. I would never do business with this company again.
I have 5 earthboxes and love them. I just picked up the new staking system the weekend. I like other in the area have been waiting for the manufacture to correct a few issues to meet the inventors specs. The first sets had to be hammered together, not a good fit. The new ones work great. It is nice living across the river from the research center. That answer lots of questions and try all kinds of stuff in the earthbox. I was there a few weeks ago when the opened one filled with potatoes. I do think you could do better outside the box for potatoes . I think they only got about 10/15 lbs from the crop, but that is just my guess.
cologardner Grand Junction, CO (4 reviews) April 9, 2006
ordered a staking system 1/17 still have not recieved it co syas they are shipping them out it is 4/9 my planting date is 4/15 On April 25th, 2006, cologardner changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
finally recieved the trellis system it arraived just before planting time
Earthboxes are great IF you realize that there simply is not a single garden environment that is good for all plants.
Earthboxes provide gradual feeding (via a pile of dry fertilizer placed at planting time away from direct contact with plants but at the top of the soil) and constant moisture. Properly cared for, plants in an Earthbox are never soaking wet and never dried out. Obviously, there are many garden plants that thrive on this. Still, there are those in the field of tomato husbandry, for instance, that think the plants need the soil to get fairly dry at times for the best results. You can't do that with an Earthbox.
There is a plastic cover that the plants poke through that acts as a mulch. It also can act as an environment for mildew or other moisture problems to develop, if the greater environment you put the boxes in is prone to that. The system won't work without the covers, though, so a few users will need to work with that design reality.
Earthboxes are also, well, boxes...albeit big ones. If you don't insulate the box somehow, it is going to go through greater temperature fluctuations than in-ground planting. There are many environments where this is not a problem, but just be aware that yours might not be one of them.
Earthboxes can also be taken inside when a snap of bad weather is expected, allowing lettuces to survive longer into the fall, to be germinated successfully earlier in the spring, and to be spared short-term heat waves. Be aware, though, that planted Earthboxes are unweildy and HEAVY. Most people not wanting a back injury should not be lifting them without help, even from a raised outdoor spot onto a wagon.
As for care, if you can't keep up with watering an Earthbox, you are very unlikely to keep a plant alive in any situation. The water reservoir has an overflow, so you can set an auto-water system to top it off every day if you're going to be gone. There is a grate that keeps most of the soil out of the reservoir, with only amount dipping in that acts as the wick. It is a very slick system.... unless you let the "wick" dry out. Then you've got problems. You might be able to re-hydrate without killing your plants, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Also, I've had my Earthboxes for about 5 years now, outside all year round, and they show no sign of UV decay. It looks to be a very durable system that will be well worth the initial outlay. (Plan on having to replace the covers, though.)
I very much recommend the Earthbox, but always with those few caveats that might not occur to a person unacquainted with how the system works.
I have purchased several Earthboxes over the years. I have a huge gopher problem and find containers a big help in keeping them at bay.
The containers arrived in good time (I am on the west coast) and in good condition. I have no complaints about the earthboxes for growing plants, though my experience has been with ornamentals more than vegetables.
What I do want to comment on (in all seriousness!) is that they provide excellent habitat for our supposedly endangered red legged frog! Last year I noticed a frog had taken up residence in each of four of my earthboxes. At the time I had not identified them, but now I am certain that they are rana aurora draytoni, or red legged frog. I think they spend all year in them. Right now it's breeding season and I hear their chorus--there must be half a dozen of them.
The company might want to investigate doing some studies and may be able to supply earthboxes to environmentalists for mitigation purposes.
AUTOMATED WATERING SYSTEM
I have an idea to share about automatic watering of my Earth Boxes. I purchased a Toro "Count On - It" automatic faucet control valve. I hooked it to an outdoor faucet and connnected it by hose to my two EB's using a hose Y fitting. I set the "Count On - It" to come on every 24 hours, and run for 3 minutes. I cracked the faucet and adjusted the water flow so it would'nt squirt, but dribble out of the EB weep hole. The only problem was the hoses crimping as they went up and into the water tube. I wired some popsycle sticks to the hoses to keep that from happening. The systems works great.
Although I have had trouble with worms on my tomatoes and green beans, I have been generally satisfied with Earth Boxes. I
I love Earthboxes. I have 7 of them and grow indeterminate tomatoes in them--I have had some grow 8 + feet in those boxes. I also have about 30 regular containers but for easy, foolproof growing Earthboxes are fantastic. You do have to water them every day and you have to follow the directions correctly. They are expensive but very, very durable. They offer a quantity discount when they are all going to the SAME address--which is standard practice. Ordering has always been a breeze and they arrive right away. Excellent for anyone who loves a home-grown tomato!
ElizabethK Mars, PA (11 reviews) September 19, 2005
This year was the first time I purchased and used Earthboxes. I must admit, I have not had the best of luck. It's partly my fault (I idid not keep the resoviors full enough) and Mother Nature did not help out much here in PittsbuGH--we had an extremely hot summer. My first planating of corn died within weeks. Although late, I am trying corn again. My spinach and lettuce faired better, but tjhe results were not "magicall'. Also, it could be the plants that I usedl
One of the plants I grew were free Maxim strawberries, sold by either Miller or Stark. They grew big, dark, healthy leaves. I just did not get any strawberries. Not even one. I also tried pumpkins which rotted and melons that are still the same size as golf balls! I started them in May!
Does anyone know if EarthBox has some sort of forum or chat room to get suggestions and ideas? Can I overwinter the strawberries in the garage and expect a bumber crop next year; It sure would be nice after spending so much . Has anyone had great luck and, if so, with what kind o ff plants, and when, etc. I will try again next year. Hopefully things will work out.
I bought one earthbox. So far I tried tomato, cucumber, beans and herbs in it. Itís OK, but not as magical as their AD says.
I say that because I have plant exactly the same thing in two 5-gallon pots as comparison. The pots are just those normal black plastic pots that come with big plants I bought from Home Depot. I used same seeds or small plants to start, same potting mix, same fertilizer, same hydrated lime for tomato (as suggested in the EarthBox instruction). And when I add water to the earthbox, I water the 5-gallon pots as well. The yields are both good, but the earthbox is not doing better than the pots.
Actually for the fertilizer part, earthbox suggested 2 cups per box. I followed that. But for my 5-gallon pots, I followed the instruction on the fertilizer package. I actually used less fertilizer for my pots. Earthbox claimed it consumes 50% less fertilizer. Well, I donít think so. But thatís not a big deal anyway.
I see other reviews say the earthbox is doing better than the plants in the ground. I wonít be surprised. In the earthbox we are using potting mix which is way better than the ground soil; and we use a lot of fertilizer.
So, I think itís a good product, but not magical. For first time gardeners it sure will be exciting to see things grow. But if you put the same effort on some big pots, you will get similar results.
I did learn a lot while using it though. For example lots of platns favor soil with higher PH, and thatís why we use hydrated lime.