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Comments regarding EarthBox

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40 positives
9 neutrals
12 negatives


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Neutral ElizabethK
(12 reviews)
On Sep 19, 2005, ElizabethK Mars, PA wrote:

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.

Neutral bulubulu
(1 review)
On May 12, 2005, bulubulu Aliso Viejo, CA wrote:

Itís ok, but not as magical as their AD says.

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.

Positive nanningbob
(1 review)
On May 6, 2005, nanningbob nanning China,
China wrote:

I have read the negative comments about earth boxes and all the problems can be solved by making your own. I use rubbermaid boxes that are taller and bigger and follow the basic design. Use the black septic drain pipes for your bottom support and use screen on top of it to keep the soil from falling into the water. I use newspaper for my wick and away you go. The cost is a third of buying one and you can grow your bigger tomatoes and have a bigger water well on the bottom. Some of my boxes have 6 gallon capacities. Rubber maid boxes are the best because the plastic is flexible and doesnt crack as easily in the sunlight. Many of my boxes are 5 years old and still going strong. Cheaper, bigger and easy to use. I had 7 kids and was using 30 of these for all my vegetable needs. I love the earthbox but hated the price and low water storage. I solved both of those problems and you can have fun making them.


Positive 41589
(1 review)
On Mar 26, 2005, 41589 Brooksville, FL wrote:

About 5 years ago, in my first attempt at gardening, I dedicated 2 of my 5 EBs to corn, I planted 32 kernels and reaped 64 ears. I was amazed. I planted corn in the dirt also, and it came along about 2 weeks later. I now have 18 EBs and I continually try different combinations and have found that it really doesn't matter how much you pay for the potting soil. It's all good enough. My zuchini squash is absolutly scarey. Melons are terrific. Maters grow terrificly well, but I need to learn a bit more about them so they don't split on me. But that is not the EBs fault. My bad. Cherry tomatos are flawless and plentiful and very, very tall.

Negative AustinRunner
(1 review)
On Mar 19, 2005, AustinRunner Dripping Springs, TX wrote:

I just received my second earthbox order - I have enjoyed my first earthbox for years. I am however, major unhappy with the shipping prices which are unreasonable. I understand that companies like to pad their profit with 'handling charges' instead of increasing the price of their products. However, charging $6.95 per earthbox on the already high $29 price for recycled plastic is outrageous. What is MUCH WORSE is that I ordered three earthboxes. You guessed it, all three shipped in the same container but the shipping cost was over $20. Nothing wholesome about this companies business practices.

Positive Quacky
(1 review)
On Mar 2, 2005, Quacky San Diego, CA wrote:

I have been using Earthboxes for three years and am very happy with them. I plant tomatoes and cantaloupes and carry buckets of each to work for my co-workers. (I hand pollinate the melons.) I don't stake my plants. I use 'tables' I've built from 1" x1" boards and chicken wire. I build 8' x 8' frames, and staple chicken wire for the table 'surface.' The 'legs' are the height of the earthbox. I can group 8 earthboxes around each 'table,' and the vines flop over onto the chicken wire. I have really good air circulation, but spray to prevent mildew. You can't grow corn in an earthbox - I know from experience - and I won't waste an earthbox on beans, peas or herbs. I wouldn't, however, grow tomatoes and melons in anything else. They also are a terrifc gift for elderly gardeners. Oh, and after each growing season, I dump the used soil on my compost heap.

Negative Pete2
(7 reviews)
On Jan 7, 2005, Pete2 Richmond Hill, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I've had nothing but success with my 10 EB's, so much so that I just placed an order for more of them. I've grown well over 50 varieties of different tomatoes, most of them heirlooms, and I have found the interior growing space of an EB to be very adequate for growing tomatoes, as well as other crops. (BTW, I do also garden conventionally, in the ground.) I did not have to fill my EB water reservoirs but every other day at the most, and this was during the hottest part of my summer here on the GA coast. If you are a seed saver, this is a great system to use to isolate any variety you're planning to save seeds from. I'll be ordering from this company again and again. I find them to be a great company with a great product. I give them an A+.

On January 14th, 2005, Pete2 changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

I recently tried to arrange for gardeners at DG to receive EarthBoxes at a discounted price by ordering in bulk,after talking with a sales rep at the EB company last week. BTW, we had 75 for sure orders. It probably would have been 100 by the end of the weekend. LAST week,the sales rep said the larger the number, the higher the discounted price. She did not foresee any problems. I told her that I would call back with a final number and we could talk about shipping.

THIS week, I spoke with the Manager, Alan Bridges, and he told me that under "no circumstances" would he ship that many EB's to me to distribute to our members, NOR would he let us call up and receive a discounted price, even though we ordered 75-100 EB's as a group. I told Mr. Bridges that the list of gardeners placing their orders wasn't a long one, maybe 20 -30 because most people were ordering 5 EB's. I told him that I would provide him with a list of names of people that would be calling to order. I told him that EarthBox always added shipping charges to each order anyway so why couldn't he ship the individual orders to each member. He said, "He couldn't do it." He does it everyday for other orders, why can't he do it for us gardeners at DG? I'll tell you why. Because he's upset that a LARGE group of gardeners would get together and place an order for EB's to receive a discounted price, even though he offer discounts everyday when individuals do that. Go figure that one out. It's just not logical!

You would think that he would be thrilled to get a large order, wouldn't you? Actually, by his attitude, he relayed to me that he couldn't care less.

Basically, the EB people have slapped the132,677 gardeners at DG in the face!!!! I even mentioned to the manager that we had THOUSANDS of gardeners at DG, and he didn't care. So there you have it fellow gardeners. The people at EarthBox don't care what you think, what you want, or anything about you, as long as you buy their product. I will NEVER, EVER buy another EarthBox again. Basically, I will buy another EB when "pigs fly" or when "hell freezes over."

IMO, the people at EarthBox, Inc. are a very greedy company, and they have obviously have forgotten that GARDENERS have made their success all possible.
Positive mommystuff
(3 reviews)
On Sep 20, 2004, mommystuff Sarasota, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I purchased two earthboxes at the beginnning of summer, right before they closed for the season. I planted pole beans in one and herbs in the other. The pole beans sprouted in three days and grew wonderfully. We enjoyed several harvests. The herbs in the other box are doing even better. My basil plant is a mutant!!! It has several trunks on it that are a good 2", and is 5' tall. I keep clipping it and pinching off the flowers and it just keeps getting bigger. The other herbs are doing very well too, but the basil is incredible. I think it could be record size. I do have to water the herb box every couple of days since the basil is so huge it takes up alot of water. The other box can be watered every three or four days. I planted the same herbs in the ground two days before getting my earthboxes. All of them died except the basil which is still barely holding on. It is a sad display compared to the earthbox basil, only about 10" high and very stragly. I attended two of their seminars and spoke directly to the owner/inventor in Ellenton. He was so very helpful and such a pleasure to talk to. I am going back later this month to purchase at least six more. Earthboxes have been the only way I have been able to grow any vegetables or herbs in our Florida heat. The earthboxes seem to keep the pests to a minimum too, although I check the plants daily and remove any suspicious leaves, etc. I highly recommend this company and this product.

Positive 1Nancy
(1 review)
On Aug 18, 2004, 1Nancy Cambridge, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Earthboxes are terrific. I had a great tomato season despite alot of cool weather and rain. YES you have to stake your tomatoes (which you need to do anyway). YES you have to fill the reservoir every day...but that's because the tomatoes are using the water, it's not evaporating, so it's not wasted.

I don't think of the self-watering system as a shortcut to irrigation - its just a more effective/efficient way to get water and nutrients to the roots, without the danger of infecting the plants with fungal diseases from water splashed back from the soil.

I grew some pretty large indeterminate tomatoes in my earthboxes, not just small bush type and I had great results.

Negative ednafinan
(1 review)
On Jul 23, 2004, ednafinan wrote:

I bought 3 earthboxes, and while they are ok they certainly are not worth what they cost. The resoviour is not large enough, and needs more water every day. Also the box is not deep enough. My tomatoes in the earth box are not producing nearly as well the ones grown in my other plastic container.

Positive 60874
(1 review)
On Jul 8, 2004, 60874 Franklin, MI wrote:

michigan is a tough environment for tomatoes and, after years of lack of success, earthbox has seemed to finally have brought me to the threshold of tomatoe gardening nirvana ! i planted four different variety regulars in two boxes on may 15 and followed the directions explicitly. i planted one outside the box as a comparative(no contest). as of today, july 8,all plants are blossomed and and well-fruited. one "big boy" is over 8'tall. two are in the 5-6' range and one about 3'. (variety differences probably the main cause). i have 10' 1/2" stakes for each plant (my third "staking!")my 4' fencing around the two boxes is sufficient to keep the bunnies out but, because of the 1" netting, will probably cause harvest problems.

Positive Sequee
(3 reviews)
On Jun 23, 2004, Sequee Carmel, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Wow - love them! I purchased 3 boxes to start and just ordered another 3, one as a gift to my boss, who first got me interested in gardening. I live in Putnam County NY and the land on my property is very rocky. I've tried planting to ground and in pots, but the EarthBoxes far outweigh my previous experiences. They are easy to use and maintain, and take all of the guesswork out of watering. I planted the boxes on May 8th and picked my first ripe tomato this morning (June 23)! Truly awesome!

Positive RickBear
(2 reviews)
On Jun 1, 2004, RickBear wrote:

After finding this website and reading negative comments about the EarthBox I had to join and write of my experience with them for the first time last year. I can only surmise that anyone having problems with them are only poor gardeners.

I have been growing tomatos in New Jersey (the Garden State) for over 30 years. Last year I grew 12 different varieties in six EarthBox's. I used cement reinforcing wire shaped and wired to the containers to contain them. The wire is 5 feet tall. After August I had to add another 2 feet of regular gardening wire to contain them. Eventually, I had to wire them together and tether them to the ground with tent spikes to keep them from blowing over in the wind they were so top heavy with tomatos. They grew beyond the 7 feet of wire in September, and eventually fell over the sides under thier own weight killing the tops of the plants. No bugs all season long.

I had HUNDREDS of tomatos. My family couldn't eat or give them away fast enough. I had Beefsteaks that I couldn't get through the 5"x5" cement wire cages. I had a 3.4 lb local fair winner of a SuperSonic tomato.

This year I'm growing 18 plants in 9 Earthboxes. My tomato plants are already 2 1/2 feet tall at the end of May, they look like small bushes. THIS year I'm taking pictures to prove it!

Anybody complaining that they dry out to quickly or have to water too frequently? Have you ever heard of plastic mulch? I watered mine once every four days. I even went away for a week's vacation with no problem.

I think that EarthBoxes are a gift from God. So much cleaner and easier than planting in the ground. I plan to retire to Florida next year where I will probably not have a garden. But you bet I'm gonna buy a condominium that has a patio or balcony with a southern exposure and will bring a few EarthBoxes with me!

Positive Tplant
(4 reviews)
On Feb 27, 2004, Tplant Pembroke Pines, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

My Earthboxes arrived(3)in november and I set them up and planted beefsteak and patio tomatos and as time went by I found that everything they advertised was true.I planted other plants in containers as I always did before and the growth in the boxes far outweighed the growth in the containers. I am now eating beefsteaks from the boxes while the other plants are smaller and have small green fruit. Of course I had to support the beefsteaks with large green rods purchased at Home Depot because the plants were so heavy with tomatos. I am disabled and for me this meant no more weeding and worrying about overwatering and overfeeding. Best gardening purchase I ever made!!

On April 1st, 2004, Tplant added the following:

Words of advice, put your earthboxes somewhere that you can stake them. Especially tomatoe plants. They grow huge and heavy with tomatoes. My beefsteaks were big and plentiful. My Hillbilly seemed to be heading for the hills. It really was tall and bushy. Lots of fun!
On December 29th, 2004, Tplant added the following:

I just can not comprehend how anyone can have negative results with EB's unless they are not following instructions or are to lazy to water the plants ? Perhaps one may fault when setting up the box by not keeping the mix moist as it is being added or placing the plant to close to the fertilizer strip ? I just don't understand ? It is so very, very simple to be a Pro !
Positive la_gun
(1 review)
On Jun 21, 2003, la_gun wrote:

I didn't use it last season and have lost the fertilizer and lime directions for the Earthbox. I first used the box in 2001 with great results. Only problem was that fire ants got into the box even though I had it elevated. Inn addition, Earthbox didn't return my inquiry as to whether I should use the soil cover on the white or black side. This year they didn't answer me on the fertilizer question. Otherwise, I was pleased with the 2001 results. The thing gets heavy as heck though, in case you want to move it around. I planted standard tomatoes and they were very good.

Positive Agarici
(1 review)
On Jun 19, 2003, Agarici wrote:

Last year when my mother-in-law planted the same tomatoes in her earthbox that I did in my garden, I was convinced after a few weeks that I NEEDED an Earthbox. My plants were still 6 inches high and stunted, while hers were about 3 feet. She got about 100 tomatoes off of 2 plants! I got about 8 off of 4!
This year I bought an earthbox and so far, my plants are growing very quickly and there is no wilt or blight or anything bad that I was so accustomed to in my garden.
It is only June 17 and I will be picking my first tomato soon!
I just went online and bought one for my mother!

Positive dale65bama
(1 review)
On Mar 29, 2003, dale65bama wrote:

So far, so good! I set up 2 EarthBoxes about 5 weeks ago (2/20/03) with 2 tomatoes, 2 peppers, 4 hills of yellow squash. The tomatoes are 1.2-1.4 m (4-5 ft) tall with numerous tomatoes! I am harvesting some small cayenne peppers 5-8 cm (2-3 inches) long. The squash, started from seed, are beginning to flower. These boxes are inside my pool screen enclosure (central Florida), so I will have to hand-pollinate the squash. My 3-yr old granddaughters love watering the "garden".

Positive greenleaf52
(9 reviews)
On Mar 3, 2003, greenleaf52 Westland, MI wrote:

I live in zone 5/6 and planted 1 tomato plant and 1 cucumber plant in the Earth Box last season. I followed the instructions exactly, filled the reservoir once in the morning and had the LARGEST, most prolific plant I've ever had. As a test, my husband bought the same tomato plant and planted it in ground on the same day I planted the Earth box plant. Not only did my plant (in the box) fruit first, it grow larger, produced more and longer than the one in ground. My only complaint is that it almost overshadowed the cucumber plant _ which also did well. I'm a believer!

Negative sherwood
(1 review)
On Mar 2, 2003, sherwood wrote:

As another gardener said, they might be good for smaller tomatoes and plants, but not for full-size. In our hot summer days, the box would use three gallons of water, and had to be filled twice per day, then it ran out of fertilizer, and stopped growing. Ok, but certainly not worth what they cost.

Positive keyi
(13 reviews)
On Feb 6, 2003, keyi Yukon, OK (Zone 7b) wrote:

I ordered an Earthbox, paid with a check, and received the box 16 days later. It was packaged well and had clear and complete instructions. I was surprised by the speed of shipment, and the sturdiness of the planter.

On May 19th, 2005, keyi added the following:

I am still using my Earthbox as a planter. This year it's on the back porch growing radishes and carrots. It is holding up well, but is really no better than any other self watering planter.
Negative AnneWatson
(1 review)
On Jul 24, 2002, AnneWatson Redondo Beach, CA (Zone 10) wrote:

The earthbox isn't a bad planter at all. But it's heavily advertised for tomatoes, and it does not work for average size tomato plants - might be OK for patio. I have one earthbox , adjacent to plants in the ground and the plants in the earthbox have lagged far behind the others in growth.

My tomato expert friends say the earthbox is just not big enough - the plants are rootbound. The earthbox plants have had problems with aphids and early blight which the nearby garden-planted tomatoes have not.

I think the earthbox might work fine for smaller plants that don't mind being pretty well-watered. However, I don't think I'll buy another one.

With respect to delivery and so on, the company was fine. They just advertise their product for something it won't do. I followed all their instructions very precisely. The earthbox is not usable for ordinary tomatoes.

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