Content of the material
- Introduction: Planting an Earth Box
- Avoiding overwatering
- Step 2: Put the Tube Into the Round Opening in the Box
- What Is An Earthbox?
- Scented Daffodil Trial Reports
- DIY planter ideas from our kitchens
- Things You’ll Need
- How to make outdoor DIY planters from recycled tires
- Disadvantages Of Earthbox For Pot
- Building a Self-Watering Planter
- Building Your Bottom Watering Planter
Introduction: Planting an Earth Box
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I planted my Earthbox on my balcony with six different herbs and vegetables.One of the Neighbors Project ideas is to “Plant your windows, porch/stoop/balcony or other publicly viewable space with plants and flowers.” I’ve taken that advice by setting up a mini garden on my balcony, including this Earthbox that my mother gave me last year.The instructions in the box for setting it up are idiot proof, but there are a few other things I wanted to add to them to help people make the most out of the project.
The water reservoir has an overflow, so there’s no risk of filling the entire trough with water and water-logging your compost – once the reservoir is full of water, any additional water that’s added will trickle out of the overflow and onto the ground. If you want to empty your EarthBox’s water reservoir for any reason, you could simply tip the container onto its side, and the water will drain out of your EarthBox, onto the ground.
My Rainbow Chard and Savoy Cabbages are growing well in my EarthBox, I am sure that you could, if you wished, grow many vegetables, fruit and herbs in your EarthBox, even flowers if you wanted!
I’ve been impressed with my EarthBox, it’s a real blessing to have a self-watering container, especially one that’s so easy to move around. The EarthBox would make a super present for a gardener who enjoys growing vegetables, fruit or herbs. Gardeners who struggle with the difficult task of watering, either because it’s difficult physically, or due to long working hours and busy lifestyles would really benefit from using the EarthBox growing system, it’s very simple to use and is effective in the results it produces.
Would you like to see my Vegepod? Please click here to see my Vegepod and find out about some of the crops I’ve grown in this container gardening system.
Have you seen my Quadgrow? Click here to see my Quadgrow Self Watering Planter.
You may be interested in some of the trials I have conducted.
Step 2: Put the Tube Into the Round Opening in the Box
These steps are very self-explanatory. Set up your box in a place that will get as much sun as possible. What you don’t get in the instructions, though, is a reminder to look around to see if you’re likely to drip mud, water and mud-water onto your neighbor’s property. My balcony, which is just a bunch of wooden slats, is right above my neighbor’s balcony. So I dripped potting soil water all over the table and chairs she has on her balcony. I recommend avoiding having to apologize for this by laying out some plastic bags beneath your whole set up.
What Is An Earthbox?
As mentioned previously, earthbox is a trough box with a self-watering system. This makes it similar to SIP style gardening that makes it more convenient for plants to take water. The idea behind this self-watering system is that instead of drenching, you are adding the water directly into your plants’ roots.
The lack of runoff in this system helps conserve water consumption. Therefore, you can grow pot in an earthbox without the fear of watering problems. Those that are in a hot environment can even use an earthbox to be more water-efficient.
Scented Daffodil Trial Reports
To see the results of my third Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my Scented Daffodil Container Trial, please click here.
To read the results of my first Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.
DIY planter ideas from our kitchens
Our kitchens have a lot of planters in disguise!
Things You’ll Need
- Four lengths of wood. We used 2″x9″ (two 4′ lengths two 2′ lengths)
- Another board cut to the size of the bottom
- Drill or screwdriver and galvanized screws
- Piece of nylon or vinyl screen
- Small nails and a hammer
- Planting soil
- Plants or seeds
How to make outdoor DIY planters from recycled tires
Just a little fearless imagination, we have these giant parrots made from tires! ( Images from ponyswings.com, site no longer active ) See video tutorial below!
Disadvantages Of Earthbox For Pot
It’s safe to say that the most apparent disadvantage of growing pot in an earthbox is a space limitation. Planning how many pot plants you can grow in the earthbox is crucial for success. If the plants have limited space, it can cause stunts in their growth and nutrient deficiencies.
Building a Self-Watering Planter
- Container– The sky is the limit. I loved the galvanized container I found at my local hardware store. You can find similar ones on Amazon. Any type of container will do.
- Small plastic flower pot or container– this will be the wicking container
- Plastic plant flat or any larger piece of plastic that can be used as a barrier between soil and water reservoir. (Your local nursery or hardware store has these and would probably be happy to give you one.)
- 1-inch PVC pipe, cut to height of container
- Potting soil (purchased or make your own)
- Plastic cups or containers for extra support (optional)
Here’s a quick video breakdown before the detailed instructions:
Building Your Bottom Watering Planter
- Begin with a container you love. My dad built his self-watering planters using rubbermaid tubs following directions he found on Grow A Good Life. They work really well for him, but I wanted a more decorative planter that I could use on the front porch. So feel free to get a large container that may not really be for plants.
- Grab a plastic lid or plant flat for your separator between water reservoir and soil. I used a flat that plants come on. I cut the corners, since my container was not a rectangle and placed it in upside down. The existing edges could be used to support the weight of the soil. (If you use a solid piece of plastic for this barrier, be sure to put holes in it.)
- Next, cut a hole in the middle of your plastic for the wicking container (small flower pot) to go into. And also cut a hole or space in the corner for your watering tube.
- Grab your small plastic pot and punch or drill holes in it all around. You want water to be able to come into this pot from the reservoir. Place the pot in the hole you created in the middle of your plant flat.
- Now add your watering tube. Be sure it does not sit flush on the bottom. Water needs to be able to get into the reservoir. (My container had ridges at the bottom, but you could set your tube at a slight angle, or place something small under the edge of tube to keep it slightly elevated.)
- NOT PICTURED: Before we go further, you’ll need to grab a drill and make several holes in the side of your container. Use a sharpie to mark on the outside of the container slightly below where your separator is sitting.
- Drill a few holes side by side in this area. These holes will allow you to know when your water level is high enough. When water comes out of these holes, you’ll know your reservoir is full.
- If your reservoir separator needs extra support for the weight of the soil, use small plastic containers (think sour cream containers) that are cut to 2 inches high and place them under your separator so there’s no risk of it caving in. Then lay landscape fabric over your separator and cut the fabric so the wicking container isn’t covered.
- Fill your wicking container with MOIST potting soil. You want to pack that potting soil into the container before you fill the entire thing.
- Now you are ready to fill your container with potting soil, adding in a fertilizer trench if you’d like, and give your plants a new home! Many self-watering planters include some kind of covering that the plants stick out of, but I just mulch around my plants to keep the moisture in.
Here’s my planter three weeks after making it and planting some salad greens. And if you’ve seen my Container Salad Garden post, then you know that these salad greens looked pitiful when I planted them. Yay for self-watering planters!