Earth Box?

mamasylvia(Cheyenne now 5a!)March 10, 2012

I was curious if anyone has used an EarthBox at our cold altitudes. I have one on the way and figured it would let me make an early start, because it's on wheels and if the forecast is for dangerously low temps, I can just bring it inside overnight, but leave it outside to take advantage of our current warm temps.

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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Yep, I have a couple that I've used for the past 3 or 4 years. The being on wheels is both a good AND a bad thing. Makes it easy to move when a frost is forecast, but if you forget to lock the wheels out, your box may just wander off.

Not sure what you plan on growing in yours, but I quit growing tomatoes in them. They got too top heavy, and the wind would blow them over at least a couple of times a season. Plus, towards the end of the summer, they could empty the entire reservoir in a day, so if I got busy and missed a day of watering, I ended up with blossom end rot on all the fruit. Never had that problem with the in ground plants, so I decided to use them for peppers instead. Earthbox says to put 6 peppers in a box, but I'm cutting it back to 4 this year.

I think the boxes would also be great for low growing veggies, such as leafy greans, herbs, carrots, etc, but so far, I've only tried peppers and tomatoes.

Bonnie

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 12:01PM
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conace55(z5 CO)

I use earth boxes for most of my veggies because I really don't have space for an in-ground garden. I line these up on my back patio each year.

I started out by seeing them at a yard sale for a couple of dollars apiece. We bought all 6 that they had. Started with tomatoes. Since then, we've found more at yard sales or Craigslist and now have 14 of them. Each year we empty the boxes onto a large tarp and sift the soil, put it back in the boxes, and add the fertilizer as suggested.

I grow all of my tomatoes in them. I've also used them for peppers, eggplant, bush beans, cucumber, and melons. My husband built trellises for the tomatoes, and I tie them to those. This method has worked well and I haven't had any problem with them blowing over. I water them once a day and have had good success.

I don't have wheels on mine.

Connie

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 7:12PM
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mamasylvia(Cheyenne now 5a!)

Thanks for the comments. I just bought one, and I'm planning on 2 tomatoes, a melon, a pea, and a summer squash. Gotta start small because I'm disabled and I don't know how much I'll be able to do. I'm very concerned about the plants growing too tall for me to deal with! I wonder if I cut off the top part of the tomato, would it grow more sideways instead? Oh well, we'll see what happens.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:41PM
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jclepine(8b)

mamasylvia,

Can you use a dolly with straps? It might help if the plants do get too tall or unwieldy.

I've never used an earth box but I only grow my tomatoes in containers. Gotta be able to bring them in when it dumps 3 to 4 feet of snow in late April or even in May.

I used to use a lot of gigantic 5 gallon pots but they get annoying when the weather flip flops and they have to come inside, go outside, come inside, go outside...blah

Now, I put about five tomato plants in each of the four gallon pots and that is that. That worked very last year and, in fact, that may have been the best tomato year yet!

I use six-foot tall bamboo stakes to let the plants climb high and then try to prevent outward growth. I find the lateral growth to be more awkward than the tall growth. Especially when I use three stakes per pot--that sure makes them stable while being lugged around the house and yard.

Plus, the tall stakes help when the weather isn't worth bringing them inside but is worth draping a sheet over them to keep the light frost, wind, snow or gropple (soft, light hail kind of stuff) off.

I hope it works!

Jennifer

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 12:38AM
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